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Darkestville Castle Review
Review

Darkestville Castle Review

Here it is, my Darkestville Castle review, a title I’ve been eager to play, restoring the Golden Age of point and clicks with enjoyable storytelling and witty, self-referential dialogue.

Sure, I actively seek out point and click adventures as they’re one of my favourite genres. That doesn’t guarantee it top marks just for the sake of it. Sol 75 was one such game that didn’t quite hit the mark (but naturally, I enjoyed).

Darkestville Castle has been at the top of the pile since the demo was released on consoles and, spoiler alert: it was worth the brief wait. It hits on practically every note I want to hear in such a title. 

Darkestville Castle Review

You can read the news piece and the preview write-up, but I’ll save you the hassle. Taking control of Cid (like Madonna, that’s his only name), not much happens after than procrastinating in your castle, devising the next evil plot to wreak havoc on Darkestville’s inhabitants.

Then, your incompetent arch-nemesis, Dan Teapot, shows up to barricade you in your home. Fortunately, you’re able to foil his make-do trap, but the bigger picture is it’s a decoy for en-route demon hunters, The Romero Brothers.

Consisting of the tank Walrus, DPS extraordinaire Mongoose and healer Foxy, a case of mistaken identity occurs and Cid is lured into a rescue mission that somehow results in opening Pandora’s Box. Cid, the only demon in the village, soon finds he’s no longer the minority and sets out to correct his mistakes and be… the good guy?

Darkestville Castle - Teapot
He’s a little teapot… Source: Screen capture

Consisting of the tank Walrus, DPS extraordinaire Mongoose and healer Foxy, a case of mistaken identity occurs and Cid is lured into a rescue mission that somehow results in opening Pandora’s Box. Cid, the only demon in the village, soon finds he’s no longer the minority and sets out to correct his mistakes and be… the good guy?

Darkestville Castle has the visuals of Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, the humour of The Secret of Monkey Island, and the dialogue of Day of the Tentacle and quite frankly, and LucasArts game with a funny bone.

I find it hard not to get so excited about this game in that it ticks every box when it comes to a point and click adventure: an enjoyable three-part story, oddball characters, excellent mise-en-scene (I’m showing off), and fantastic dialogue. 

Everything about the game exudes quality adventuring, but the dialogue was spot-on, and delivered perfectly by voice actor Stefananos Rex, who happens to do another 19 voices.

I’m Cid, Mighty Pirate

Stripped down, the story is a relatively simple one, but this straightforward narrative means that it’s easy to follow on; notably, the enjoyment factor goes up to eleven. There’s never a moment of not knowing what to do, but that doesn’t mean that the puzzles are stealing candy off your baby (it’s even easier when it’s your own kid).

Illogical puzzles go with the territory, and while the goal is clear, some of the methods to get the items you require are a bit… bent. That’s not a bad thing. While I thought Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town was ruddy marvellous, it was very easy, thus a brief, punk-like playthrough.

Darkestville Castle - Turtle
Cowabunga! Source: Screen capture

Some item combinations didn’t make sense, which I happened to find by happy accident like taking a body part from some form of taxidermy and then mixing it with food. Finding who to give it to was the next step for bamboozlement.

But it was never a chore, frustrating or one of those moments of calling the Sierra hotline – in this case, Epic Llama and Buka Entertainment. I hasten to add, that aside from the frequent adventure gaming references us lot ‘get’, there was a subtle reference to the developers in-game that made me chuckle.

You’ll never beat playing a point and click adventure title with a mouse, but the cursor works fine and bringing up the inventory, or highlighting points of interest with the d-pad is a doddle. It amused me to see that a trophy titled ‘Wimp’ was awarded the moment I tapped the d-pad. In error, of course.

I Will Not Use This Sausage There

The controls are all very serviceable for this type of title, but I will conjure my doom cloud and mention that I had to restart the game twice as the cursor became locked in the bottom left of the screen. 

If I switched to the menu, the controls worked perfectly, the same for the PS4 screen, but for some reason, it didn’t work the first time I started the game, then the second was when I left it idle to make a brew. Yes, the controller was switched on. It was bizarre really as the game didn’t freeze, just the cursor.

Also, while I’m having a moan, a real petty one was the inventory chest remaining on-screen throughout. It genuinely is no deal at all, but considering the gorgeous backdrops throughout, I wanted every ounce of real estate possible. 

But that’s it: no further complaints, Your Honour.

There aren’t any checkpoints in the game – it’s not needed for the genre so you can save up at any time with multiple saves too if you’re going for the Platinum. 

Darkestville Castle - Spider
Sensitive. Source: Screen capture

My motivation was to savour the game for as long as possible, so this took me about three attempts in relatively short bursts. Mirroring that, the story is split into three acts, or chapters, with a couple of interludes along the way. The tech support scene was spot-on, frustrating as in real life, but hilarious nevertheless.

If This Is The Underworld, Give Me Hades Number

Who is Darkestville Castle for? It’s not exclusively for point and click fans. If you have a sense of humour, you’ll love it. The dialogue is second to none and one of the funniest scripts in an adventure game that when I was occasionally reading the subtitles before Cid finished speaking (blasphemy!) I’d laugh aloud. That’s how I roll – I’m a free spirit, man.

There’s undoubtedly a high level of LucasArts influence throughout the game – notably Secret of Monkey Island, more so for the infectious score throughout and also the title cards between acts.

Overall, Darkestville Castle was worth the wait. I’ve played it on both the PS4 and Switch and highly recommend it. 

As wreckless a quote it is, I’d even go to say that Darkestville Castle is now one of my favourite point and click adventures. I love Cid so much that, without a doubt, would submit to consumer whoreism (not a real word) and buy up merch. What I’d give for a Cid bust resting on my evil desk winking at me while I type. Evilly. 

Hell, let’s go to town on this: Cid is as cool as Manny Calavera – quite possibly my favourite point and click character, along with Larry Laffer, Sam and Max, Guybrush Threepwood, Roger Wilco… 

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