Dropsy. The name itself doesn’t quite reveal anything about the game; other than the fact that it’s the name of our protagonist, a very elastic semi-scary clown who wants to hug the world and everyone in it. In a surprisingly very non-creepy way. It’s more like Dropsy is a nice old lady who just wants to give you a hug because she loves you. Except that Dropsy is actually a quite creepy looking clown. Dropsy is a self-proclaimed “Point and Click Hugventure.” This is certainly the most short, direct, and quite accurate definition of the game. The game is developed in junction by developers Tendershoot and A Jolly Corpse and is published by indie-loving Devolver Digital.
You play as a clown named Dropsy as you go around solving the town’s problems by finding items and hugging things. Sometimes this includes things that aren’t actually people such as trees, buildings, or toilets. The game portrays dialogue in a rather unique manner. Everybody speaks in imagery via thought bubbles rather than actual text dialogue. There’s nothing to read in this game, but you must interpret what all the images mean and then think of what you need to do. I get the feeling Dropsy isn’t too intelligent and this is simply how he interprets communication. At first, everyone seems to hate you, which I assume is based on your creepy appearance. This makes the game rather difficult when no one will talk to you or more importantly let you hug them, which is Dropsy’s apparent desire. That’s where all the walking comes in from traditional point-and-click games. You have to go around and find items or people, that’ll make everyone happy while proving to the town that you’re not some homicidal painted-up monster and uncovering the story behind the game. Yes, there’s more to the game than just hugging everything in sight.
Throughout the game you’ll also come across various companions which join Dropsy in his adventures. You’ll be able to control these companions instead of dropsy. These companions will help you reach different items and places, and is a fun element to the click-huge venture puzzle narrative. While I won’t divulge much on the actual story as it’s the primary focus of point and click adventure games–and Dropsy is no different–but I will say it is one worth experiencing. As for difficulty, there were a few spots in the game that I walked all around town, hugging everything multiple times while trying to figure out what to do. The game offers a ‘Warm Damp Hug Edition’ for $10 more that gives you the games soundtrack and a hints guide to help you if you get stuck at parts like I did.
Speaking of frustration, let’s talk about the only one negative I experienced with Dropsy. There are ‘rest points’ throughout the game that let you change the time of day. The only problem I have with this is that you will trigger a ‘nightmare/dream’ from time to time when you sleep. As far as I could tell, these dreams had absolutely no bearing on the story or gameplay, and were just tedious filler content. Nothing could be interacted with, you just had to walk forward through them and finish the dream. I can’t help but wonder why the devs decided to add this element. (Not to mention you might trigger the same kind of dream half a dozen times throughout your entire playthrough.)
I have to say that Dropsy as a whole was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the game, but I was very impressed with the experience. For the $9.99 price, I got over six hours of gameplay and a fun and unique experience, which is certainly a successful investment into entertainment in my book. Alongside enjoying the actual game experience, I also found the narrative to be very touching. I feel better for having played Dropsy; It’s one of those games that just helps you see things in a slightly different way. I think if the game had a lesson to teach, it’d be something akin to not judging a book by its cover, while also to expect the unexpected. The narrative was superb and the graphics quality had a nice artistic theme that I enjoyed throughtout the entire experience. The audio was entirely on-point for the overall setting of the game without wearing on your senses. While some may find $9.99 to be a tad high for a point and click adventure, the overall gameplay and story as well as the six hour length makes me recommend everyone who is a fan of this genre to give Dropsy a try.