Following on from the news piece, here’s my opinion on the Darkestville Castle demo via the Nintendo Switch.
Ah, the nature of the demo; over so quick. Getting myself comfortable to play around with Cid and determine what the game is about before I could reach to scratch my left cheek, it was all over.
While there’s that talk of it being like the great point and click adventure games of yesteryear, it’s actually the more recent The Wardrobe that I found the game most like.
The visuals were excellent throughout, Cid being a loveable anti-hero with a – gasp! – decent voice actor! I’ll admit I was expecting some cliches and movie trailer narration, but it never happened.
Yesterday’s brief news piece had no clue what the game was about, and even now, I’m not entirely sure as just as the act was finished, a title card came up to remind me of the full game that’s coming soon.
In summary, Cid is a demonic character that sits in his castle, planning numerous schemes like the Grinch, only every day is Christmas. You explore his bedroom, listening to his amusing anecdotes until you find Dan Teapot at your door, threatening to put an end to your villainy.
So, the task soon shifts to finding a way to fix the trapdoor he just so happens to be standing on. Once you’ve done this, the motivation for the story begins as the Romeo Brothers show up to rid the land of Cid, only they don’t know what he looks like and took captured someone/thing else.
This sets the wheels in motion as Cid seeks revenge, and judging by the numerous plans scattered in his abode; they’ll no doubt be wicked through and through.
The version I played was the Switch, and through the brief experience, it was through the handheld mode. A cursor shows up on screen to select items, and it has the modern approach of showing you everything that you can interact with by pressing a button.
Locations are a reasonable size, and as you move around, the perspective zooms in and out accordingly, and you’ll need to move the cursor accordingly. It was then that I found the touchscreen element and it works perfectly for handheld mode, and I finished the rest of the game this way.
There’s the typical verb wheel present and a dialogue tree to choose from; only the conversation is limited to Monsieur Teapot. Everything about the Darkestville Castle demo exudes the greats, and I’m totally sold on the story, the overall feel of the game, but mostly, Cid.
His voice reminded me very slightly of Bill Heder. The enunciation was perfect and didn’t feel like he was reading a script or phoning it in, unlike some other titles I’ve played.
And though it was a demo, the brief example of a score was excellent – a bit like the voodoo shop music in The Secret of Monkey Island. So yeah, the presentation is brilliant and really looking forward to playing the game as soon as possible.
Other than The Wardrobe, another comparison in terms of art style would be a little like one of my favourite protagonists, Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don’t Dry. The humour is on par too with an early chuckle when referring to oil as lube.
This is the kind of schoolboy humour I aspire too!
The Darkestville Castle demo is out right now on the Switch, PS4 and Xbox One, out on the 13th of August, but Steam users can get it now.