Edgar: BokBok In Boulzac
Developed By: La Poule Noire
Published By: La Poule Noire
Category: Adventure, Puzzle
Release Date: 02.26.20
In the life of a reviewer, there’s a lot to be said for a short, sweet, but still complete experience. Edgar: Bokbok in Boulzac for the Nintendo Switch is a perfect example of this. It’s an adventure game with simplicity written all over it; it’s compact, quick, and fun. For a reviewer, it’s a great deal; you can beat it in an afternoon and walk away from it having had a wonderful time! For the average customer, there may be an issue that doesn’t necessarily matter to folks who get review codes. But let’s start with the good first.
The Ballad of Bokbok in Boulzac
Edgar is an… uh… eccentric? Yeah, we’ll go with that. He’s an eccentric farmer living in the woods with his beloved companion, Bokbok the chicken. One day, a lightning bolt fries the razidium in his pest control machine, so Edgar – with his precious pet in tow – sets off to the nearby town of Boulzac to find some more. What he finds is a town full of other… eccentric people, centuries-old underground fires, and not-especially-well-hidden-but-no-one-seems-to-notice-them-anyway conspiracies. Along the way he befriends kindly old ladies, ancient knights, and an alcoholic with troublingly easy access to mass quantities of dynamite. The game took me a little over two hours to finish, but the charming setting, great characters, and engaging story had me hooked the whole time.
Bokbok the Walkwalk Simulator
The gameplay is pretty standard for the genre; you walk around talking to people you meet and collecting random stuff to solve puzzles. Most of the puzzles are your standard fetch quests; get one item for one person, and they give you an item for the next person, and so on. Some puzzles are dialogue-based, so you have to talk to right people in the right order to unlock where to go next. This all entails a lot of backtracking, so it’s a good thing that the game map is compact enough that all the backtracking never gets tedious. The big weakness of the game is that the puzzles are really, really easy to figure out, and there’s no variety to the gameplay; it’s pretty much all fetch quests and dialogue puzzles. The good news is that the dialogue is generally very amusing and explains itself pretty clearly, so you’re left with a very pleasant stroll through a charming world.
It’s a Weird, Wild World
Probably the best part of Edgar: Bokbok in Boulzac is the strikingly original visual style. The game’s graphics are sharply rendered in a jagged, colorful, cartoony aesthetic that reminds me somewhat of a two-dimensional Grim Fandango. I mean, sure, it doesn’t draw any inspiration from the Day of the Dead, but the general art style has some similarities in terms of the construction of characters and architecture. The music is mostly forgettable, until you get to the end and get to hear Bokbok belt out a sweet electrofunk/rock ballad over the closing credits. It’s called “Esclave du Rock’n’Roll” by a band called Magnüm. Here is the music video. You’re welcome.
So What’s the Problem?
So, I really liked the story. The gameplay didn’t bother me, even if it was pretty easy. I liked the graphics a lot – enough to compare it favorably to one of my favorite games of all time. The ending credits song is A-MAAAAAAAAAAAA-ZING. And yet I said in the beginning that non-reviewers may have an issue with the game. What gives? I try not to include price in my considerations for reviews, but I have to wonder if such a short game has enough content – however satisfying it may be otherwise – to support its price point. Like I said, it only took me a little over two hours to finish the game, and the game really has no replayability. 19 bucks seems a little steep for that – to me, anyway. Regardless of how you value price for content, Edgar: Bokbok in Boulzac is a great experience for lovers of quirky adventures.
Edgar: BokBok In Boulzac
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*A game code was provided for review purposes.