A drunken guard lets in a dark stranger into town and in doing so he inadvertently steps into an epic time-spanning and twisting adventure that will definitely hammer in the importance of his Guard Duty.
- Generations Collide: The best thing about Guard Duty, hands down is how it treats its time periods. They’re not just narrative but also mechanical. In the medieval, classic fantasy setting where the game begins, you’ll play using classic point & click adventure mechanics, such as an inventory, item combinations, humour-based puzzles that stretch the definition of logic—though never reaching moon logic levels fortunately. When you switch over to the future, you shift to a modern adventure paradigm, with a greater focus on contextual item use, and a more cinematic approach to things. It’s genius and plays with your expectations of how you’ll approach problem/puzzle solving.
- Spider-Guard: Guard Duty has a section where you’re in a creepy forest home to both a giant worm creature and a massive horrible spider and you have to manoeuvre around them and out-think them, and this section is perhaps one of the cleverest maze-like puzzles I’ve played in a very long time. It’s incredibly creative and also very forgiving, as making mistakes won’t lose you too much time. Best of all, the solution is pretty intuitive, even if you still have to figure out the correct order for the steps to take.
- One Way Street: From reading the game’s descriptions, especially the promises from the original Kickstarter campaign, I was expecting a greater focus on the dual timelines you play in, perhaps with some timey-wimey elements and perspective shifting between the two protagonists. Instead, you have a linear adventure that is 70% in the past and 30% in the future, with only minimal “interaction” between the two periods. Normally I wouldn’t have an issue with this, except for the next point.
- A Quick Epic: Guard Duty is short, incredibly short. There are a couple of moments and puzzles that could stump you early on, but even then, it’s only a handful of hours, a couple even, before you’re done with the medieval story and jump to the even shorter (and I mean something like 10 rooms) future story. Despite having some clearly clever plot ideas and a lot of potential, the 2nd section of the game feels rushed. It’s not bad, not at all, but it is incredibly short and left me wanting more. In the end, it made the entire game feel more like a prologue than a full story.