I don't think I've ever had more fun playing a point and click adventure than I did when playing Scarlett and the Spark of Life. I know that's a broad statement, but I'm absolutely serious. Everything about this game is appealing, from the modern cartoon-style art, to the off-beat sense of humor, to the extremely weird mechanical horse with a bad attitude and a God-complex. You read that right.
Scarlett and the Spark of Life, which is Episode 1 of the Scarlett Adventures, begins with our heroine strapped to the back of a horse, kidnapped by a bad knight and his depressed henchman, whereupon she proceeds to abuse them verbally while she plots her escape. And Scarlett is pulling no punches, either -- she's not the faint-y sort of princess. Did I mention she was a princess? She's a princess who carries a crowbar. Her crowbar's name is Chester.
Once making good her escape, Scarlett spends the rest of the story outwitting the ne'er-do-wells, whilst trying to figure out a way to get home and to safety -- an task that is completely dependent on completing the aforementioned evil mechanical horse that she accidentally woke up. Ohh, the drama!
Gameplay is better than most point and click (or tap, as it were) games. The screen has only three buttons on it: inventory in the bottom left, an information button that allows Main Menu access in the top right, and a star icon in the bottom right that, while pressed, shows all interactive areas on the screen. This makes for some uncluttered, story-focused gaming, and keeps things simple and straightforward. Tapping about the screen allows you to to move and interact with people and objects that further the story, and dragging inventory items onto interactive areas helps to solve puzzles. If you have any difficulty with the game, there is a How to Play button in the main menu that will walk you through it.
The art in Scarlett and the Spark of Life reminds me of some of the better modern cartoons out there right now -- and is utterly fantastic. So is the character design. Animations are good, and there are small things that are easy to appreciate, like cloud movement and the like. There isn't a lot of background music in the game, however, but the ambient and direct sound effects are very well done. I just wish that the characters were voiced. All speech in Scarlett is done in comic-style bubbles, which is fine, but hearing some of what these characters say out loud would only add to the hilarity of it all.
Go get Scarlett and the Spark of Life. Even if you don't normally like point and click (or tap) adventure games, you will probably like this one. If you have a sense of humour, it' s going to be hard not to. What are you waiting for? Stop reading... go get it before Launching Pad Games realizes how cool it is and raises the price or something!