The puzzles and dialogue were always the best part of point and click adventure games. Flash adventure games often forgo the emphasis on either the puzzle or the dialogue and instead put more into visuals and style. Little Wheel is an example of this. There is no dialogue and the puzzles are mostly laid out for you, but the style and feel of the game put it above your average puzzle-light flash point and click adventure.
The story to Little Wheel is charming, if not a bit children’s movie-esque. You’re a living robot among millions of other living robots until your planet’s generator loses power. Everything is out cold for ten thousand years until you, Mr. Lucky Robot, are struck by lightning and given life anew. Your goal is to reach the power generator, fix the problem, and revive your planet. What’s the point of being revived if you’re not going to save everyone, right?
They’re trying, and it shows
There is a very distinct style from the opening cut scene to the end of the game. The silhouette color scheme, relaxing jazz, and detailed (considering the silhouettes) environments all come together well. You don’t feel a sense of urgency here and you get the feeling that this was a peaceful and productive society, as you would expect one comprised entirely of robots to be. The presentation overall is just very well done, especially for a flash game.
But the style doesn’t make up for the gameplay
While there was obviously a lot of detail put into the feel of the game, it is lacking a lot in the puzzle department. You don’t expect something long and engrossing from a developer like Fast Games, but it’s a bit disappointing to have such little interactivity in such an interesting world. I wouldn’t ask for the game to be longer, but I would ask for puzzles that were at least a little challenging. Even the final puzzle is a cinch if you pay attention to what you’re doing.
So, what’s it boil down to?
The lack of real challenge is no good, but everything else about Little Wheel is.
It may not be a traditional point and click adventure game and it may not even be the most engrossing flash game out there, but it is an experience. That in itself makes it entertaining enough to mention.