The good, the bad, and the clicky.
Howdy gamers. We’re serving up some old west excitement with Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure. Let’s see what the most wanted outlaw in the land is up to these days.
Very simply put, Lone McLonegan is a point-and-click adventure game. You’ll walk around to ask questions, collect/interact with some objects, and solve some puzzles to reach your goal. That goal is, from a 30,000 foot view, to regain your title as the most wanted outlaw in the land. You just got demoted to number two, and you’re a bit salty about that.
Beginning by casting a critical eye to the graphics, I’m pleased to report the game provides a good visual experience. The overall look is a cross between a cartoon and a pop-up book. Considering the nature of the game, this is an appropriate path. Lone McLonegan is a bit on the clever side with a dash of silliness thrown in for good measure.
The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, and even includes a little fourth-wall-breaking humor. To go along with the visuals, the background music is what might be called cliché western with fiddles and banjos. Again, no worries here because the music is well done and fits the lighthearted feel of the game.
The controls are pretty simple, as there isn’t much to do except move the cursor and press a button to interact with something. There is an additional feature where a button press will toggle between looking at something, grabbing something, talking to someone, or kicking something (that last one is more handy than you might think).
When you engage NPCs in conversation, you get the standard choice of responses one expects from this kind of game. Some of the responses you can select may cut off certain paths of action, but don’t worry, you can always re-engage the NPC and get the same set of questions all over again. This feature is actually very handy as it lets you explore every type of option open to you. I hear you asking, “What’s so special about that? Why is that handy?” I’m glad you asked, because it brings us to the other side of the review coin.
This game has a weakness that revolves around the puzzles and game progress. The first tasks you complete in the game involve taking a stagecoach to town so you can rob the bank. Along the way, the stagecoach experiences some technical difficulty—its wheel fell off and the driver is stuck under the coach (you know, just another Monday morning commute to work). You have to walk the rest of the way into town, meet the mechanic, and secure help for the stagecoach driver. After securing assurance of help, surprise—nothing happens about the wheel (again, like real life car trouble). Instead of getting to finish what you started, the game shifts gears to the bank job, but there is no segue to let you know this is what’s going on.
Likewise, the puzzles can be a bit esoteric. This is where the NPC dialogue reset becomes very handy. You can, and will need to, explore almost every option from every NPC to connect all the dots to figure out what you need to do and then do what needs to be done.
Clear as mud? Once you settle into the mode of exploring everything and going back and forth several times between locations and NPCs to collect items and information, the puzzles become a bit clearer. It takes some extra time, but it is not a drag. It would probably be a bit faster and less likely to be frustrating on another platform (a PC with mouse control, maybe), but how quickly do you want your game to be over, really?
Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure does a good job of not taking itself too seriously while at times acknowledging it’s a game. It isn’t the best fit for the Nintendo Switch format, and it could use a little polishing with the puzzles and story progress, but it’s still a hoot. All things considered, $9.99 is a good deal.
By the way, say “Hi” to the dark stranger in the doorway of the general store for me, will you?
Review: Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure (Nintendo Switch)
While not the best point-and-click adventure game in the land, Lone McLonegan is worth a playthrough if you’re into the puzzle/adventure genre. The $9.99 asking price comes with pleasantly quirky visuals and music, slightly odd puzzle solving, and some funny dialogue.