Point and click adventure games is one of the longest lasting genres in video games if not the longest lasting. While the genre didn’t particularly start with point and click, it has definitely found its stride when the mouse was introduced. One of the most recent additions to the genre is the indie game The Darkside Detective.
Darkside Detective takes everything that has been great with point and click adventures and brings it to a dark but humorous light. Utilizing quirky pixel graphics, great story, and a sound track that brings the mood down to a spooky level. The entire time playing the game you can’t help but notice some pretty hysterical dialogue between the protagonist and his partner.
Darkside Detective also brings the buddy cop movie genre to the stage with the interactions between your character Detective McQueen and his dimwitted partner Officer Dooley. If you thought the buddy cop vibe was the only connection to film you would be wrong. This game is filled to the brim with witty and well-placed movie easter eggs. Everything from the obvious Ghostbusters, or It reference, to a subtle Jurassic Park and Star Wars, call back. Add on top of that just the natural comedy that this game brings to the table and you are in for a great time. But how does it play as a point and click game?
A common concept to many point and click adventure games is not particularly the length of the game more over the difficulty that the games present the player. In creating a medium sized game with the sole intention of collecting and combining items to solve puzzles it should allow the player to get just the right amount of game time off of it. In this particular game, a lot of Point and Click veterans will have a bit of a better time when it comes to completing this game. The puzzles are not particularly challenging due to the fact that the game gives you some pretty standard situations that require some logical combinations. Games like Monkey Island and Deponia are incredibly difficult games to play due to having some questionable and incredibly difficult puzzle moments. Darkside Detective is a great game as it is easily accessible by new players to the genre.
Look at that mug!
Without giving too much away, and just in case Spoiler Alert, the main story of the game is split up into 6 separate cases and it is your job to play each and every single one of them. You play as a detective that is placed within the cities “Darkside Department” where he solves crimes of a mysterious and otherworldly nature. Followed by his trusty partner Officer Dooley, Detective McQueen unravels bizarre and comedic mysteries. Fantastic writing keeps this game going ranging from the actual writing of the characters down to the game play mechanics and how each item interacts with the next.
Delving into the minds of the creators of the game, there is a definite stylized approach to the game’s graphics. Using a pixel look in place of a more hand drawn style, the game pulls its inspiration from some of the Point and Click giants. Everything in the game looks like it belongs as it fits the motif of the specific screen. Everything stands out enough to know where to look and what to interact with but not enough to be desperate to be found.
The sound design for the game is also done incredibly well with the goal of creating the spooky environment through sound was easily achieved. Various sound effects come together in each case to create a vibrant experience with each interaction. The music also is incredibly well done as it contains the tone and personality within a cool and calm soundtrack. Everything combined together creates a gripping audio experience for players.
One of the downsides to this game is the length of the game. Now, in this particular situation, I am not entirely put off by the time it took me to beat the game. It was roughly 2 hours of playing the game to complete the entire story. In my case, I have been playing point and click adventure games ever since first getting my hands on Space Quest and Kings Quest. As those previous games were fairly unforgiving, it was easy to step into this game and be able to understand the concept and put the pieces together. Even with the occasional lost object, I was able to bring together the items to make reasonable outcomes.
The Darkside Detective is on sale until August 4th for $9.99. Its retail amount is $12.99. A great addition to an already great genre. Bringing together some pretty great writing and great design choices to create a memorable game.