Bone: Out from Boneville – PC – Review

Fone, Phoney
and Smiley, the Bone cousins, have been booted out of Boneville for, allegedly,
some shady dealings that Phoney had engaged in. But whether it was shady or not,
Phoney is just a stingy type that grates on everyone’s nerves, sooner or later. For some inexplicable reason
they find themselves in the middle of a desert-like place, completely lost.

Never mind
that they had to somehow get to the location that they are now lost in, but for
the game’s sake, it is as though they were magically zapped to this place and
are trying to figure out a way out. Well, it is a game and allowances must be
made. After some personality classes that give a
general idea of the type of characters involved, the trio angers a swarm of
bugs, triggering the first of the “challenges” that players will encounter. This
is a straightforward dash-from-the-bugs exercise that, while three-dimensional,
is purely arcade-platform racer. You will jump the same rocks in the same
sequence until, inevitably, you jump off a cliff and evade the bugs.

That is when
the game kicks off. The trio is split up and Fone is left to try to find the
other two, which starts with a search through a cave (he follows a trail of used
cigar butts).

Bone: Out of
Boneville is a short, three-dimensional arcade adventure based on the Bone comic
books and developed by Telltale, a company that has several former LucasArts
employees. The game itself is not that long, and veteran players should be able
to get through it in a couple of hours, but the game does have some charm, looks
good and has an intuitive interface. Ok, so you have to be very certain of where
you click in this point-and-click style title. Precision, in that regard, is
key. Early on, you see a scrap of a map under a rock that Smiley is perched
upon. After clicking around trying vainly to pick it up, it suddenly dawned on
me that
maybe Fone (the character you play as initially) couldn’t pick it up. Sure
enough, click on Smiley, work through a bit of dialogue (more on that in a
moment), and he hops off the rock, and snatches up the map. That opens up a
whole new dialogue sequence.

The dialogue
is progressed through a series of choices. One of the characters will make a
statement, and you are given several responses. Pick the wrong one and the
conversation loops. This will happen until you get it right.


The game’s
puzzles and mini games are simple and do not offer a whole lot of variety. Add
to that the fact that the game itself is not overly long and you have a light
gaming experience. However, what Bone: Out of Boneville lacks in substance, it
makes up for with delightful animation, a solid look and some charm.

The game’s
characters are not complex but they are more than serviceable in this setting.
The game is very linear, which will cut down on replay value, but should players
get stuck, there is a help button that offers a series of clues just short of
actually telling you what to do. For example, to find the missing cousins, in
the first level, you may click on the help icon and be told to follow to the
cigar butts. But if you find that you can’t find the next one, the help button
may remind you of the game’s jumping mechanics – which inevitably leads to the
conclusion that you may have to walk to the edge of the cavern’s lips and jump
across chasms.

All in all,
the game is simple, but a pleasant little experience. Nothing too complex here.
Bone: Out of Boneville offers solid graphics, a decent audio experience,
easy-to-understand gameplay elements. This is the first outing for the Bone
comic book, the first foray into the land of video games and Telltale did a good
job of creating the world. Hopefully, next time, the game may offer up some more
intriguing puzzles and be a little longer.

Review Scoring Details
for Bone: Out of Boneville

The game moves at
a nice pace, and the control scheme is rather intuitive. Even the inventory is
handled well, with colors to indicate when an item in the inventory can be used
in concert with something in the world.

Solid graphics
and a simple but effective three-dimensional world.

The voice acting
is very good. It’s just unfortunate that sometimes the dialogue options lead to

Difficulty: Easy/Medium
Generally this is
a game that veteran gamers can whip through in a couple of hours.

A nice
translation of the comic books but the puzzles are not new and some of the
arcade-style mini games are less than fresh in design.

The game has
charm. The look and sound are nicely done, but the game is just too short and
does not present any major or innovative challenges. This is a simple game, but
still it does manage to entertain.