- Six years of work come to fruition in a new genre of adventure I call “Punch & Click”
- Brok is inspired by early ’90s cartoons, but with deep characters and an emotional plot
How do you stand out in such an overcrowded indie market? Such is the question I asked myself when I left my day job eight years ago to go full “solo game dev”.
For me the answer was blending two genres I love but which are diametrically opposed: Point & Click adventure games like Sam & Max, and Beat ‘em up a la Streets of Rage. A real challenge! I have called this new genre “Punch & Click”.
It really makes sense. Facing a door you can’t access? You can use your brain and try to figure out a way to unlock it… or you can simply smash it! No more frustration from non-logical puzzles that plague the Point & Click genre.
After a first “quick” release (the quirky adventure Demetrios), this big project took six years of work to come to fruition. I first released Brok the InvestiGator on PC a few months ago, which proved to be a real success.
Brok is visually inspired by early ’90s cartoons, filled with anthro animal characters, but with deep characters you will care about and an emotional plot. If you might think “TaleSpin” by looking at it, that’s no coincidence. I even got my script edited by Jymn Magon, who co-created popular licenses from the era such as “Ducktales” and “A Goofy Movie”!
That said, this story takes a darker spin. This universe is what I describe as “light cyberpunk”, taking place in a futuristic dystopia where the rich live inside a dome protected from the ambient pollution whereas the poor have to make ends meet outside of it.
Despite great player reviews, I still heard the feedback and improved further on the original release (and the Prologue released on Xbox during the last Summer Fest). In particular I made the combat even more dynamic and studied what happens frame by frame, making sure the gameplay is tight with more predictable enemies.
The adventure parts on consoles use direct control (as opposed to moving a cursor) and I designed the game with controllers in mind from the start.
Brok is a big adventure, spanning 15 to 20 hours on a first playthrough and with replayability through multiple choices having real impact on the outcome (you will want to see all the 11 endings)
Plus I got the chance to work with talented voice actors such as Michael Kovach (“Hazbin Hotel”, “Lackadaisy”) and Bryan Olson (Max from Streets of Rage 4) providing the two main characters lines, for a full voice acting coming at 23,000 lines.
A big fan community has already gathered around Brok the InvestiGator (fanart can be submitted for inclusion within the game extras). After release, I was surprised by the number of players who said they don’t usually play Point & Click games but who really enjoyed it, so I believe this is the perfect game to start with the genre. It comes with built-in hints (through ads to collect in-game) so you can never get permanently stuck, in addition to multiple ways to solve puzzles, and a very user friendly interface.
If you’re interested in this new kind of adventure, make sure to pre-order it now on Xbox with a special 20% discount before the full release on March 1, 2023. And be sure to follow me on Twitter @COWCATGames for updates.
BROK the InvestiGator
The very first PUNCH & CLICK! Brok is an innovative adventure mixed with beat ’em up and RPG elements. In a grim world where animals have replaced mankind, what kind of detective will you be? In a futuristic “light cyberpunk” world where animals have replaced humans, privileged citizens live under a protective dome from the ambient air pollution while others struggle to make a living on the outside. Brok, a private detective and former boxer, lives with Graff, the son of his deceased wife. Although he could never elucidate her accident, recent events may shed some light on an even more tragic outcome… one that may be linked to their own existence. Will they be able to withstand the threats of this corrupted world and face their own destiny? ACCESSIBILITY BROK is the first full-fledged adventure game to be fully playable by blind or visually impaired players! – Fully narrated via quality text-to-speech and audiodescriptions (characters, locations and scenes.) – Puzzles adapted for blindness. – All puzzles and fights can be skipped. – Adapted tutorials. – Buttons to repeat the last voice speech and instructions. – Positional audio for fights. – No online connectivity required (after the download). – No specific device required: play with a controller. – Additional options: larger fonts and increased contrast (backgrounds and enemies.) To enter the accessibility menu, press Y on the title screen, then follow the audio instructions. IMPORTANT: Accessibility speeches are only available in English.