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Unforeseen Incidents: Review

Unforeseen Incidents is a point-and-click graphic adventure aimed at the adult audience. In it, Harper Pendrell , an amateur technician and resigned to the decadent life of the agonizing Yelltown , will be involved in solving the mystery and conspiracy that is hidden behind the deadly disease that consumes his hometown. 

Backwoods Entertainment are the creators of Unforeseen Incidents , which is their debut feature, developed between January 2016 and May 2018. This indie German studio declares itself to be a videogame lover of great narrative and immersion and that also offers a pleasing aesthetic to the eye . Unforeseen Incidents is the reflection of this passion, since its main characteristics are a story whose intrigue keeps the player hooked, while submerging it in an oppressive setting; and a refined comic aesthetic formed by hand-painted graphics and dialogues in sandwiches. The distributor Application Systems Heidelberg,besides publishing this title, he has been involved in its development. Specialized in the distribution of software and games for Mac, they have in their career familiar and cheerful titles such as the saga of the pirate Nelly Cootalot , the virtual reality puzzle Carpe Lucem: Seize The Light or  GhostControl Inc, which pays homage to the movie Ghostbusters . Also, there is also place for graphic adventures like the next Lamplight City , a steampunk detective mystery that is on our list of the most anticipated of the genre this 2018 ; and the brand new Unforeseen Incidents .

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

A graphic adventure full of melancholy and humor 

Unforeseen Incidents is a graphic adventure  that does not stand out, a priori, for the originality of its history. We have Yelltown , a filthy town whose population has been decimated by a deadly epidemic, behind which lies a conspiracy that we must unravel. To this well-known premise there are some twists of script that will be predictable and that will end in an anticlimactic ending. And yet, the real charm lies in the narrative itself, in how it envelops the player thanks to a decadent atmosphere that causes a permanent sense of melancholy, a rhythm of events that maintains a continuous interest and very humanized characters.

Harper Pendrell is the hero that we will control in Unforeseen Incidents . An amateur technician accustomed to the decline of his life in Yelltown and who has not lost his scathing sense of humor, despite the forced loss of several of his loved ones. One day a woman is found dying because of the disease that does not want to be taken care of by the emergency services, and to which she must succor anyway. Harper finds here the end of a thread from which he will begin to pull until unraveling a complex conspiracy, accompanied by characters he will find along the way, such as the scientist MacBride , a neighbor of Harper , whom he has known since childhood; and Helliwell, journalist in pursuit of the truth hidden behind the spread of the epidemic. 

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

Throughout the adventure we will unravel the world of Unforeseen Incidents , with varied locations, but in which a perennial solitude is breathed. Harper has friends we will know and love, survivors of misfortune like him. We will also discover so many other characters with very different personalities, despite transmitting a sadness typical of a post-apocalyptic panorama. 

And, despite its somber tone, Unforeseen Incidents has room for humor. In several of his intelligent dialogues there is a shrewd comedy, in which we appreciate a certain satire of very current topics, such as the clickbait in digital journalism, or the abusive prices of organic food. Other moments will take away a smile, as a tribute in the form of a puzzle to Monkey Island 2 or the parody of an old-fashioned fascist elder who blames the epidemic on egalitarian marriage and socialist policies. 

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

Classic point & click with clever puzzles

Unforeseen Incidents is presented as a classic point & click , in which we have an inventory that will help us solve the puzzles that stand in our way. Without tutorials, the controls are very intuitive and simple: we will move the cursor around the screen and the pointer, which will be an X, will become a circle when passing through an interactive object or an arrow to indicate an exit from the stage. In some episodes, we will have a map, which we will consult to move quickly between the marked locations. 

If we bring the cursor to the top of the screen will access the inventory, in which the most prominent feature is the multitool of Harper , which, when clicking on it, will be deployed in all its utensils: screwdriver, scissors, pliers, lime, spanner, can opener and knife. Other objects that we find will also have their own drop-down, and some of us will have to examine them from the inventory to extract new content from them. To use an object, we must click on it and drag it to the element of the environment where we want to use it, or to the item with which we want to combine it. And, of course, you can pull the test-error method to hit with some riddles, with the usual negative formulated by the sameHarper if we’re wrong. It should be added that some objects will have no function other than adding a false track, and will be discarded when changing the chapter. 

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

The puzzles of Unforeseen Incidents require a remarkable capacity for observation and look for logical solutions. The qualities of Harper as a technician will shine in various situations and, as in most graphic adventures , we will have a protagonist whose greatest virtue is his intellect and not his physical strength. Also, we must demonstrate a good capacity for information retention, since we will find many clues in dialogues and texts that will be useful moments later. Of course, there will be the option of consulting the written material or asking our interlocutors again if any detail has escaped us.

