Top Critic Average
Dropsy is a stand-out in the point-and-click genre and a resurgence of classic mechanics. A simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching experience, this game is able to convey emotion unlike any game I have played in a long while.
Games like Dropsy remind us of the power of small actions and simple pleasures. It reminds us that art doesn’t have to be challenging or complex to be meaningful, and that positive emotions are not as worthless as the world wants you to believe. It reminds us that it is OK to feel happy when things are going bad, and that there are still people who truly want to make the world a better place for everyone. It reminds us that it is easy to hate people and a lot harder to love them, and it does so with such earnestness that it is clear the game recognizes the difficulty of what it’s asking but believes it important enough to do so all the same. Dropsy is a game that is powerfully loving in a way most media only plays at, and I cannot overstate how rare and significant that is.
Having played lots of the classic adventure games in the '90s, I find myself now completely bereft of nostalgia for them. Games, I've felt, have generally moved on and found better ways to impart an experience of "adventure." But Dropsy is deftly executed and so full of genuine heart and warmth that it overcame my cold-hearted distaste for the form. It's sweet without ever being saccharine, tells a story that disturbs without ever resorting to cynicism, and ultimately is disarmingly uplifting.
When Dropsy's quest becomes grander, based around a larger conspiracy, some of this charm wears off. As the game becomes more "normal," Dropsy's original challenge of endearing himself to those he repulses fades, and the puzzles start seeming a little tedious. So many are based around a difficult to manage day/night cycle, and many others around the talents of collectible animals. But before things escalate, when it's just the story of a clown without a circus, the sentiment warms you like a hug.
There is a tremendous amount to love about Dropsy (both the game and oddball protagonist). Beyond the positive gameplay focus of bringing joy to everyone around you, the visuals, characters and variety of landscapes provide one heck of an experience.
If you're an adventure fan and not a terminal coulrophobe Dropsy is well worth picking up, just because it tries to do something different. No dialogue, occasionally terrifying but otherwise heart-tugging story, doable puzzles and a decent-sized open world with day-night cycles, starring a creepy clown and his animal friends. It stutters a bit with execution by throwing you in to the open world too fast with no easy way to get around or changing times easily, and the lack of adventure game staples like a scene skip or hint system do rankle. Nevertheless Dropsy is an ambitious game and that should be savoured, and most definitely tried. Just try not to have nightmares.
Those of you looking for something different should welcome Dropsy with open arms.
Sweet, fun, interesting. essential point-and-click
Dropsy's a pretty good point-and-click, but more importantly it's clever and weird.