The Procession to Calvary
Developer: Joe Richardson
Genre(s): Adventure, Other
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 01/07/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
The Procession to Calvary is a point-and-click adventure title that is rude, crude, and lewd. It focuses on providing a comedic story, yet it stands out from other similar titles by taking inspiration from Renaissance artwork. Is Renaissance the new pixel-art? Find out in this Rapid Review.
Good Day for Murder
When I play comedy games, I often hope for an engaging story to keep me entertained. However, I generally find that they rarely meet my expectations. The Procession to Cavalry was not an exception to this trend. The entire plot revolves around the main character’s obsession with murder. Murder was ruled unethical by the current ruler, yet she still wanted to kill someone. Thus, she was sent on a quest to kill an opposing ruler. It is silly but straight to the point. The simple premise set up my entire adventure, though I wanted to explore more meaningful commentary.
To supplement this zany story, the developer homes in on comedy, and tries to make the audience laugh. From the odd biblical references to immense quantities of naked men, each design element here was made to make me laugh. I watched families try to pry jewellery off dead relatives, vendors selling crucifixion merchandise, and famous religious figures performing magic shows. The developers featured a lot of funny themes, and this was reinforced by the art style. I enjoyed seeing the crazy situations my character had to deal with, but I found a lot of the situations strange, sometimes a bit too weird for my tastes.
Even though the scenes themselves were interesting, I still wanted something more meaningful. The Procession to Calvary did not offer insight into society, nor did it discuss injustices. Instead, I was fighting because I was bored and felt bloodlust. Though the situations were interesting, I rarely laughed or found myself loving the comedy that the game offered. There were some funny moments, but I think the humour was tailored to a different audience.
Even though the story did not leave a lasting impact on me, I enjoyed seeing the various interesting locales and thought the art style supplemented the story themes nicely. Still, I wish there was a more meaningful story or social commentary to be derived from this game. Regardless, the atmosphere provided in The Procession to Calvary was weird in a good way. If the trailer looks intriguing, the rest of the game will likely be appealing.
Act with Confidence
The gameplay is very similar to other point-and-click adventure games such as Anna’s Quest. I could interact with objects, look at them, and of course, stab them with my sword. The actions were simple and self-explanatory. The actions set up the rest of the game and established various puzzles.
Since the actions were easy to understand, the puzzles focused on exploring various landmarks. I explored many rooms at the same time and needed to use resources from each room to solve the final puzzle. I liked how comprehensive the world was. Each room connected with another seamlessly. Even though it was easy to see the connection between rooms, every landmark was unique. Despite taking inspiration from one art style, the rooms had a surprising amount of variety. Seeing the rooms and realizing what they had to offer was one of the best parts of The Procession to Calvary.
Logical Puzzle Design
The puzzles themselves were interesting as well. Unlike some other games, I was able to figure most of them out logically. The developers used specific words that set me on route to uncovering the items to use, rooms to explore, and how to combine items together. Everything worked. Also, the puzzles were related to the vibe the room gave off. Sometimes, characters would require you to simply obtain an item for passage, but other times, I would need to find a suitable satanic sacrifice, or help a crucified man escape without a trace. The puzzles helped the world feel interconnected, and as though it was a real world. I enjoyed the puzzle designs.
Though I liked the puzzles, there were some that were a bit challenging. For the first time, the bloodlust was useful. If a puzzle were too frustrating or difficult, I could simply murder the person and continue my journey. It was a funny way to keep the game accessible without making it feel like I was cheating. However, the ruler stated that killing is unethical. Thus, I did not even realize that this was an option until the end of the game. Even though I could wield my sword to interact with enemies, I did not realize that this would bypass the challenges I needed to complete.
I found that some of the most useful mechanics were never explained to me. The Procession to Calvary never taught me how to run, nor was I told the significance of killing someone who had a quest. I was especially disappointed to not know how to run, as the character walks slowly by default. Still, I managed to figure these mechanics out by accident and was able to capitalize on them thereafter.
Though the controls were not explained throughout the story, the developers featured a complicated information sheet detailing what each button did, and their various functions. It was overwhelming, but this was accessible to me throughout the game. One great thing about the controls was the toggleable cursor speed. I could choose which speed more adequately matched my expectations. It worked well too, the cursor always picked up the correct items, even when items were close together.
The Procession to Calvary featured interesting puzzles, but the entire game only took me a couple of hours to complete. I was disappointed by the short run time, but still appreciated the sound puzzle design and cohesive worlds while I got to play the game.
Good as New
The atmosphere in The Procession to Calvary was interesting. I thought the art was innately interesting. The animations worked, but some characters would visualize talking by bringing their lower face down with their mouth. Still, exploring the environments was one of the highlights of this title. It features a lot of blood, nudity, and sacrilege too. This title could easily offend and disturb. However, though I did not look for a game of this nature, I thought these elements did not ruin the experience for me. It was certainly novel.
The sound design focused on classical music. Each room featured a unique musician. It was interesting seeing the visual representation of the background music. I liked that feature. The music was alright. It was not my personal taste, but I appreciated how it related to the theme of The Procession to Calvary. The atmosphere is one of the selling points of this game.
Overall, despite the brevity, lack of meaningful commentary, and strange theming, I enjoyed my time with The Procession to Calvary. Much of my appreciation for the title comes from the continuous theme and its clear identity. The game is clearly niche and is not perfect. Still, it is easy to see the intrigue of something so bizarre. The Procession to Calvary provided an interesting experience that stood out from other experiences I have played in both good and bad ways.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can purchase The Procession to Calvary on the Nintendo eShop here
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