Tick’s Tales is a retro style 8-bit
quest adventure reminiscent of the early Sierra computer games. It is
available as a download at Phoenix Online and Steam. My version of the
game is from Phoenix Online. There are no requirements listed on the
publisher’s website that I could locate. It is fairly basic and should
not be demanding for most systems. The requirements listed were found on
the Steam website. Setup is easy, at least regarding the file I
The saves are placed directly into the game’s
root folder making them easy to locate. It appears saves are unlimited.
You access options from game play by clicking on a red X on the upper
left of the screen. They are Continue, Load, Chapters, and Settings.
These pretty much speak for themselves. Chapters allows you to begin a
section to play over again, or go back to, but each chapter becomes an
option only after you opened it in game play. In other words, you can’t
jump ahead to a section you have not achieved through game progress.
Settings are basic. You can adjust volume for
effects and/or music. There is no voice acting, as conversation is
displayed by subtitles on the screen. I experienced no glitches or bugs
on my Windows 7 64 bit machine.
The game opens with your first puzzle. Tick is
greeted by his Fairy Godfather who instructs him to choose his fate. The
boy is offered a choice between grave digger or janitor because that is
what he’s best equipped to achieve in his life. You have a shovel and a
broom to pick from where a sword encased in glass is unavailable. Tick
has a dream to become a knight to ensure the love of his life, Georgia
McGorgeous, will see him as a hero. You begin trying to figure out how
to get that sword.
Your quest begins where Tick seeks to convince
the town that he has the strength, courage, and wisdom to prove his
worth and draw the legendary Sword of Blergh from the stone! But before
Tick can win her heart, he will also have to save Georgia and his entire
town from the clutches of the evil goblin Bloodclot.
You play this third person quest adventure as
Tick, moving through several locations and solving puzzles to achieve
your dream and prove your worth. Puzzles are as you expect to find in
this type of game. Pick up everything you can, mix and match as needed,
and use on things or people to advance to the next challenge. Your
inventory is located at the bottom right of the screen represented as a
backpack. The game offers little assistance to guide you as hints are
subtle. You spend considerable time trying to figure out what to do
next. How do I get the cat out of the tree, is one example. Then there
is the presentation of Tick himself. He is nothing like King Graham. He
is designed to emulate a Charlie Brown character.
I found one puzzle particularly onerous. It may
present a dead end for many. Early on you encounter a combination lock
you must open. In closeup you see five slots to click. It is up to you
to decide the proper order. Each slot produces a musical note. You have
to discover the correct tune. Once you discover the answer, applying it
is the problem some of you will encounter. After hearing the correct
tune you must race across four screens, take an action, then race back,
and take yet another action before applying the combination. Do you
still remember that tune? You’d expect once back in closeup Tick would
simply apply the tune he heard. At the very least the notes would appear
in you inventory. Sorry you are on your own. I admit those notes
resembling midi files sounded the same to me. I needed a numerical
sequence from the developer to get past this one. I understand in the
future there will be an update correcting this issue.
There is an ongoing riddle puzzle where another
character presents Tick with riddles to solve. This is an inventory
puzzle where you give the character the answer in the form of an object
you picked up along the way. You do not have a tool to highlight
interactive items on the screen and actionable items are presented by
sweeping your mouse. It is similar to pixel hunting because the item’s
subtle glowing is barely noticeable. The game drags because of constant
wandering back and forth searching for clues, cues, or items you may
Considering the budget price and the
opportunity offered to play a retro game that emulates the old Sierra
classics, Tick's Tales may be of interest to many. It is much longer
than I expected it to be. Locations are limited and frequent head
scratching (what to do next) likely contributed to length of game play.
However for those of you who enjoy wry humor and don’t mind getting a
bit frustrated, this game is a worthy challenge.