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The Darkside Detective – Review

The Darkside Detective is a point and click that knows it.

Developer: Spooky Doorway
Publisher: Spooky Doorway
Release Date: July 27th, 2017
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Platform Reviewed on: PC, key was provided for a review.

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In The Darkside Detective you follow Francis McQueen, a detective for Twin Lakes, all being cases for the “Darksider files”. Now if you have seen any niche 90s TV shows, you would get all these references. The writing, as someone who’s seen all of the shows it references, its great. Now I cannot be certain if you’d understand the jokes if you’re not familiar with that sort of TV series. However,  the humor in general is very “joking with co-workers in the office”, with the odd breaking the fourth wall remark.

The game takes itself very lightly, and at no point where it gets too deep or dark. I do not want to spoil many jokes, but I think this early out of the way joke speaks for itself. They’re talking about how there are only “two chairs in this house”.

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This game genuinely had me laughing and shaking my head (in the best way) at its jokes. They got really heavy handed with the references, and it feels like the game needs them for the narrative to progress. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, we all have to work from something. I wanted the game to break free a little more because they have promise with their jokes. It either feels like they felt it’d take itself too seriously by setting up its own plot, which is a shame.

Now this is a point and click game, and this game doesn’t try to improve on that. Playing the game, there were times I got stuck for a while, the game doesn’t give you many hints, and feels like it has a case reset for that reason. There were some puzzles that felt like I was just clicking on the backgrounds without much purpose to see what was the solve whatever the situation seemed to be, and sometimes just guessing what it wants me to do. This I feel is a deep rooted issue with the genre, but can be helped in ways. This game didn’t really fix the issue but the  mini-game style puzzles did help break this up slightly.

This game is also lacking in some options, there are no resolution options, or even just a fullscreen toggle on the options. While there are some jokes that are just making fun of cops and people all about “graphics” in games, they pass up valuable slots to have those jokes.

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My final complaint that it just does not feel as if there’s enough of the game. Even with struggling with some gameplay issues, it only took me five hours to fully finish the game. The final scenario, while a lot going on, and it feels more high stake, it just feels like the ending is very abrupt.

The Darkside Detective knows what it’s trying to be, but I just wished that it had another 10%. I do feel like this game is worth up picking up despite the short play time, purely based on the great writing. I’d love to see what the developers do in the future because they have promise.

 

Pros:

  • Great writing
  • Good artstyle with interesting pixel art lighting
  • Nice comedy if you understand the references

Cons:

  • Depends too much on references
  • Point and click genre based issues without improving on them
  • Little to no game options
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2 Comments »

  1. This game reminds me of one of my very first reviews – for The Blackwell Legacy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It also looks like it has a real Monkey Island vibe going on, which sounds fun. I’ll have to check this out. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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