The Boy Who Typed Wolf is a point-and-click puzzle game published and developed by Enigma Pendulum. The game is supposedly based on a mix of both real-life events and mythology, though you would have to do some digging to figure out what these are. Overall, the game looks and plays like a classic Flash puzzle game you would play on Newgrounds or Armor Games back in the day. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does make it a bit hard to recommend paying money for a game that has plenty of free alternatives of similar quality.
The Boy Who Typed Wolf is available on Steam for $7.99.
On the store page for The Boy Who Typed Wolf, the developer describes the game as being based on “a real unsolved mystery dating back to antiquity”. That would seem like a pretty good concept, but trying to find out what the story of the game takes more time to research than it does to finish the game.
From what I was able to find out, the game seems to be based on very early Greek mythology, specifically dealing with the god Zeus. Mount Lykaion would appear to be a central point, with the player traveling to what seems to be an excavation site.
In Greek myth, Lykaion is one of the places to have been claimed as the birthplace of Zeus. Legends of this mountain include Zeus performing a ritual where he would make a human sacrifice, and then hold a feast where the person who ate a portion of the victim would turn into a wolf. This would seem to be the “mystery” that the game is based on, as it was only recently that actual human remains were found in the area, apparently being those of sacrifices.
The thing is, none of this is stuff I found out through playing the game. I had to look up the various different words that came up in the game, such as Mt. Lykaion, and then investigate what the “ancient mystery” was. The closest thing I could find was an article with the title “Mystery bones from ancient Greece may be a teenager sacrificed to Zeus” from the Washington Post. Outside of this, I couldn’t tell you what the “mystery” that the game is talking about is.
I don’t mind a story for a game being obscure, but when I have to spend nearly twice the time I spent playing doing research, then it may be going just a tad bit too far. And as I said above, I’m still not sure what the mystery is that the developer is apparently basing this game off of. As far as what the meaning the game's title may have, I’m also pretty lost on that.
As mentioned in the introduction section, The Boy Who Typed Wolf is a point-and-click puzzle game. As such, one of the main things you would need to luck at would be the overall quality of the puzzles. Another thing to take into consideration is how easy it is for the player to find and pick up significant items.
As far as the puzzles go, they are fairly clever in some cases, but overall fall a bit on the easy side. Often times, the clues you are given to figure out the puzzle are more than enough to solve it off the top of your head, and even the harder ones will only take a couple minutes.
One big problem is that of the puzzles presented, maybe 90% of them are some form of lock combination puzzle. While the way the player figures out the combo varies, it would have been nice to see some more variation in the types of puzzles provided.
As far as items go, there aren’t really any problems, mainly because of just how few items you’ll end up getting. In total, you’ll maybe pick up 5 unique items, with a total of eleven counting duplicates. What items there are tend to stand out, and as such, it shouldn’t be a problem picking up what you need.
While the puzzles, if a bit one track, are fairly well done, and items don’t become a problem, there are two significant issues that come up in the game that drag the experience as a whole down. These have to do with the game's length, as well as some of the content within.
In total, the game probably took me about an hour to complete. And when I say complete, I don’t mean I just did one quick play through. I mean I was able to beat the game 100%, all endings, and all achievements. Part of this comes down to the fact that the puzzles are not only easy but also few in number. The other part brings me to my other big problem with the game.
To be quite frank, it seems like this game wasn’t actually finished. I came to this conclusion due to two things. First of all, there is a locked door that no matter what you do; you’ll never find a key for. There is also a puzzle, that when you solve it, you get a clue that is never used for anything.
At first, I thought I was just missing something, but upon inspection of the games community hub, it turns out that no, that’s actually all there is in the game. I even saw a message from the developer in response to another player, stating that “… if you have all 14 achievements then yes you have completed all the in-game content.”
Graphics and Sound
The Boy Who Typed Wolf has a very basic sound design. You hear footsteps or door creaking when you transition between screens, as well as clicks when you unlock something. Other than that there is some ambient background noise, wind going through trees and such
Music wise, there are 3 tracks, with one of them being for the main menu. They all appear to be public domain, and while this isn’t necessarily bad, it does make the game seem a little cheap.
Graphically, the game looks very similar to a lot of older Flash games you would see on sites like Newgrounds or Armor Games. The art is fine, but it looks a lot like games that were coming out nearly a decade ago. I can definitely see this as a turn off for some people.
The Boy Who Typed Wolf does manage to show some potential, having some clever ideas for puzzles, but overall it falls flat. An almost nonexistent story, extremely short length, and a lack of puzzle variety heavily hamper the game. None of this is helped either by the fact that there are plenty of free games that look and play the same, and have been out for years. In its current state, I just can’t justify people spending money on this.
|+ Some clever puzzle solutions||– Very short|
|– Dated art style|
|– Extremely vague story|