Gaming Editor Roshni Patel puts on her deerstalker for a spot of supernatural detective work in Spooky Doorway’s The Darkside Detective
Here at Redbrick Gaming we love a good pun. Sliding them into our headlines, subheadings and articles wherever possible. So I’m sure you could imagine my excitement when I was offered the opportunity to review a game made of puns and steeped in classic TV and film references. Inspired by Twin Peaks and featuring enough jokes and references to warrant its own Wiki page, The Darkside Detective is a point and click adventure, where the spooky and bizzare can be found anywhere from dark alleys to down the paper aisle at Hobbycraft, in pixellated form of course.
Beginning life as a small demo at a game jam, The Darkside Detective, features the titular detective Detective Francis McQueen, the lone detective of the criminally underfunded Darkside Division, where all supernatural hijinks are investigated and scrutinised for infringement of the law. Backed up by his childhood friend and fellow law enforcer, Officer Patrick Dooley, players embark on a series of discrete cases of Darkside deviance and comedic rapport. The Darkside Detective is as much of a comedy as it is an adventure mystery, as each case has a healthy dose of the ludicrous as McQueen zaps gremlins, fixes boats with melted marshmallows and plunges purple tentacles down the public toilets.
As a result, and as I’m sure you can imagine, I was in stitches from start to finish as I clicked my way through the 7 mysteries currently available to play. Finishing the game much faster than I had expected, The Darkside Detective certainly lives up to its ‘micro-adventure’ description, as each case didn’t take me much more than an hour, and at time much less as often times the felt blindingly obvious, allowing me to race through parts of the case, with the odd puzzle that actually confused me a little. While this is great for those who don’t have much time to play, I can’t help but wish for some not-so sneakily hidden references throughout the cases, which could all lead into the yet to be published 8th case.
Regardless, this game is a great point and click, which is now out on both Steam and Switch. A quick to play game, this is a perfect adventure for those who don’t have oodles of time to spare. There’s certainly something deeply satisfying when the case begins to fall in place, as you solve the puzzles to close the case, or when you get that obscure 90’s reference. Complete with a perfectly atmospheric soundtrack by Ben Prunty (FTL), The Darkside Detective is a instant recommend for those who love a good adventure, where humorous storylines are wrapped in small, easily closed cases.