The puzzles stand out not only for their ingenuity, but also for their variety: not only we have to make the classic combination of objects, but to guide a dialogue towards our objective, or to tune into a radio frequency, or to cross the security of a computer system through codes or manipulation of the flow of information, simulating a pipe connection set. The difficulty will not be too demanding, although in the last phases of the game we will find some puzzle more complicated than the others. 

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

Following the school settled by the graphic adventures of Lucas Arts , we can not die during the game, except at some key moment. This will create a space of tranquility when we take our time to find the solution to a puzzle, without pressures to end up in a deadlock, lose the game or meet a time limit. If we do not require long pauses to think, Unforeseen Incidents can be completed in about 8-10 hours. 

As a detail, we will encounter some option of dialogue that we raise, but these are not abundant throughout the adventure nor will have a great impact on the events of the game, which will develop similarly to the margin of the response we have chosen . And, while a binding decision tree would have added an incentive of replayability, we understand that it is not the goal of Unforeseen Incidents, in which we live a mystery adventure with an excellent atmosphere, well-defined characters and who love each other, which compensates for the scant inventiveness of the script. And, in spite of everything, it will leave us with a beautiful emotional position, since at all times we will be stuck in a defeated world, where people live in deteriorated homes, with frayed mattresses and a cozy mess, but they do not lose their mood or desire to enjoy life one more day, although the slight hope of ending the Yelltown epidemic is what encourages Harper and his companions to move forward.

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

An animated interactive comic

When playing Unforeseen Incidents we will have the feeling of being inside an animated interactive comic . The hand-painted graphics are the gold pin, and the rough strokes of the characters make up a decadent portrait of them in which the most battered features are accentuated, such as Helliwell’s dark circles or Harper’s sad look . In addition, the visual design of each one is different from the rest, which accentuates the individual’s own personality and makes the player remember each and every one of them. To add more relief, we have voice actors in Englishwho perform a sublime interpretive work that fill the characters with life. The dialogues, represented on the screen through sandwiches, are the best choice to create the comic book aesthetic of this graphic adventure . The animations may be the least refined of the game, although its simplicity contributes to the feeling of turning the pages of a graphic novel. It should be noted the location to Spanish, in which we can see a work that has taken care of all the details, from the cultural references, the orality of the conversations and the puzzles based on text. 

The soundtrack , composed for the most part of violin- based songs , creates a depressing atmosphere , in keeping with the tone of the game. On the other hand, we also find other types of themes that accompany a different scenario, such as countrymusic that plays on the farm screen. Despite the humor of Harper and his exchanges with other characters, we will not forget that we are in a wilted world, in which a few survivors have resigned themselves to a gray day to day in which there is an escape, whose path is insane which is worth trying. 

This game has been analyzed in its Windows PC version. 

Unforeseen Incidents (PC) screenshot

Conclusion

Unforeseen Incidents is a point & click that is not highlighted by an original script, in which turns of events are predictable: Harper Pendrell, amateur technician, must unravel the hidden conspiracy after the deadly epidemic that has decimated Yelltown, the city in which he survives hard. However, the construction of the narrative captivates the player and invites him to live an adventure in which the mystery unfolds at an appropriate pace, despite telling a cliché story. The depressing setting and the well-drawn characters compensate for the lack of inventiveness already mentioned. As a counterpoint to the melancholy tone of the game, we find a shrewd humor both in the personality of Harper and in his exchanges with other characters, 

The puzzles in Unforeseen Incidents are varied, ingenious and offer the right challenge. It requires a good capacity for observation, logical resolution of problems and retention of information. Both in dialogues and in texts we will find clues that help us find the solution, and we can always resort to them in case we have missed some detail. With an intuitive point & click control system, we will observe the scenario and add objects that may be useful to our inventory. At all times we will have the multiherramienta, composed of various utensils that will save our lives, along with the technological skills of Harper. And, in case of being stuck, we will have the peace of mind that we can not die in the game, except at specific moments, or end up in a deadlock,

The aesthetic comic book is the finishing touch of the game. They emphasize their hand-painted graphics, in which the hard strokes confer a decadent aspect to the characters, full of life thanks to magnificent voice actors. To this we add some intelligent dialogues, represented through sandwiches and a soundtrack based on violin that will end up wrapping us in a taciturn atmosphere. 

Unforeseen Incidents will keep our interest alive throughout the game, thanks to how we are developing, puzzle to puzzle, a pre described story with an anticlimactic ending, but very well told and starring characters with their own character. It does not revolutionize the genre of graphic adventures, nor does it pretend to, but it offers what it promises: a captivating narrative and artistic section.  

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