Point and click. Do you remember point and click games? I do, I remember games like Space Quest IV. In that game you got to talk to, smell or taste anything on the screen. I tasted everything. Dropsy has a hug interaction with the open world you wander around in. The goal being to give everyone and everything a creepy clown hug. I even gave a fish one! It seemed to like it.
“After a deadly circus fire shatters his world and tarnishes his name, Dropsy the Clown finds himself on a journey of self-discovery through a story that harnesses powerful themes of love and unmerited kindness. With his father gravely ill and the world turning its back on the once celebrated clown, Dropsy will need to help those in need, hug total strangers, and unearth dark secrets on the winding road to redemption.”
Aww sounds nice but they missed the drug-fueled nightmare part. Well, there’s only a few of those moments but they stuck with me. Dropsy is actually pretty light on story, as the game has almost no text at all. The characters you come across use pictographs in speech balloons and you use those to figure out what it is they want or are trying to tell you. If you can decipher and fulfil their wishes, then they will be happy and allow you to give them a massive lipped, clown smooch.
It starts off interesting enough. Not a bad way to spend a lazy arvo. But as you get further into it, the terrible memories of those old point and click games came back. I used to get so frustrated when I would get stuck and that was before it was easy to search online for help. I got stuck for over an hour in Dropsy trying to find a single tomato in the entire map. If you would like a challenge, Dropsy will give it to you.
Most of the puzzles can be solved by giving the right item that you have stored in your pants. But at times you’re often confused about what it is the character actually wants. You end up trying to give everything you have. ‘You want that? No. You want that? No. You want that? Oh what!? You wanted that?! Ok fine, now get over here ’cause you know what time it is. It’s hugs time.’ It is a smart way of putting you in the place of someone who really struggles to communicate and understand. So, props is due there.
I did love the small collection of critters that join you in your adventure. You get the option to take control of them to access areas only they can get to. Then towards the end you get to perform with them and you make quite the team. I would say those mark the high points in the story as the rest has a sad aspect to it all. And the ending certainly follows in that vein. There is room for interpretation, as with the whole game. And if anyone else plays to the end, I’d love to know how you felt about it.
Looking back at playing Dropsy, it is quite clever but just a bit depressing for me. I guess that’s a sign of a good game as it made me feel something, I guess. Just not the emotions I would choose to experience in a game; little slivers of joy separated by frustration and sadness.