I enjoy a point and click adventure more than most, whether that’s something from the past like Curse of Monkey Island or something more modern like Life Is Strange. I really got into the genre many years ago by coming across a Broken Sword demo in PC Gamer magazine. I loaded it up and was sucked into the storytelling of George Stobart and had to play the full game to find out how it ended. Point and click titles live and die by their stories and their main characters, so maybe Guard Duty is one I’ll remember many years from now.
Guard Duty involves some time travelling between the medieval world of Wrinklewood and a future that this somewhat similar to Bladerunner. You start off playing as a guard to the city named Tondbert. Unfortunately, Tondbert has had one too many and is persuaded to let a hooded figure into the city. This doesn’t go so well and Princess Theremin is kidnapped and Tondbert needs to sort it out. However, first Tondbert must find his clothes and get out of his bedroom which isn’t as straightforward as it should be. You also get the chance to play as Agent Starborn in the future and that’s where the dual time travelling element comes in.
Guard Duty in Tondbert has a Guybrush Threepwood feel to him, a likeable character who has some witty dialogue whilst Agent Starborn is more of a Ray McCoy from the Bladerunner game. The interchangeable time travelling side of things only happens near the end of the story which is a bit of shame, as you progress through Guard Duty you will forget that this element is part of the story. Guard Duty is part adventure and part puzzler, it follows the age old tradition of fetch quests and combining items to create new items.
Guard Duty looks like a retro title and the way the inventory and how you manipulate objects gives it a very much retro experience. Throughout the journey Tondbert cracks a few jokes, a couple of quite funny belly chuckles, but generally you will have at least a smirk on your face due to one of his wisecracks. Dialogue runs smoothly and the banter between the various characters works well. The voice acting in Guard Duty is a little on the less than polished perspective, it doesn’t sound that professional but it’s not something you will think detract from the Guard Duty experience. Graphically, Guard Duty is on the blocky side but that is something to be expected from a title planted in the past.
Guard Duty is an old school title which lacks a few things that would improve the experience. One such example is Guard Duty doesn’t seem to highlight objects that can be interacted with. This means it might take you a while to find something usable on screen through a case of just moving your cursor around. Guard Duty does suffer from the usual speak to everyone and interact with everything mantra, there will be occasions where you will need to retrace your steps. Puzzling in Guard Duty is generally quite enjoyable, there are some funny, yet practical, solutions such as moving a body onto a stone or feeding an animal in a particular place allowing you to access another area. Guard Duty isn’t a difficult game but does have it’s challenging moments.
Guard Duty is an enjoyable point and click adventure. Whilst the look of Guard Duty is retro and the voice acting a little unpolished, there are many other factors that make Guard Duty a game to recommend. The challenge is just about right for a game like Guard Duty because it still maintains the humour as you try to complete a puzzle. If you enjoy point and click adventures then Guard Duty is something you should add to your back catalogue.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Guard Duty Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
You’ve let your guard down and now it’s your duty to save the princess in Guard Duty!