Playing Bilkins’ Folly is like watching waves lap against the shore. The very act just puts me at ease, and the personality-laden pixel art — from the lanky protagonist’s laid-back striding to the rustling of the foliage — rolls and ripples with every passing moment. Also like the salty tides, gameplay can have its choppy bits. These include harmless visual glitches to the more pernicious communication disconnects. Though, while I’m not far into the nautical adventure, these turbulent waters haven’t drowned out the game’s sparking charms.
Bilkins’ Folly is not a sefl-serious experience. That much is easy to figure out in the first few minutes as the shipwrecked Percy Bilkins stumbles across a wise-cracking ghost. The apparition is apparently unaware of the sword sticking out of its back — likely the cause of its demise. Finding the weapon’s tangible counterpart becomes the focus of my plan to escape the deserted island I’ve found myself stranded on.
The writing, and the turn of my misadventure, is silly. But it’s also endearing thanks to Percy’s obvious good intentions and naivety. So, the game navigates smoothly around grating comedy and instead hits the mark with observations that bring a smile to my lips.
The smile shines brighter when I discover Percy’s lovable canine companion, Drayton, who is the goodest of all boys. Though there’s no prompt hinting at this, interacting with the fuzzy goof results in Percy wrapping the dog in an affectionate hug, which Drayton obviously loves with his wildly wagging tail. It’s hard to resist the scene’s charm.
The first member of my crew is not just good for stress-reducing pets, he’s also trained to alert me when something’s buried nearby. Most of the time, this turns out to be junk, but he’s still so proud of himself anyway. seeing his excitement, I can’t help but feel as happy picking up old corks as my actual objectives.
Unfortunately, finding my intended prizes aren’t always as fun thanks to opaque clues and difficult-to-interpret maps. I have, so far, been able to get the right general idea and make game-progressing discoveries given time. But I worry this will take more of a toll in the later game if puzzles get more complicated.
My desire to sail off into the sunset with Bilkins’ Folly, however, is undiminished. If treasure seeking and puzzle solving on the high seas sounds like an adventure for you, don’t miss out.