While Legend of Hand initially had me wary with its unique art style, full of strange proportions and bright colors, as I dove into the satirical kung-fu point-and-click from Cloak and Dagger Games, I found a game with a huge amount of love poured into it, full of mini games, quests and a RPG combat system that sets this game apart from the wide field of point-and-click adventures.
Title: Legend of Hand
Developer: Cloak and Dagger Games (John Inch & Shaun Aitcheson)
Game Version: Personal Purchase
Review Copy: Final
Interface: Keyboard & Mouse
Available on Itch.io and Steam
Legend of Hand is equal parts standard hero’s journey and satire of it. The setup is pretty standard by design: You, the Local Tournament Champion, have been tasked by your masters to save the world. The mainland is in trouble, and they believe the only person that can save it is the legendary Grand Master Hand. However, he disappeared some time ago. So you’re sent out to prove yourself by defeating the Fingers of Hand, the closest thing to a connection to Grand Master.
It’s a straightforward story, but it’s full of tongue-in-cheek jabs and humor at the typical adventure formula found in so many stories and video games. Were it taking itself seriously, I think it would probably come off as horribly cliche, but because it isn’t taking itself seriously, Legend of Hand instead comes off as simply having a quirky sense of humor that I happened to really enjoy.
The controls are standard for any sort of point and click game: you can interact or examine different items in the world, pick some up to put in your inventory, combine them and the use them in the world. Legend of Hand conforms to the Standard Logic of Point & Clicks. Namely, you have to pick up one of two specific items, combine only them together, and that’s the only solution to your problem possible. Granted, I found Legend of Hand solved this by having a pretty clear plot line and few options, but it still existed. However, Legend of Hand does go a step further than many point & click games by having a quest log. As you journey through the four islands, there will be small pop ups that tell you your main tasks, and help keep track of what you should be doing. It’s a great addition.
The most defining part of Legend of Hand mechanically, is the RPG style, turn-based point and click battle system. Throughout the game you’ll be presented with opportunities to spar and fight opponents. You’ll choose a stance to use in the fight, which determines which moves you have available, and then be dropped into the fight. There are mechanics for blocking and countering opponents, as well as a number of special moves you can unlock in a variety of ways. I do wish there was a little more of it in the game, but I think that just means it was well executed.
There’s also a huge variety of mini games scattered throughout Legend of Hand: You’ll have the chance to go fishing, compete in memory games, give people massages, cook, and jump hurdles. For the most part, these are optional, but there a great way to earn some money to buy some of the useful items scattered throughout the game, and they add a wonderful bit of variety to the gameplay.
I feel like honestly one of the biggest hurdles for people getting into and enjoying Legend of Hand is going to be the art style. It’s evocative of classical Japanesse art, done through the lens of a comic book. It is at times strange, jarring and full of loud colors, but it is undeniably unique and unlike anything else I’ve seen in my journey through the world of indie games, and i think it deserves recognition for that.
I also ran into a few smaller issues while playing Legend of Hand. The save menu is tucked away in a rather odd spot, so take the time to find that before getting to deep into the game. I also had a few moments of odd stuttering and skipping in cut scenes, but it didn’t ruin the experience.
Legend of Hand may have some rough edges, but it’s presenting a new take on the point and click genre with an interesting RPG combat mechanic, a unique art style, and a funny story. If you’re a fan of over-the-top Kung fu films, game’s with lots to do and the dry humor that often accompanies point and clicks, you could do a lot worse than Legend of Hand.