Unusual Findings developed by Epic Llama Games and published by ESDigital Games is a point and click style game that is bursting at the seams with nostalgia to the golden age of the 80's that pays tribute to classics like The Goonies, The Explorers, Monster Squad, The Lost Boys, They Live, Terminator, and Aliens to name but a few. When I first saw the trailer for this game it originally jumped out at me and I couldn't wait to finally play through it on release.
The story is set during a Christmas period in the 80's where a group of you friends Vinny, Nick and Tony are using their new cable signal descrambler that has just arrived. As they try to unblock an adult pay per view channel they pick up a distress signal from an alien spaceship that has crash-landed nearby in the woods. When they go to investigate they find a hulking killer alien that is going on a killing spree and they decide they are going to stop it! The game features voice acting that while not the best, adds to the experience and the plot is full of twists and turns to keep you interested. The game also features a good amount of humour to it as well.
Graphically the game has a fantastic pixel art style. The environments are extremely detailed and filled with a ton of references to pop culture from the 80's. You will visit staple teen hangouts such as the Video Buster Store, Laser Llamas Arcades and The Emerald Sword comic store. These environments are extremely faithful to the time period with classic movie posters and arcade machines created in beautiful pixel form. There are plenty of characters to interact with too, some interesting and a few forgettable ones too. The game also features a rather booming 80's style music in the background which you will either love listening to, or you will find extremely annoying. Gameplay wise the game plays pretty well on console for a point and click adventure. It definitely feels like the controls were made for consoles and they aren't overly complicated plus it's coupled with an easy to use on screen UI. While using the d-pad to navigate the interactive items on the screen works well there are issues to be found with traversing between the environments can be quite cumbersome at times.
My main complain about the game is that at times it is frustratingly difficult, to the point where you will become absolutely lost at what you need to do to proceed. Whilst the game often tells you what you are looking for to complete the puzzles in-front of you but actually completing these tasks feels extremely convoluted and overly complicated in terms of having the correct item, speaking to the correct person using the correct dialogue choices etc. I've played alot of point and click games and whilst i'm usually up to the challenge, I would definitely recommend using a guide at times to work your way through the game when you become stuck. I have also seen multiple people reporting of game-breaking bugs, but luckily I did not come across any during my playthrough so I can't really comment on them.
Unusual Findings isn't perfect. It's controls can be clunky which can make movement awkward and the puzzles found in the game can be almost impossible and illogical at times - but the gorgeously detailed pixel environments that are oozing with 1980's nostalgia and references, along with the intriguing plot are more than enough reason to give this one A go. If you like point and click adventure style games this is definitely one to check out and add to your list despite it's shortcomings. Total Score: 7/10
Unusual Findings was released onto the Xbox store on the 12th October 2022. The game is priced at £15.99 and can be played on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. You can purchase the game HERE. A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks for that.