Dreadful sorry, CLeMentine.

At one time the pinnacle of big studio releases, point-and-click adventures have now settled nicely into the indie realm. They make sense there, as indie developers usually have more freedom to tell their stories. It’s that freedom that makes CLeM such a good game.

The story begins with a voice waking you up in a basement. You’re a doll…or a stuffed animal? You’re nondescript, either way; an unclothed toy with mismatched button eyes and a zipper in the back of your head. The voice is a young girl’s, and she asks you to bring her “beauty.” The adventure is on!

The first thing you find is a notebook with the word “CLeM” written on the cover. This serves as your guide throughout the game. All clues are helpfully documented here, and you’ll definitely need to use them. More on that in a bit.

As with all point-and-click adventures, gameplay comes down to three things: exploration, inventory management, and puzzle solving. Exploration takes place in and around the girl’s house which—aside from the various insects you must catch—is seemingly abandoned. Most rooms are locked at the start, which helps you get your bearings. And as more tasks are completed for the mysterious girl in her bedroom, more doors are opened.

Over the course of five chapters, you’ll need to bring five items to that girl. It starts with beauty, as mentioned, which takes the form of a butterfly. You’ll move on to determination, intelligence, and more—all represented by insects. These insects aren’t easy to catch, however, and that’s where the puzzles come in. You’ll be able to interact with numerous items in the house, most of which can be added to your inventory.

Some of you may now be turning away. Don’t panic. Although some items can be disassembled and combined, CLeM makes this process very easy. Items are automatically removed from your inventory when they’re no longer needed, and it’s usually pretty obvious when and where to use them. There were times when I would cycle through my inventory to see which object to use, but a simple and quick, “No,” would let me know when I was wrong.

The puzzles, on the other hand, are much more involved. You’ll be using a special key to unlock a lot of doors and drawers, but trial and error will get you through those. Other puzzles are quite complex, so make sure you’ve got your Notes app handy. Clues are always provided first, but they can be quite lengthy; it took me a while to wrap my head around a few of the later ones. There are also some mazes to solve and a few timed puzzles that require quick memory recollection.

The puzzles all work thanks to their integration with their story. It’s obvious early that something dark is going on here. The girl in the bedroom is trying to remember something—or maybe she doesn’t want to remember. Her motives aren’t entirely clear, but it becomes apparent that all is not well with this girl’s past. Her story plays out in the items you find and the memories you unlock, and it’s not often clear what actually happened and what has been psychologically distorted. It’s compelling…and darkly charming. Isn’t that always the case with young characters with British accents? The voice actress does a great job.

CLeM does have trouble with pacing in the final chapters, when access to more rooms means more meandering. Some new elements have to be randomly stumbled upon—how could I have known the rug would now be pulled up in that room on the second floor? Others, you can figure out on your own. That hole in the wall has been there since chapter one—give it a look to see if you can interact with it now. And if there’s a teleportation device in a room, definitely activate it!

This all can be completed in under five hours, so CLeM won’t demand much of your time. I think that’s about right for this game, as too many more would’ve caused repetition. It draws to a satisfying conclusion, too, so you’ll be happy with the time you put into it. I do have one lingering question about a certain incident in the basement, but maybe I’m supposed to. Or maybe I missed a hint. It’s been known to happen.

Still, CLeM makes for an intriguing, slightly unsettling puzzle diversion. You can finish it in a weekend (or even an evening, if you apply yourself), and its careful pacing allows for anyone in the room to help you through. The girl’s story may hit home with some players, too, giving you something heavy—but important—to talk about.