Whats On The Cards For These Pilgrims? A Review, That’s What

A micro point and click adventure without any words, Pilgrims is a beautifully illustrated series of fetch quests with amusing results.

Put that red pen away; there’s no need to sniff out speling mistaiks or badish grammar in Pilgrims – there aren’t any words other than ‘Pilgrims’. Alright, smart ass, you’ll find some alphabet blends in the menus, but there isn’t any dialogue other than grunts and ahhs. 

The opening scene resembles a picture book version of Red Dead Redemption with some cowboys playing a card game, but the poker, hats and five o’clock shadows are the only similarities. An old woman’s playing, too. The horror!

After an uncontrollable defeat, your character is in debt, living out of a tent and hunting for potatoes. I assume they’re potatoes, as there are neither words nor Ren & Stimpy-like extreme close-ups of hairy spuds. The main objective in Pilgrims is to find a bird for a ferryman. Everything else is a bunch of fetch quests.

Pilgrims Game Review - Devil's play thing
Devil’s play thing. Source: Steam

Your pilgrim will navigate the world map bumping into new folk who want tit for tat, and you have to locate said item or work out how to obtain it. Sometimes, it means clicking on a visible object or triggering a desired reaction from sifting through your deck of cards at the foot of the screen. Your inventory is effectively a set of cards.

Pilgrims must have been a mobile game first (I refuse to do any research), as the screen real estate is in portrait form, and the controls are simplistic. A cursor interacts with items in each scene or selects which character to play (also represented by a card) by clicking on it and adorned with their skillset, i.e. persuasion, fishing, obstacle courses, etc. That’s all there is to it, so the difficulty level isn’t remotely challenging.

I may have finished this in about 45 minutes on the Steam Deck, however, the available achievements make this instantly replayable. Each scene will often have multiple approaches, and for each milestone, you’ll earn a new card in the achievements deck. Some of these unlock in one playthrough; other times, it will require multiple playthroughs/restarting a new game.

That’s not the only thing that makes this replayable: the artistic style throughout is brilliant. Amanita Design consistently produces high-quality hand-drawn illustrations for their games (Machinarium and Chuchel), and though pint-sized, Pilgrims looks like an animated kid’s story. There isn’t any dialogue, so expect some garbled sounds to insinuate a few nuances here and there.

For the price (when on sale), Pilgrims is well worth your lunch money. It won’t sacrifice your relationship with your non-gaming associates or make you late for work because you were playing it all night. Give it a go, and if you don’t like it? Tough. You’ll probably like it if you like point and click games; it’ll just take the same time it takes to tidy after a 52-card pickup.