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Bayou Island Preview

Bayou Island Preview

Bayou Island Preview

A short-but-sweet return to the classic type of point-and-click adventure that I enjoyed in the late 1990s


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Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure
Release date: September 11, 2016

A Return to the Classics

Bayou Island is the first “official” title released by Andrew Howard, an independent developer who hails from Bristol in the U.K. To test the waters of mainstream gaming, he’s made the first segment of his game available on Google Play and the iTunes Store. It can be downloaded, free of charge, and has no gimmicks. What a blessing — no popup ads or in-game purchases! Instead, it’s a first step to provide players with just enough gameplay to get the gist of the adventure and to catch a glimpse of Andy’s talent.

Bayou Island is a traditional point-and-click adventure done in the cartoon graphic style of The Secret of Monkey Island, a classic title from LucasArts released in the late 1990s. Andy admits that his passion for adventure gaming goes back to the days of Ron Gilbert and that titles like Monkey Island are what kick-started his love for the genre. He was further inspired by Ron Gilbert’s current efforts to develop Thimbleweed Park which is another return to classic adventuring and can be followed at Andy notes that Adventure games can be as interesting as you want because they allow the developer to be creative in terms of both the storyline and the artwork.

Andy is a game developer with a day job. Thus, he’s been building games for his own inner circle for years. Bayou Island is his first foray into the market and he wears a number of hats as he designs and codes the game’s content and dialog. Using the talents of John Joven for background artwork and with some assistance from freelancers, Andy has brought Bayou Island from concept to reality. In a departure from tradition, he built the game in HTML5 canvas using Javascript – a move he describes as both challenging and rewarding. This technical decision allows him both portability and scalability.

Meanwhile, Back in the Bayou

Bayou Island (Part 1) is a short foray to a mysterious island. Our main character, a sailor, finds himself on an island with no knowledge of how he arrived. The adventure takes off as he begins to search for the truth by interacting with local residents. The game is implemented in the traditional adventure style with inventory and icons for actions. Commands such as “Use Object 1 on Object 2” are built by clicking on the objects and verb icons, in sequence. At this time, the game includes four separate areas to explore that are primarily still graphics with some moving parts. Thus far, puzzles are of the find-and-use variety, requiring creativity in “real world” scenarios.  For this first release, all dialog is presented as clickable, on-screen text, and Andy is considering implementing voiceovers for the next phase.

Insert Bayou 1


Andy is busy working on Bayou Island (Part 2) and promises that it will “tie up loose ends, introduce more characters and puzzles, and provide a satisfying ending.”  For those interested in following his progress, his blog can be visited at

Taking a Test Drive

I downloaded Bayou Island from the Google Play store and played it on my Android tablet. It’s a short-but-sweet return to the classic type of point-and-click adventure that I enjoyed in the late 1990s. I look forward to seeing the second chapter of this adventure and would encourage point-and-click adventurers to give this title a whirl. As Andy pointed out: Developing a game is easy when compared to marketing it, especially when you are up against larger teams with bigger budgets. I applaud him for taking the try-for-free approach as a way to generate interest, and I look forward to seeing his future efforts come to fruition.


Cindy Kyser

Cindy Kyser

Cindy’s love affair with gaming began when she opened a mailbox in front of a white house and took the first step in a long series of adventures. ‘Back in the day,’ Cindy was a regular contributor to JA and an active member of the online gaming community. She has attended several E3s and has had the pleasure of spending time in person with both Ray and Randy. Her all- time favorite adventures include the Tex Murphy series, the Gabriel Knight series, and The Longest Journey. She also enjoys RPGs and her list of ‘best ever’ includes Fallout, Asheron’s Call, and Planescape Torment. Â Frustrated with the cost of rising PC system requirements, Cindy decided to switch to console and tablet gaming. Although you can teach some old dogs new tricks, she discovered that console controller dexterity is a skill set that she is lacking. Her results with tablet gaming were not much better. With the exception of a few gems such as The Room and Forever Lost, there is a limit to how much one can play Candy Crush and Hidden Object Adventures. Having proved that pure escapism is worth the investment, she has a new gaming laptop and is back to her search for the perfect adventure. Â After spending most of her life in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Cindy escaped the stress of urban life and moved to rural Arkansas. To show that she has become a true Arkansan, she has taken up deer hunting, wears pink camo, and put a chicken coop in her backyard. On a stressful day, she can be heard yelling ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ when all else fails.

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