Alexey’s Winter: Night adventure
Alexey’s Winter: Night adventure is a short and cozy point & click adventure set in the post-soviet 1989’s Ukraine. The game was initially launched in 2017 on the mobile platform and gained positive feedback from the players. At a later date, it received a second episode (and as of Sep 26 2021 a third one) and underwent several design changes. Among these, notable was a big expansion for Episode 1, released in June 2022 without the game’s price being altered in any way. The afore-mentioned update also switched the theme from the USSR to Ukraine, in an gesture to support the Ukrainian nation during the devastating war. While the Steam version is complete and thus not available for free, the mobile version remains no cost but contains only the first episode, without the June 2022 update.
The story follows Alexey’s troubles during one cold winter night, trying to get back his lost apartment keys. After a series of intricate puzzles he manages to regain access to his home, only to find out that in the meantime his TV was stolen. This sets the plot for the second and third episodes, which are equally fun compared to the first one.
While the story is rather simplistic, it’s quite enjoyable and together with a fitting soundtrack it does manage to convey the atmosphere under the communist regime. You’ll get to talk a bit with your neighbors, and unravel parts of their background story. There aren’t many conversations though and the dialogues are linear (no options to pick from) but talking to these NPCs adds a peculiar charm to the game. Sadly, there are no voice-overs.
All episodes spread the puzzles over 2-3 scenes each, but keep the back and forth between them to a minimum. The puzzles are moderately difficult to figure out (for those in need of a bit of help, there is a text walkthrough (Steam version here) available and a few other video walkthroughs online, recorded from previous versions of the game), with some of them bordering on being somewhat unintuitive (although that’s perfectly normal for a point & click game) while others are surprising or have a fun and witty element. Like in pretty much any other point & click game, the objects you can interact with are highlighted when mouse hovering them, which also produces a small text prompt. Some of them are essential to the gameplay, while others are present for immersion purposes only. The character animation could seem slow to some, but it is perfectly in tune with the relaxed atmosphere given by the leisurely falling snow together with the chill soundtrack.
Overall Alexey’s Winter: Night adventure can easily prove to be a fun way to spend a couple of hours or so gaming, for the peculiar plot and atmosphere, for the funny item interactions and for the beautiful hand drawn art. By using a guide, it takes around 90 mins to go through the game, otherwise it’s 2-3h depending on your skill of figuring things out.