CHENNAI: You know that disoriented feeling you get when you wake up in the middle of an unplanned nap when your brain isn’t completely ready to be awake yet? You then look around, take in the clues in the environment and suddenly figure out who you are (and probably then wake up fast because there’s an exam the next day and you haven’t studied). Unforeseen Incidents is a playable story that has that aura of a similar kind of loneliness and an unsolved mystery for which clues lie around.
You will have a lot of questions as you start out — “Who am I, why have I covered my apartment windows with cardboard, why does my character’s voice sound so good, and what is this Yelltown fever that people are on about?”. While I am thankful to the developers for allowing for the skippable cutscenes, the best part of the game is the hand-painted artwork.
The 2D background is reminiscent of other point-and-click Indie games like Machinarium, and it can similarly get quite satisfyingly frustrating to figure out how exactly we solve the puzzle. Frustrating because it’s never the first thing we click, and satisfying because the interactions are entertaining in themselves. And if you wanted to finish Unforeseen Incidents a little faster, you could always find out which objects in the scene are interactable — not normally an option in such games.
As the game progresses, the initial half-asleep disorientation turns into a full blown adventure-dream — with the kind of story that you tell your friends about when you wake up. I was pleasantly surprised by the character arc even 15 minutes into the gameplay when the protagonist goes dumpster diving (while there are a hundred posters with warnings of a disease outbreak) and refuses to throw out his broken TV out of politeness (or is it fear?) for a spider living in it. There is an element of realism as well — through the logical puzzles and the questionable value system of the character as he picks up random objects on the road to use later.
Unforeseen Incidents backs my unshakeable hope that someday, because of how imaginative these games are, the Indie game players will surpass the number of currently online PUBG gamers.