Posted in Retro Gaming

Toonstruck: Tarred and feathered

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1996’s Toonstruck. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

When we last left Drew and Flux, they were starting their lengthy scavenger hunt to find items to build a Cutifier to save Cutopia from Count Nefarious. And if that sounds like the plot to a TV show that a second grader could make up, then welcome to Toonstruck’s creative writing.

Before venturing out in the country, the duo skulk around the royal palace to look for useful items and just to be nosy. Functionally, Toonstruck is one of the smoother adventure games I’ve played, using a context cursor to interact. One of its few unique traits is that Drew can use Flux as an item to do various cartoony things, like to launch him in the air to grab a trap door.

All of this sneaking results in a perfect trap for the obnoxiously snobby footman, who ends up tarred, feathered, and smacked with an anvil. “Feathers? How predictable,” he drolls before getting knocked out. I’ll admit it, I laughed again. That’s twice so far, game. I’m keeping count!

Free of the palace, Drew and Flux explore the nearby town. There’s an Irish pub with an overactive mouse and some bunnies necking (ew).

Drew plays the organ to get the mouse dancing like mad, and Flux uses a nearby mousetrap to inflict grievous bodily harm upon the rodent. That nets the two an old mug, which may carry no value except in games like these, where it is more precious than life itself.

Up to this point in the game, the puzzles have been fairly straight-forward, but I cry “foul” at the phone one. It’s a quiz where you have had to memorize a whole bunch of details about what color is what thing elsewhere in the game. Unless you’re using a cheat guide, you’d have to write down these questions and then go hunting for the answers — and then hope you get asked the same questions and not different ones the next time. That’s a little too obscure for me.

Fluffy Fluffy Bun Bun is hopping around the now-ravaged meadow, having some sort of breakdown while trying to stay perky and happy at the same time. It makes for an interesting conversation. And the above line got another laugh from me, because I’m that basic sometimes.

Well this is a new one on me… a stereotypically ’90s gay scarecrow who’s actually a CAREcrow. Because he likes to care for crows, see? And he wants a new outfit. And he talks a lot. A lot a lot a lot. I’m sensing a pretty deep subversive vibe for this game world. That’s cool by me.

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