Inspector Waffles Is Just The… Cat I’ve Been Looking For – PC Review

Strap that hip flash full of milk to your side, it's time for a detective adventure in this Inspector Waffles review, out today or already if this is the future.

And here we have the eternal war of cats and dogs, the latter being underrepresented once more as all developers appear to be cat lovers. Check out U27 cat fans. Nevertheless, with the quality that comes from Inspector Waffles, we dog lovers may be on the turn.

Not too long ago, I played the demo during the Steam Game Festival and thoroughly enjoyed my time. So much so, I drank some milk after finishing it to indulge in feline festivities. First impressions count, and the vibe that trickled off the demo has carried through to the whole game, and it’s oozing with charm.

As I’m now in the flow, I’m not going to go back to the preview piece to recall what was said, nor will I recheck it before posting this. That’s too professional. This is one of the many benefits of giving honest opinions as I don’t need to have a good memory for it and go with the feels: Inspector Waffles is marvellous.

Inspector Waffles Review - Workspace
A clean workspace. Source: Screen capture

A quick recap then. Fluffy is dead. The owner of Box Furniture, the much-loved supplier of interior designs in Cat Town, has been murdered, and Waffles, that’s you, has been called upon for their catspertise. Foul play is at hand (poultry joke – no pawsing for feline puns), and without giving any spoilers, the narrative is much more expansive than anticipated.

Being a know-it-all with storytelling, I had my suspicions, so I was delighted to see how elaborate Goloso Games made this narrative. Throughout the game is a jazz score that is ruddy brilliant and sets the tone. Inspector Waffles isn’t a challenging point and click adventure – there are many lifelines on offer, but mixed with the charming dialogue and soundtrack, you want to take your time with this one.

Now you might draw some comparisons with The Darkside Detective, and you’d be pretty accurate. It’s not just the pixel art aesthetic that is similar, but the humour too. Waffles even enlists a beat cop, Spotty, who shares the same ‘intellect’ as Officer Dooley. It’s brilliant as the banter between them is natural, witty, and entertaining. 

Since we’ve connected the dots, and no, Inspector Waffles gameplay isn’t a paranormal one, let’s share the other attribute: the lack of movement. Waffles will enter a scene and remain in one position throughout. You can’t move him, so if you think there’s anything behind him that’s useful, there isn’t. Mise-en-scène, friends. So while you can’t actively move about, it’s still a point and click as you pick various items to use and combine. Inspector Waffles is one of those rare titles where combing the things make sense.

Inspector Waffles Review - Margaret
Margaret knows a deal when she sees one. Source: Screen capture

Yes, it’s a very fair game. At the start, you have the option to choose the standard or enhanced version of the game. The latter will litter (cat joke) keywords or essential information in yellow, so you don’t miss it. It doesn’t impact the story or achievements in the game, nor does it necessarily give any reveals, but you might inevitably forget your train of thought. This simply puts you back on track.

But if you’re really stuck, you can ask your mum. Not your actual mum. She’s too busy playing COD – she’s not an adventurer. No, if you call Waffles’ mum, she’ll give you pretty bold hints on what you do next. Just shy of actually doing the action for you, they’re pretty clear, so it almost guarantees this is an adventure game you’ll actually finish on your own.

As Inspector Waffles is a detective, you’ll be expected to interrogate perps. It’s nothing complicated, and instead, you will see your notepad appear on screen for you to select some questions, refer to clues, and also dip into your inventory to produce evidence or hand over an item in exchange for a favour or two.

No point and click is complete without some self-referential material, and Inspector Waffles is full of them, as well as some wicked puns. Besides some fourth wall mentions about how challenging programming is, there are the customary nods to other games in the genre – notably Howard Lotor from the upcoming title Backbone. More importantly, will Inspector Nado make an appearance?

Inspector Waffles Review - Booze hound
Source: Screen capture

But we can’t just blow smoke up the developer’s backside because we’re intoxicated by this delightful adventure; there are a couple of mildly irritating issues, such as dialogue exchanges. There was one ‘hot dog’ incident where I knew what was required but couldn’t seem to do it. After about 20 minutes or so, I became irritated for the first time and asked for a second opinion. I’m not sure what black magic she performed (her answer was “I clicked through all the dialogue”), but my daughter unlocked the conversation I sought. Was it me? And if so, is that the only thing I didn’t like about the game? Wow.

In the immortal words of Louis Balfour from Jazz Club, Inspector Waffles is Great. Really great. Out today, if you’re a fan of point and clicks, bonded with pixel art with a certain paranormal detective feel without the paranormal(!?!) but loaded with a hip flask of milk, this indie adventure is a must in my eyes and have no hesitation in recommending it.