Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine Review

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine Featured

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine Boxart

Developer: Himalaya Studios
Publisher: Himalaya Studios
Platform: PC – Desura, Direct, IndieGameStand, Zodiac

Even though most gamers seem to have forgotten adventure games existed until recently, developers have continued to make them year after year. There are a great many classic point and click adventures from the 80s and 90s but there are also those made in the past ten years. Some don’t quite stack up while others are actually quite good. Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine initially came out in 2007 but has since been granted an Enhanced Edition. Regardless of the edition, Al Emmo is skippable.

As the title implies, this is a game about a guy named Al Emmo. He’s 42, lives with his parents, and is a virgin. If you ignore the parents bit he’s practically an alternate Larry Laffer. Perhaps facsimile would be the better way to describe him. Although he hits most of the same beats, Al is not likeable in any sense because he is devoid of any true kindness. He carries out his tasks while whining and does some messed up stuff in the process. Instead of simply laughing at his antics, I cringed. By the end, Al’s quest leads him down some interesting paths but it’s not worth the journey.

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine Featured

Perhaps the problem isn’t so much with Al but with the humor of The Lost Dutchman’s Mine as a whole. Including a transphobic incident masquerading as a joke in the first five minutes was certainly not the way to get my attention, at least. As the game proceeds, there are only more problematic jokes issued left and right related to women, sex workers, and Native Americans. To top it all off, the joke I had hoped would be thrown away at the very start was brought back on multiple occasions as a requisite plot point. The concept of a “man” dressing “as a woman” being ridiculous was apparently too hilarious to pass up a second and third jab. No, I’m sorry, but it’s not funny at all.

“But what about the gameplay?!” cry adventure game fans. It doesn’t amount to anything special either. The best features of the game is that it’s hard to die (and may be impossible?). This is no Sierra adventure. Even so, The Lost Dutchman’s Mine manages to be an almost stereotypical point and click experience. The story follows Al as he falls in love in Western town and seeks to get the lady’s attention. As a suave man has already made her acquaintance, it proves difficult for him. Everyone in the game has tasks for you and they spell them out directly. No matter what, there are always new puzzles to solve. Most aren’t particularly interesting, although some manage to be unique. For as long as the experience takes to build up though it feels like much of this could have been removed. It serves more as padding than truly entertaining quests.

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine Screenshot

The game has received a few upgrades for the enhanced version. A new voice actor does his best to squeak away like Al, and does so in a slightly less annoying fashion. Cutscenes have also been changed from their original CG graphics to 2D animation. The animation isn’t particularly fantastic, but it does look better than the original CG art. All the same, Al retains a 3D model when wandering around the hand-painted style 2D town. It’s an unfortunate clash of art types because the backdrops are actually quite good.

Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine is an adventure game that functions as intended. I experienced no glitches and could solve each puzzle. However, it is a puerile adventure that should be easy to ignore. I know the developer can do better as they have proven themselves to in the past. Unfortunately, this is not an example of their skill.

Score: 1

1 out of 5 alpacas

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