I’ve got a confession to make. I hate clowns. They scare the living hell out of me. Which is why I didn’t back Dropsy when it ran on Kickstarter. However, I’ve heard good things about it and decided to put my fears to the side and give it a shot. And I’ll be honest. I’m glad that I overcame my hesitation because it’s actually a pretty good game. Hella hard, but still worth playing.
In Dropsy you play as the titular clown as he goes around the town working to help others and gain their trust. Apparently he doesn’t have a very good reputation and everyone thinks that he started a fire in the circus that he was a part of. Personally, I don’t believe that he’d do anything of the sort as he quickly proves that he just wants to have a good time and make friends. He may look scary and creepy but he’s got a heart of gold. This is a prime case of looks can be deceiving.
Dropsy is the kind of game that you can’t help but feel for our clown protagonist. He’s had a hard life seeing his foster mother perish in the fire and his foster father taking care of him alone. And his father falls deathly ill during the game, causing our hero to have to find a way to cure him. Even if it means doing something bad. Whether or not he knows its bad at least he feels he’s doing it for the right reason.
Dropsy is basically a game about making friends, doing good deeds, and spreading happiness to everyone you meet. It’s the kind of story that makes your heart melt and you cheer for the protagonist every step of the way. He has the naivete of a young child and along the way he not only befriends pretty much everyone in town but also manages to gather a following of animals that help him out. Each one (a dog, mouse, and bird) can do things that Dropsy can’t, allowing him to get items buried or hidden throughout the map.
If there’s one issue that I have with Dropsy it’s the difficulty of the game. All of the conversation are done using pictograms, or images representing themes or ideas. While it’s relatively simple to know what everyone is trying to convey it’s much harder to figure out how to get them what they want. It would have been nice to have a hint system of some sort built into the game as an option. Unfortunately, I had to rely on solutions and hints to many puzzles via the Steam forums. Still, this was one time where I didn’t mind needing a nudge here and there.
In all, Dropsy is a cute, if somewhat disturbing at times, game. I’m glad that I finally decided to give it a shot and it’s most certainly worth trying just for the sweet reward of making people happy. As I said, I’m no fan of clowns. With the very rare exception I try to steer clear of them. But Dropsy is one clown that I’d be happy to call a friend.