This month from Avery Hill, we have a fun call-back to a forgotten classic genre and style of video games in 2120. You’re Wade, a schlubby middle-aged computer repairman, sent to fix a computer in a vacant, nondescript office building. When you get inside the door locks behind you, and you can’t get out. Now the adventure begins! You have to explore this building and try to find your way home. The building is huge on the inside with a lot of sprawling hallways and empty rooms, and your only hope is to uncover clues and try to work out the mystery this whole experience hangs on.
In the early days of gaming before first-person shooters and RPGs came to dominate the industry, point-and-click games were king. Almost anyone who grew up in the 80s to mid-90s will have experienced this primitive early style of adventure gaming. Creator George Wylesol is no stranger to bringing classic technology into comics, having told an entire story via Windows 3.1 chat screens and Geocities pages in his previous comic Internet Crusader. Several of these themes and ideas are revisited which seems to be a winning formula.
Wylesol does a marvellous job of emulating the feel of the sort of games that were homebrewed on Commodore and Amiga computers back in the day. There’s something wonderfully mundane about the presentation that will create a nostalgic feeling for many readers, which is largely assisted by Wylesol’s brilliant colour palette choices that provide that retro game vibe. Each page faithfully replicates the style of a typical point-and-click scene with instructions provided to the reader, though the reader should be prepared to die many times as this is one that will take some practice. The tone is also a key part to the story’s success, with the mundane atmosphere giving way to some rather scary undertones that takes the narrative in some unexpected directions.
This is a both a fun throwback to a classic style of video games that has largely fallen by the wayside and a compelling thriller as well. Anyone who likes gaming and adventure books should not miss out on this nostalgia trip.
2120 is out now from Avery Hill Publishing (9781910395653, p/b, £19.99)
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