One of the perks of being an editor/writer for a gaming publication is you sometimes come across little gems that otherwise would have eluded your radar entirely. These little gems are not AAA titles backed by a huge company, nor are they indie titles promoted by a larger publisher. They are simply fun games, developed and published by a small company, that don’t get the exposure they deserve. The Darkside Detective, a point and click adventure game with a quirky, sometimes retro sense of humor is one of those little gems.
You take on the role of Detective Francis McQueen, the head of Twin Lakes City’s Darkside Division, he, along with his cowardly and clueless partner/sidekick Officer Dooley, investigate 7 weird and creepy cases. Each case is a story of its own and keeps you on the edge of your seat, making it very hard to stop playing before the case is finished. The cases vary in difficulty but are all fun, challenging, and engaging. I didn’t find any of them too difficult to manage, but I did feel the first case was way too easy, and a couple of cases I found to be too short.
Done in a pixel art style, the gameplay is your usual point and click fare. You search the scene, find tools you can use, combine tools you find to make new tools, question the characters, solve the puzzle, and then move to the next scene. Everything you click on has some sort of joke or pun attached, so it’s worth the time it takes to click everything. Some are cringe-worthy, yes, but most will, at the very least make you smile.
For me, the humor was what really made the game really great. Questioning the characters involved in the cases is very entertaining. Even supporting characters have their own personality and quirks. Many of them are hilarious, even the prickly ones. The dialog between the heroes, Detective McQueen and Officer Dooley, is where the humor really shines. The biggest laughs in the game come from the silly, sometimes downright weird, exchanges between them.
The Darkside Detective is not a horror game. Nothing is going to jump out at you, and there’s no gore. However, the soundtrack, composed by Ben Prunty (FTL: Faster Than Light), gives the game a creepy vibe that perfectly fits with the ghosts, ghouls, and dark creatures that you’ll be dealing with.
I really, really loved this game. If you enjoy quirky weird humor, an eerie vibe, and a challenging point and click, you’ll love it too. If you love a game that makes you laugh, this game is for you. If none of those is your thing…well give it a try anyway. You won’t be disappointed.
A PC Review Copy of The Darkside Detective was provided by Spooky Doorway for the Purpose of this Review.
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