This game is available for free from the developers at https://www.tony-tough.com/en/shop#games
A dastardly alien is stealing all of the children’s Halloween candy! Tony Tough P.I. will not stand for this. He sets out to stop the fiend before it’s too late, and the alien takes over the world! Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths is a traditional 2D “point and click” adventure with a crazy story. The humor and style are reminiscent of old LucasArts games, like Day of the Tentacle.
For a game that was developed originally by an Italian team (and likely written in Italian then localized), it is extremely clever, nuanced and funny. I have had this title on my radar for over a decade - basically since it was added to ScummVM in 1.6.0. At that time one of the original developers provided a braindump of their memories of making the game, which I found informative and fascinating.
It’s clear the developers took a lot of inspiration from LucasArts as this game unfolds, plays and reads like a Monkey Island, Full Throttle or Sam and Max title. Interactions with the world and other characters is done with a single click that spawns a pictograph that you use to select an action (
LOOK, etc), and literally everything you can interact with rewards you with a smart ass response.
The plot is kind of thin as you start off learning that halloween candy is being stolen - and since you’re a private eye (for some reason) you decide to investigate. As soon as you start off your pet Tapir (I thought it was a dog) is kidnapped and you’re left with a ransom note. From here you start working your way through the first of 3 “levels” in this game.
Getting out of the first level introduces you to your first of many, Many, MANY fetch quests and item combination puzzles. In order to get access to the second “level” you need to get past the old lady at the entrance by … dressing like a girl. This requires a smock, a scarf, a wig, a flower and a bag of candy. Sounds a bit convoluted right … like you’re making a sasquatch costume in Sam and Max?
Once you reach the amusement part (second level) Tony will begin to draw a map as you explore. This can be used to fast travel around, which is a huge time saver. Since this game is just a massive series of fetch quests that involve endless backtracking, quality of life improvements like this map are greatly appreciated.
Getting out of the second level requires you to retrieve all the ingredients the fortune teller needs to concoct something that will help him see where you need to go next. This involves fetching those ingredients, but each ingredient is a combination of items you find throughout the park - so it’s a fetch quest within a fetch quest: FETCHQUESTCEPTION!!!!
Though it may be a bit tedious, figuring out what all the items you need are isn’t overly complicated as you can ask any number of NPCs throughout the park about pretty much anything - and the clues they give you (though cryptic at times) tend to point you in the right direction. Personally I found this to be a sign of excellent planning by the developers as they clearly wanted this to be challenging, but approachable (and winnable).
Conversations are basic dialog trees, so nothing groundbreaking here. You’ll need to backtrack a lot as you proceed since new dialog options will appear for most NPCs as task are completed or new areas are unlocked. Pretty much every interaction you have with anyone (or anything) has Tony dropping some witty quip or sarcastic remark, so though it may be a bit tedious it’s at least entertaining.
The LucasArts influence persists throughout this game, right down to the interaction menu being cribbed from games like Full Throttle. It’s a good design choice and works well for the game, but for a game this late in our journey it comes across as derivative.
It’s hard to fault Tony Tough for feeling like a LucasArts knock-off as it’s done extremely well and really plays more as an ode to the adventure games that clearly inspired it than as a knock-off.
Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths is a lot of fun to play mainly due to the dry comedic style of writing that permeates all character interactions and Tony’s observations. The game is visually appealing, and clearly took a page out of the LucasArts book of point-and-click adventure game design.
There was a sequel (Tony Tough™ in A Rake’s Progress) which I won’t be covering during this series but am definitely curious to try out one day. The developers are also working on The Army Of Dorkiness Project which is meant to bring Tony Tough back for a third time.
I would recommend this title to anyone looking for a game similar to the later LucasArts adventure games.
|Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths
|Nayma Software, Prograph Research S.r.l.
|Protonic Interactive, Got Game Entertainment LLC, dtp entertainment AG
|MPAL (MultiPurpose Adventure Language)
See here for a refresher on how we’re scoring these games.