Searching for the Elephant
Bear and elephant are tea time friends and roommates. In the darkness of one night, elephant goes missing. So out into the wide, whimsical world, bear goes Searching for the Elephant, encountering and wordlessly interacting with numerous winsome characters in their own predicaments. So do you, as you manipulate elements, decode codes, utilize found objects and generally be a great help to everyone—moving bear along and gaining a big grin in return. Searching for the Elephant is a point-and-click puzzle adventure from Astep, Bidyod, and Nexter, brought to weird and wonderful life by the artistry of marvelmate and the swanky tunes of vhava.
Your goal in every stage boils down to fixing whatever needs righting, removing whatever is impeding bear from going further, just by pointing and clicking when or where needed. Oftentimes you'll need to acquire and utilize objects which stay in your paws until they're used (because bears have no pockets!) These goals are remarkably well-communicated, even without any narrative or text, through imagery and symbolism. A changing cursor as well as a "?" icon also help clarify interactive areas and objectives although logic is not lacking here.
Considering this is a Flash game, it's a nice discovery to realize your Searching for the Elephant won't end after only a few stages and, because it automatically saves your progress, if you can't set aside an unrushed 15-20 minutes to play, everyone will still be where you left them upon your return. Each scene has an effervescence that comes from the charcoals sketch art and upbeat story that makes this a very engaging experience, and that gives a lot of motivation to work through the minigames even when they're sometimes rather unappealing in their banality. In fact, for some of us, Searching for the Elephant loses points for including the off-sync dials and sliding blocks puzzles.
If there are any disappointments, though, they are more than offset by an adventurer fulfilling length, an effusive Machinarium vibe and, in fellow JIGite Trinn's words, "the Yann Tiersen-esque musette." Full of content, charm and a sweet warm your heart and give out a chuckle ending, Searching for the Elephant is truly a happy find.