Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure (Chapter 1) Review
Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure (Chapter 1) Review
To summarize, Bolt Riley shows the potential of being an interesting game. However, in its current form, there is not much of it to play.
Posted: 03/06/18 | Category: Review | Developer: Adventure Mob, Carbomite Games | Publisher: Adventure Mob, Carbomite Games | Platform: Ios, Linux, Windows, Mac, Android

Genre: 2D Point-and-Click Adventure
Release date: January 11, 2018
Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux

Taking the Long Road  
 

JustAdventure began posting news of Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure back in 2013 when Oded Sharon of Adventure Mob ran his first KickStarter campaign. Lori and Corey Cole (creators of Quest for Glory) were listed as designers on the project and Omri Lahav was composing a reggae sound track. The campaign was not successful and, in 2014, they tried again. This time, just over $32K was raised and the project was off and running.

The game hit Steam for Early Access in 2016. Recently, the Windows version of Bolt Riley came out of Early Access status and the game was released for iOS and Android. Although there are clear postings by the Adventure Mob alerting buyers that the current version only includes Chapter 1, I was surprised to discover how short the initial chapter really is. I completed it in well under an hour (including time lost to a game crash which required me to start over).

I first tried to run Bolt Riley on my Samsung Galaxy tablet (Android v.7 with a 9” screen).  Regardless of how I set the “Full Screen” option, the top and bottom portions of the game screen were cut off. Since dialog appears in the lower portion of the screen, this made the game unplayable. So, I reverted to my PC and proceeded with the Windows version.

Becoming a Legend (Almost)  
 

Bolt Riley is a reggae musician who lives in Trenchtown, Jamaica. He and his fellow band members (Smokey and Jamal) have fallen in with The Rude Boys. This is a gang of shifty characters with less than noble intentions. Demonde, the gang leader, pressures Bolt into a job to steal a radio from an old man.  Accompanied by the herb-smoking Smokey, Bolt struggles with the logistics and the morality of the assignment. Chapter 1 begins at the Rude Boys hangout and the player must figure out how to obtain the radio. While the game is described as “the story of the underdog who breaks out and becomes a worldwide sensation,” very little of Bolt’s personal journey is included in this first chapter.

The game opens with a concert scene that functions as a tutorial. It then shifts to the actual game which consists of two interactive scenes and one quest (get the radio). Prior to completing this quest, the player is transitioned to an animated sequence with a “to be continued” banner. End of Chapter. Even with a reduced price of less than $5.00 (US), this does not seem like much bang for your buck.

The Game Experience
 

Those with a fondness for reggae will enjoy the soundtrack of Bolt Riley. The graphics are delightfully done in a crisply animated style, with professional voice-overs for each character. There are a handful of “find and use” puzzles, combined with dialog trees that drive lengthy (and sometimes repetitive) conversations. My sense is that there are still some kinks in the interface which need to be worked out. Around the halfway point, I had a game crash and was unable to use my save file to continue playing. This required restarting a new game. Perhaps it is no accident that “Report Bug” remains as a menu option in this game?

The game automatically saves on exit but also provides multiple slots for the player to perform explicit saves and loads.

Moving the cursor to the upper portion of the screen reveals the menu, including icons for inventory (the hat) and “inspiration” (the cloud). To keep you on track, your current goal is also shown.

BoltRileyEmbed1 

Inventory is displayed by clicking on the hat and items are used by dragging and dropping.  Note how the passion fruit is described in inventory.

BoltRileyEmbed2

Once “inspiration” is applied to the Passion Fruit, it can also be displayed using the “inspiration” icon. Now it represents a feeling rather than an object and that feeling can be used on another person.

BoltRileyEmbed3

 
The Long (and Very) Short of It 
 

To summarize, Bolt Riley shows the potential of being an interesting game. However, in its current form, there is not much of it to play.  While I understand the need to “get to market’ and the pressures of meeting backer expectations, I am not sure that Adventure Mob did themselves any favors by releasing such a short chapter with so little content for gamers to purchase.

 
Shows promise of evolving into a solid point-and-click adventure with a reggae theme
+ Excellent music with professional voice acting
+ Graphics and animation are high quality
 
Chapter 1 is so short that it almost qualifies as a teaser or a demo
- After so much time “in the works,” the limited content offered for purchase is very disappointing
 
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 

 

System Requirements

Minimum PC: 
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
No other requirements have been provided 
 
Specials from Digital Download
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