I'm not a big point & click gamer, I'm mostly an action adventure guy, so I'm probably not in the heart of the target audience for such a game.
But since it got so many great reviews, I wanted to at least see how it played.
Artistically the game appears to be impressive, it's true.
But there were a few things in terms of ergonomy that really stuck out.
First I was not a fan of using a single interaction icon for each hotspot.
In the few adventure games I played, there can be two interaction icons at the same time on the cursor, so you know before clicking on the hotspot if you can use the item or just look.
This helps you assess and rank the importance of each item while looking at a room.
In TBOUT, the action cursor will only appear after you have first looked at the object and listened to the description.
So you have to click on every item to see if it's an inventory item or not. This turned each screen into a methodical slog that did not feel like organic exploration.
Also, the hotspot for an object will deactivate after you have exhausted all interaction and description possibilities for this object.
But sometimes, despite the fact that you have exhausted all description lines, the hotspot remains active. So you have to reclick once to differentiate between an object that still has one more description line you have not heard, or an item where you have indeed heard all description lines, yet remains active as a hotpot because it will be used later.
Second thing that I wondered, isn't there a way to have the characters run?
They walk slowly, and with so many hotpots in the room, having them walk from hotspot to hotspot is really annoying.
Also some rooms have a camera that pans from side to side to cover all the room, so you have to actually move the character physically to pan the camera across the room. Since they move so slowly it's an issue.
I know not all adventure games have characters that run. And it would surely be too complicated to add that to your game post release.
However even when the characters don't run, there are games that have a "Skip Animation" key that allows to teleport the character directly to his destination without having to wait through the entire walk. That would be most useful in your game.
Another thing that I found a bit problematic is that the characters will move towards an object for almost every description, even if the description they give is very general and does not warrant getting closer to the object. That dragged the game's pace down a bit.
Wouldn't it be workable to add a "Skip Animation" feature, for example TAB or Mouse Wheel, to the game through an update?
I think it would help the pacing greatly. I know that the game allows you to teleport directly when you click on a "next screen" hotspot, but being able to do the same for walks within the same screen would be better.
So, obviously I've not really played the game, and it might seem harsh to point out these aspects based on a handful of minutes of demo time. I'm sure the game has many other qualities artistically.
For veteran point & clickers, who are used to slower paced games, they might be able to see through the game's controls.
But for me as someone who is not typically a point & clicker, it was very noticeable.
Thanks for your attention.