As a member of the point and click adventurers guild (that probably actually exists), I’m quite ashamed to say that I hadn’t previously heard of Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure. Then again, I’ve only recently returned to PC gaming, so I forgive myself.
When the PR went out for the game, coming to the Switch, it felt only natural to have another point and click on the pocketable Nintendo as there are already some truly great titles available. But when I looked at the screenshots, thought it would be too good to be true.
I like being wrong in these situations: Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure, from Stuck In Attic, is one of the best-looking adventure games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. So much so that when playing in docked mode, my youngest asked what show I was watching.
Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure Review
It’s unfair to assume that you already know anything about this, I didn’t, so let’s give you the skinny. Our story begins with Don R Ketype – a hard-boiled PI on the look for the Necronomicon. His investigation leads him to a library but just as he gets close to solving the case, is knocked unconscious and taken away by a hooded figure.
The librarian he quizzed before losing consciousness, Buzz Kerwan, in the heat of the moment vows to find out what happened to Don, his instant friend and through this catalytic event finds the book that Don was looking for.
Getting his bearings, he returns to his apartment and starts reading through the book for clues, inadvertently creating a spell that allows his cat to talk. Cue your companion for the adventure as you look to reverse the spell and rescue Don, while switching and back between the two as the latter looks to complete his mission.
Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure has just enough in-jokes and nods to its influences not to be distracting or pretentious, but the right amount for you to be searching every scene not only for clues but for pop culture references.
I Am Buzz, Mighty Pirate
The ‘in thing’ to do with point and clicks these days is to refer to The Secret Of Monkey Island, the Granddaddy to all of these adventures (there’s a signed Ron Gilbert photo in Buzz’s apartment) and to be full to the brim of adventure Easter Eggs. Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town did it, Darkestville Castle and the recent Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Dry Twice, all made reference to LucasArts titles throughout.
This is a good thing as a fan, but it doesn’t distract from the rather excellent story and humour throughout Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure, and it doesn’t ride on the success of these stories. Though the appearance of a voodoo expert early on in the game made me chuckle and I did feel I was back on Mêlée Island.
Making the transition to the Switch has always been good for point and clicks as you can often take advantage of the touchscreen – which is on offer here in handheld mode. The customary ‘highlight everything of interest’ button is also here, make it easier to pick out items in the superb illustrations. It’s easy for them to blend in as each is a work of art.
I may be a maverick here and say that Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure is one, if not the most attractive point and click I’ve ever played – and I’ve played a hell of a lot. Character designs are brilliant; the voice acting is spot on (even if it’s clear that one actor is doing multiple voices as John DiMaggio does). But seriously, the visuals and audio, are divine.
I may have spent even longer with Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure not because of the puzzles, but for admiring the ambience and work that has gone into it. With point and clicks, the spell of escapism can often crack when you get stuck, and while that happened here on occasion, the overall experience was just incredible.
A Lovecraftian Adventure
There were a couple of things I didn’t like, but they were so trivial, it’s really not an issue, but I’ll tell you them anyway. That’s why you’re here. When highlighting points of interest, the overlayed text dominates the screen and ugly. It’s hard to identify items when the text overlaps itself – especially in handheld mode. But the solution is an easy one: don’t use it and explore the screen without this stabiliser.
The other one is more of a comment than a critique. With the dialogue choices, it did feel a little procedural as all the options remain when selecting, so what you said often didn’t have a consequence as there was usually one sentence to progress. On this basis, some of the responses are continuations of a conversation that, in theory, hadn’t happened. On the upside, you get to go through and experience every bit of dialogue – it’s totally worth it due to the writing and voice talents.
Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure isn’t without the typical point and click brick wall of knowing what to do next, but that’s the nature of the genre. Whenever possible, I aim to get a good selection of screenshots from a game but found myself so into the story that a lot of the time, I forgot. That’s not a good sign when you’re reviewing a game as I’m certainly not playing games because I enjoy them, no siree…
Piecing it all together though, Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure is a fantastic adventure with a brilliant story that wouldn’t be out of place in a Broken Sword adventure, humour from Day of the Tentacle, or artwork from something such as… well, a TV show – it’s that amazing. The skinny: I loved Gibbous A Cthulu Adventure.
- One of the best-looking adventures. Ever.
- Brilliant script; self-aware and funny dialogue.
- Works excellent in handheld, notably the touchscreen.
- Puzzles are a little easier than most.
- Overlapping text when highlighting points of interest.