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Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Davide D’Aversa & Francesco Iorio

GAME DEVELOPER:ProGraph Research

GAME PUBLISHER:GotGame Entertainment

Copyright 2002, ProGraph Research

Here’s a riddle. What do you get when you cross an underappreciated detective who believes in aliens, Halloween Night, stolen candy, a kidnapped purple dog (actually a Tapir), and high-grade hijinks and mayhem? The answer is a whole barrel of fun. Italian developer ProGraph Research present Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths. The title is more of a mouthful than supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but it’s the grandest and silliest adventure to come along in ages.

Tony Tough, our hero and fountain of wit, is a small fellow with huge glasses and yellow trenchcoat. His office, which Tony shares with his purple pet dog (actually a Tapir), is located in the basement of Wallen and Wallen Investigations. Tony is assigned to find out what fiend has been stealing the candy from the kids over past Halloweens. Most of Tony’s co-workers consider him a joke because of belief in UFO’s and general nerdiness. One night, Tony’s purple tapir sidekick is kidnapped and he gets a mysterious ransom note beckoning him to come to Halloween Park. Tony figures that this is the break he’s been waiting for and he’ll finally be able to prove himself. Tony swiftly travels to the park, the gates shut, and the hunt for Pantagruel, Tony’s beloved assistant, commences.

It’s quite a shame that this game didn’t have a bigger success story because the staff at ProGraph have really outdone themselves and have created something very special. Instead of trying to reformulate the genre, ProGraph has brought back to the table what was so great about the adventures of the past. Tony Tough‘s interface is very reminiscent of the LucasArts SCUMM system and a lot of LucasArts style humor shines throughout the game. A traditional 2-D point and click interface is implemented here in perfect fashion.

The backgrounds are colorful, cartoony, and witty, and fit the general overall mood of the game quite well. Along the way is a colorful (sometimes very colorful) cast of characters that includes talking thespian statues, a crying pirate, a manic-depressive clown, a bizarre bazaar owner (it’s the truth!), a soft-hearted poetic beast, and even more silliness than you could imagine.

Great puzzles abound and they all have logical, cartoony solutions. There are two puzzle modes to the game, and while both modes are accessible to both veteran and amateur adventurers, the hard mode will get the veteran adventurer’s brains smoking. There’s enough gameplay here to make Tony Tough feel like a full-bodied adventure, instead of a half-hearted attempt. One puzzle even allows access to a special bonus level! The voiceovers are so fittingly appropriate and the dialogue is so quick witted that you may be not be able to click the mouse for the sake of how hard you’ll be laughing. Possibly the best news of all is that you don’t need the latest Pentium 4 or latest 3-D video card in order to run Tony Tough.

GotGame entertainment, the game’s publisher, seems to be at the forefront of adventure gaming at the moment. With the release of 2001′s sleeper favorite, Trecision’s The Watchmaker, and Tony Tough in 2002, the future of adventure gaming looks brighter than it ever has before. So will Tony’s theory about the candy being stolen by aliens ring true? Will Pantagruel be saved? Play to find out. But one question can be answered here: traditional adventure gaming is back with a vengeance and a sense of humor.

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