Henry Mosse and the Wormhole Conspiracy is a point and click game. You play as the titular Henry Mosse, or as I regularly call him Henry Moose. He’s a teenage boy who is working with his mother in their mail transport business, their spaceship based mail transport business. This is not ‘Futurama’, but they are still the Planet Expressing this shit. In the game world there is a divide between the star system, there’s the Near Stars which are the closer planets that have long ago been charted and are seen as part of the civilized world, then there’s the Far Stars which just been charted and are treated as resources instead of individual societies. Henry wants to explore the Far Stars like his mother did, she was one of the main cartographers that charted the planets. But he’s still a kid and doesn’t even have a proper license so his mother is very not okay with the thought of him striking off on his own. However, unbeknownst to his mother, he’s off to save the Far Stars with the aid of, umm… himself, yeah, and a lot of… what’s the opposite of help? Well whatever it is, that from a ton of other people, people are so useless.
The game is fully voice acted which is nice. One of my favorite voices in it is the Void Dweller which sadly only shows up for a short period of time, she was just fantastic. Even the side characters have voices, though there’s not a lot in any individual areas. When I refer to areas I mean planets, to which there are a few. Each level has around three to ten people that you can talk to, it’s not a lot but it’s more than most games in this genre. Later in the game there is a little bit of an issue with one of the character’s voice acting as it seems they were talking into the mic at different distances but it only happens with one character near the end of the game.
The games graphics are interesting, they have this cardboard cutout appearance to them in visual style. A big part of that is because of the sharp angles and the fact that nothing flutters or moves beyond their range. One of the easiest areas to see this is Henry’s gloves, they have a flared cone at the arms, they don’t flop or move around, they act like they’re metal, unmoving, which gives it the cardboard feel. The movements of the characters aren’t so bad they look like South Park’s older stuff, but they’re sometimes kinda janky looking to, not often but enough that it’s noticeable. I don’t find the occasional jankiness of it abhorrent, instead I find a bit of appeal to the slight jank that shows up every now and then, not sure why but it’s cute to me. It’s also a fairly bright and colorful game, each planet you visit has its own unique visual style and color palette which is nice.
The gameplay is simple, click to walk places, you pick things up and use them or trade them for other items. It’s fairly standard fair when it comes to these things. But there is something kind of unique here, most games like this are fairly linear or you’re able to do things in different orders but you still have to do the same things. In this game in every chapter there are two ways to do one of the main things you need to do in the level, sometimes that means two different solutions to a puzzle other times it means two different sets of puzzles you can solve to move forward instead. For instance the first one in chapter one of the game is that you can get an object of someone’s affection to them or create a love poem that they’d like, you do this to get an item you need to finish the chapter. The game ends up still being linear but those choices give it a little more flair.
There are a couple downsides to the game though. One is that there’s no instant move option, this isn’t always there for games like this but I prefer when it is, in some games you can simply double click on an exit to a room and instantly teleport through the exit simply to get through things a bit faster rather than waiting for the character to move towards it. Another issue is that the cutscenes and conversations aren’t skippable even after you’ve beaten the game, and there really should be an option to just skip the stuff or at least let us hit a button and have it move to the next bit of dialogue faster even if it cuts off the voice, after I hear something once I don’t want to hear it a bunch more. The last issue is how each area of the map is set up, in most games when you enter a room you see the entire room, in this game that isn’t the case most places expand significantly beyond what you can see on the screen at any time. Now this wouldn’t be such an issue if the character was always the center of the level, but when you click to make your character walk/run he moves eighty-five to ninety percent to the edge of the screen. If you need to get him to move from one end of the area to the other, you click on the edge, and you have to just constantly click it because when he hits that eighty-five or so percent to the edge of the screen, there’s only a couple steps left, so you have to just constantly click on it to get him to keep walking. This is a giant fucking chore, and if you don’t keep clicking he stops in his tracks it takes a couple seconds for the map to catch up and put him back in the center then it’s off to do it again and again and again. It’s such a waste of time. If everything was on one screen, you could simply click where you needed, or if he was always at the center point of the screen, you wouldn’t have to click the edges as often. These are really annoying issues that aren’t major problems, however they are basic quality of life issues that would make the game significantly less tedious.
Now, yes, that last paragraph was rather scathing but I don’t hate the game, far from it actually. Those issues didn’t ruin the game, they just made the game tedious and annoying sometimes because I couldn’t get the things done that I wanted to do in a timely manner. The game itself is pretty damn good actually; the dialogue is often funny, the voice acting is superb, the story is rather enjoyable and amusing, and many of the characters are really fun. It’s just that the annoyances are really annoying is all. But that being said, I don’t have any major complaints, there wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the game at all, again, it’s a very well put together game.
All in all, I enjoyed the game, but there are a number of things they could have done that would have made the game less tedious. However, between the voice acting, characters, and plot, the game is really fun and funny to boot. I enjoyed most of my time with this game. Some of the plot seems obvious at first but this does something unexpected with what should have been obvious to subvert it a little bit, which gives you a “Oh that’s what I expected to happen, just… maybe not like that.” It’s always nice to be like ‘oh yeah I know what’s happening I’m smarter than the game, hur, hur, hur’ but it’s also just as fantastic to have that ‘huh, that wasn’t how I expected that to happen”, and the way it mixes those two is really good and appreciated.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire awards Henry Mosse and the Wormhole Conspiracy the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.