We review The Darkside Detective, a humorous supernatural point-and-click adventure game for Nintendo Switch.
The Darkside Detective: Story
As a life-long point-and-click fan, it’s heartening to see new adventure titles hitting consoles such as the Switch, long after the supposed demise of the genre. A quick look at The Darkside Detective’s graphics might convince you that this is a port of some old 8-bit title. However, like The Last Door before it, this game simply uses a retro-style presentation to tell its story.
Or rather, stories. The adventuring is split into several handy bite-sized chunks, many of which will take under half an hour to complete. That makes The Darkside Detective a great title to pick up and play on the commute, or simply dive into whenever you feel.
Each section tells a different story, following slick dick Francis McQueen as he investigates a series of spooky cases. From devil doors to poltergeists, you’ll encounter all manner of hi-jinks in these mini adventures. Gameplay remains the same in each case. First off, interrogate everyone you come across to find out what’s actually going on. With that done, you can explore the crime scene in question and collect any clues or useful items to resolve the situation.
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The Darkside Detective: Gameplay
This game may not be particularly original, sure, and point-and-click veterans are unlikely to be flummoxed by the majority of the puzzles. That’s an issue which is partly down to the ‘minisode’ nature of the game. With such a limited number of environments to explore in each case, solutions to problems become all the more obvious. And even if you are stuck, a bit of trial-and-error clicking on everything will steer you through in no time.
All the same, I was thoroughly entertained by these paranormal shenanigans, from start to finish. The casual nature of the gameplay is perfectly relaxing and we love the gag-filled dialogue.
Darkside Detective adopts the same tongue-in-cheek style as classic LucasArts adventures such as Monkey Island and Ron Gilbert’s brilliant Thimbleweed Park. The fourth wall isn’t so much broken as smashed into powder. The game could almost be suffering an epileptic fit, with all of these knowing nods and winks. And that’s perfectly fine with us. Most of the gags land and at the very least tease a wry smile, while many deliver a chuckle or two.
Cinephiles will also love the frequent movie references buried away. The first case even packs in a cheeky Mallrats quote. That immediately gains the game a gajillion bonus points in our eyes.
The Darkside Detective: Verdict
Those simple graphics are perfectly suited to the Switch’s dinky screen, while we had no issues with the overall presentation. All that matters is that Darkside Detective is fun to play. That broken-up structure is a good match for Nintendo’s console too, so commuters will be well served.
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