Wadjet Eye Games are the masters of point-and-click adventure games, so when they announce a new project, I am the first to jump in and try it out. During Steam’s Next Fest, Wadjet Eye Games have a demo available for their next game called Old Skies. Today I am going to bring you my first impressions.
Old Skies follows in the footsteps of other great narrative adventure games from Wadjet Eye Games like Unavowed, Technobabylon and the Backwell series. Old Skies levels up the graphics, music and audio work to new heights, helping make Old Skies even better than the games that have come before it. It’s a very good-looking game, and characters and environments pop, whereas before some of their games have existed in very dark worlds (not only thematically but by design).
Regarding the story, we play as Fia, an agent for a company called ChronoZen. They offer a service where you can see into the past, with Fia acting as your guide. ChronoZen offers this service at a great cost, most often from a wallet perspective, but also for other reasons too which you’ll find out as you play through Old Skies. Characters in the game approach ChronoZen for a variety of reasons, some go for tourism purposes, and some want to conclude matters in the past. In the demo for Steam Next Fest, you get to play Fia’s first assignment, but in the full game, there are going to be a number of stories.
Fia seems a little disgruntled in her work, she’s tired of rich clients and the taxing nature of the work and this comes across in the brilliant voice acting. Wadjet Eye Games always bring their characters to life with amazing actors, and Old Skies is no different. Fia has to balance a customer services role by looking after the clients, making sure she doesn’t mess with the strands of time, plus leaving them satisfied if possible, so they may come back to ChronoZen in the future.
From a gameplay perspective, Old Skies is a point-and-click narrative adventure, so you’ll be gathering items, reading dialogue, and collecting clues from NPCs. Environments are there to be explored, other characters are to be interrogated plus you have plenty of puzzles to solve. The puzzles aren’t obtuse, but they are not obvious and too simplistic either, which had me challenged but not to the point of frustration. There’s always a delicate balance in narrative games like this, and Old Skies appears right on the money in the demo. The puzzles also work seamlessly with the narrative. Sometimes, it can feel a little disjointed if you are taken from the main narrative beats to take on a puzzle. But both gameplay and narrative are woven together here very well, making this a seamless experience.
The demo offers a great preview of Old Skies, and I’d recommend trying it out. If you are a fan of the genre, then go ahead and put it on your Steam wishlist, as this one promises to be a great addition to the Wadjet Eye Games back catalogue. As well as the excellent gameplay in the demo, Wadjet Eye offer up some developer commentary, which offers some great insights into the development, design and execution of the game. There’s an option to play the demo with the commentary on and off, so the demo is worth a couple of playthroughs if you are a fan of Wadjet Eye’s work. Plus, if you are interested in knowing more about game development and the process, this insight is very valuable.
Old Skies is the next game from Wadjet Eye Games. I remember seeing Dave Gilbert speak at AdventureX in 2019, where he gave a talk on a GameJam that saved his soul. This appears to be the product of that Game Jam and it’s great to see Dave and Wadjet Eye creating games again. They’ve published some excellent games in the last few years like Strangeland, but this is a return to form for the team, and I for one am very excited about the full game.