Cantaloop (2020) is a trilogy of goofy point-and-click adventure games in book form. It's set in 1976 where you play Oz "Hook" Carpenter who's just returned from exile and is seeking revenge. The game unfolds as you look up different references for items on the page to gain information, items and understanding. It's a simple recreation of the classic Monkey Island-style adventure in book form - which sounds clunky but actually fits the endearing characters and storytelling really well.
Play involves investigating each page. Items have a code next to them which you use to find out more information about them. When looking up a code you place a translucent red decoded on the text and then read what was previously hidden. You also collect Item cards that can then be used on different pages, again looking up their effects with a clever reference system. When you talk to other characters, you flip to a conversation at the back of the book.
The series is split into three different books with 20 or so illustrated locations each:
Book 1 Breaking into Prison - Small-time criminal Oz "Hook" Carpenter is seeking revenge but needs a team of people with a unique set of skills if he is going to succeed.
Book 2 A Hack of a Plan - "Hook" has his team but needs to create a rock-solid revenge plan against the biggest crook of town.
Book 3 Revenge Served Warm - "Hook", "Fly" and Alice are ready to execute their plan against the biggest crook of town. Use their unique abilities to finally get your well-deserved revenge.
The result is more than a novel reimagining of these classic adventure games. With quality writing, quips and characters there's a real sense of identity in the people and places here. This is important to get you started as the system can be a bit jarring at first.
As you progress you realise that there are multiple paths and orders you can take. There are always at least two puzzles to solve at any given time, so the chances that you'll get stuck are minimized. There's even a pretty good help system if you get stuck. Also, and importantly for anyone who's been frustrated by Escape Rooms, every puzzle fits into the world and story of Cantaloop and has solutions that are logical.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Cantaloop 18 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 9 months ago.