Long before the golden age of point-and-click adventuring there was a golden age of sci-fi, a time before imperial stormtroopers and cyperpunks, when heroes had fishbowls for helmets and our nearest planetary neighbours were host to bipedal amphibians that seemed intent on enslaving the Earth. Trading on those past glories is Warbird Games’ debut PC title Jack Houston and the Necronauts, a game claiming to be both “a serious point ‘n click adventure game in the vein of Full Throttle and The Dig” as well as “a pulpy, two-fisted, bubble helmets, rockets ‘n rayguns sci-fi story in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Frank Frazetta.”
Warbird describes itself as an artist collective and as such the concept scribbles released so far of the Venusian landscapes across which the game is set are absolutely delightful. Sadly there’s not much to see of the game itself, although there are a few tantalising clues about the kinds of creatures the Buster Crabbe-inspired hero will be locking intellects with:
“If the vile jungle beasts and devious plant life of Venus fail to overcome our hero, the rulers of this savage world will surely give Jack a run for his money. These strange entities are able to inhabit the remains of any creature after death, fortifying and building upon their skeletal structures until they are virtually indestructible war machines with the superior intellect of a god. With the tribal inhabitants of the entire planet under their crushing heel, The undead Venusian warlords threaten to pulverize Jack like an ant. But our clever test pilot will uncover a shocking revelation about the origin of these “Necronauts,” a connection between these creatures and himself that could be their undoing… and his.”
Like all promising sci-fi games these days, John and the Necros is seeking funding from fans, and just like the game setting the amount being sought seems from a bygone age – just $2000; though if targets are reached the next stage will likely be a full Kickstarter campaign. If you’re a fan of classic sci-fi storytelling or point-and-click adventuring, this is probably one to get on board early for. Could be quite a ride.