Bik – A Space Adventure(Bik) may be one of the most enjoyable games of this year, including those titles released by Triple A publishers and developers. It uses excellent humour and storytelling, to grab the players attention and keep them engaged throughout.
The basis of the story is a child, who is abducted by aliens, trying to find his way home. It is a simple enough concept, a story which has been told many times over; but the developers have taken this common story and improved on it incredibly. What starts as a story of a child trying to get home, turns into an opera of the different events currently happening in the galaxy told from different characters perspectives. Storytelling is something that Bik does really well. It utilises the different characters allowing for different perspectives on the story and things in the world. For example, when examining a couch, the child will exclaim gross, while one of the aliens will say about how it reminds him of home. This excellent use of multiple points of view forces the player to really think about the world in which they are inhabiting. It’s this little attention to detail in the characters, which gives them all distinctive personalities and makes the world feel alive.
That being said, the game is rather linear and forces the player to use a particular character for certain sections, making it impossible to do the same section with another character to see how they would react to certain problems or objects. This results in one of the strongest aspects of the game also being completely absent in some sections. In terms of game play, it’s basic point and click, but it’s done quite well. Most objects in the world can be interacted with in some way, whether they are examined, picked up or combined with another item. And a more than a few times, this will lead to different outcomes in the story. One choice can affect how the game will play out, clicking the wrong thing could lead to a character getting killed or occasionally the universe being destroyed. But Bik does something fantastic, it will autosave before a choice is made, so even when things go wrong and perhaps a character dies or the game over message pops up, there’s no frustrating traipsing back over things that are already done.
Bik is presentation is lovely as well. It’s basic 2-D style and simplistic design is easy to work with and has a very old school and nostalgic feel about it. However, once or twice, the background seemed separate from the foreground and this lead to some rather annoying hold ups where it was impossible to tell if it was a path a character could walk on or simple a background design in the world. It also has 3-D cut scenes that, like the 2-D style, look brilliant. Each race of aliens have a different look about them and this helps craft a vibrant world that seems properly alive. Sometimes the cut scenes can be slow but Bik adds a fast-forward mechanic where the cut scene can be sped up. Luckily this goes slow enough that none of the narrative is lost.
Bik is a fantastic game. It looks great and has very good storytelling to boot. It manages to create an immersive world that feels alive, with different aliens, spaceships and planet designs.