Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs – Review
Follow Genre: Point-and-click game
Developer: Casual Brothers
Publisher: Casual Brothers
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Quirky humor
Bad: Graphics and sound hasn't aged well
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

The 90s are sometimes heralded as the golden age of the point-and-click adventure game. Many classics came out during this time, from the famous Monkey Island to the first Sam & Max as well as Grim Fandango. In 1996, Fenimore Fillmore made his first appearance; a naive but lovable cowboy in the far Wild West who gets caught up in all kinds of mishaps. The first game in the series of two, Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs, has just been re-released on Steam by the Casual Brothers with a significant graphical update. Now it is time to relive this classic story all over again. 

Story 

3 Skulls of the Toltecs doesn’t waste time on character introductions or narration that could possibly explain what is happening. We are immediately treated to an elaborate action-packed cutscene, interposed with the opening credits. The year is 1866, high times for the Cowboys and Indians living in America at that time. A man is being chased by a gang of bandits, but luckily Fenimore Fillmore is around to save the poor peddler. Just so, the bandits manage to escape with their loot: a golden skull. The peddler tells Fillmore that there are three such skulls in the area, and should he collect them all, they will form the key to the hidden treasure of the Toltecs, riches beyond anybody’s imagination. It is up our brave protagonist to find these skulls and the treasure, of course.  

Graphics 

As mentioned above, this new release of the game comes with updated graphics, proudly proclaiming they can be viewed in 4K now. And while that is definitely a nice addition, it doesn’t hide the fact that the overall graphics haven’t aged considerably well. The colors are vibrant and the character designs look like they come straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon. Sadly, the animation itself is a bit more clunky. Especially in the cutscenes this becomes very noticeable, with reused frames everywhere and poor lip-synching. In the game itself this is a bit less annoying, though the walking animation just seems awkward and painful. To some degree, this gives a certain charm to such an old game, but on the other hand, if you are looking for highly detailed graphics that will blow you out of the water, you will be sorely disappointed. 

Sound 

There isn’t a lot of music in 3 skulls of the Toltecs. The soundtrack mostly consists of sound effects, sometimes there are long stretches of near silence too. More significantly though, the game is fully voiced. The voicework fluctuates strongly in quality though. Some of the voice acting is very well done while other characters sound like they are dead on the inside, or the audio is recorded as if they were standing too close or too far away from the mic. Mostly though, the weirdness in the dialogue combined with the lackluster acting makes for an amusing listen which at the very least won’t bore you. 

Gameplay 

Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs is a point-and-click adventure game. Using your mouse, you click on various areas on the screen to make Fillmore waddle on over there. At the bottom of the screen are a bunch of commands. Clicking those before pointing your mouse at something will make you execute the command in question. Using this you can talk to people, pick stuff up or open doors for example. 

Picking things up will relegate them to your inventory, to be combined or used with other objects in turn. Like is typical of these kinds of games, the main mechanic of the game requires you to solve simple puzzles or conundrums of other characters by finding and using the correct objects. Sometimes, you will need to talk to other characters and choose the right dialogue options to get the desired result. Like when you need to pick the right things to say in order to convince a barman to give you an empty bottle. 

You will do a lot of backtracking in this game, as you explore various locations and find what you need to solve puzzles in other areas. Luckily, there is a handy map that gets updated every time you discover a new location and which will allow you to fast travel between those that you have already visited. Clicking twice will also allow you to skip the walking animation and go straight to the next screen when traveling the old school way, from area to area. 

The puzzles in 3 Skulls of the Toltecs are hard, but not impossible. The biggest challenge you will face is the fact that there is no way of knowing which objects are interactable. They don’t stand out from the backgrounds as much as might be desirable in this kind of game, making it hard to know where to click sometimes. You will be left moving your mouse all over the screen seeking out what other things you can possibly interact with. 

Conclusion 

If you are a fan of older games, classic point-and-click adventures and traditional style animation, Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs might be just the thing for you. As it stands though, for the more modern gamer, the sub-par voice-work and graphics might be a bit more disappointing. At least there is enough witty, absurd humor to make playing the game more enjoyable than expected. Either way, this game offers us a solid little adventure that feels a little too rough around the edges. 

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Fenimore Fillmore: 3 Skulls of the Toltecs - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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