The Darkside Detective Switch Review: Spooky Nostalgia

Like many of my purchases on the eShop, The Darkside Detective by Spooky Doorway was a word of mouth purchase. A series of words that leave the mouth holes of YouTubers, nerdy game shop assistants or supermarket warlocks.

Point and click adventure’ was the “had me at hello” moment that sparked my interest. This genre and I have been romantically linked since that first visit to Monkey Island. Is The Darkside Detective any good? Like the game itself, short and sweet – yes.

“Whatever happens in here Detective, don’t cross the streams.”

Officer Dooley
The Darkside Detective - Resembling a hobo
Detective Inspector Hobo, at your service

The Darkside Detective is a fella named Francis McQueen – the typical downtrodden detective assigned the cases no one else wants – missing milk, pencil theft and lukewarm beer. The cases aren’t as mediocre as one may think as he investigates the paranormal.

McQueen is Fox Mulder and he is accompanied by Officer Dooley – a beardless Scully. What Officer Dooley does is beyond me but his policing is better than most cops. Funk the police, funk funk funk, funk the police. Altered lyrics. They’re a bit blue.

“Click me, click me” said an inanimate object

Each level is a case to investigate and typically lasts only a couple of hours depending on your puzzle-solving skills. With point and click adventures emphasis has historically been on the process of elimination.

Often you would have an inventory that bears no relation to one another but duct tape and a fishbowl make an excellent helmet. Thank you Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders. I do have a history of aimlessly wandering around combining toothpaste and a hamster to make a bed or worse: not seeing an object because it had blended into the background. Looking at you Final Fantasy VII Remastered.

The Darkside Detective - Costume shop featuring Guybrush Threepwood
They’re all here, all that’s missing is a rubber chicken with a pulley in it

There aren’t really that many areas to explore in The Darkside Detective and you can’t click where you want McQueen to walk to. Instead, you remain fixed to the spot and use the cursor to view items. Doesn’t sound that exciting but to be honest, the dialogue is great and will be familiar to anyone with LucasArts heritage.

There is even a visual nod to a certain Mr Threepwood in one location. Bringing back games from yesteryear with a pimped up visual style that isn’t just the same game with ‘HD’ on it makes my day. Punk.

The graphics are a bit blocky

Since really getting into the Switch, I have found a new love for pixel art and any game with this style makes me pay attention. It isn’t anything new and I remember playing these same type of games when 8, 16 – even 32bit machines would deem this cutting edge.

Sometimes the graphics are this way due to hardware limitations but other times just to make it look cool. Regardless, I’ve grown to like this style again. Not so much say the remastered Flashback. It’s most likely me, but Flashback Remastered looks like the surfaces are a bit too smooth. Although, that might just be that I see in HD. Anyhoo…

The Darkside Detective - Francis McQueen looking through a viewfinder
Shall I tell him?

It isn’t unreasonable to say this could be completed in one sitting but I’d rather bask in the ambience of pixel art heaven and a point and click environment with witty dialogue. Best of all with this type of game is you seldom die.

Unlike Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, I would prefer to make my mistakes at a leisurely pace without the threat of death. Not the same pace of Violett, however. Investigating the Darkside at my own pace? Any day of the week. Come to the Darkside. I’m not your father, however. Least, I hope not.


The Darkside Detective Switch Review
4

Summary

A great jump back on the nostalgia train to point and click street. The Darkside Detective is a smug nod to all the adventures that proceeded it, yet does an awesome job at being itself and not a fanboy piece. Recommended!