Japanese indie game website Playism launched their English language site last Friday and along with a bunch of titles which can already be found on Steam, Gamersgate and Desura, there are several games which make their debut on the site.
Free-to-play adventure Pock's Friend was released back in 2008 but it's taken until now for me to discover it. It immediately grabbed my attention thanks to its beautiful hand-drawn visuals by artist and programmer Akira Noyama and although it only takes around 30 minutes to complete, it is packed with more than enough charm to melt even the iciest of hearts.
Pock is a lonely lad who lives in the middle of a forest. He has no friends and can't experience emotions as he doesn't have a heart. But while moping around the forest one day, Pock has an Alice in Wonderland moment and finds himself in another world. Here, he meets Tam, a horned demon and the pair tramp off together on a journey in which Pock finds the true meaning of friendship.
Pock's Friend is a point and click adventure, but the format has been stripped back so there's no inventory system. Instead, clicking on objects and the environment moves the adventure forward. Sometimes a click will have a purely cosmetic effect and part of the fun is poking around and seeing what will happen.
There are even a few puzzles thrown in for good measure, including spot the difference teasers and rotating jigsaw conundrums.
The art style is beautiful and reminds me slightly of Lovedelic's off-the-wall PS1 game Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, while the short soundtrack gives the game a lovely atmosphere.
Pock's Friend may be short, but it's a genuinely touching experience and as it's browser-based, the journey is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon coffee break.
You can play the game here