The Darkside Detective (Review)
After our interview about The Darkside Detective, its developers sent us a review copy so we could see just what this humorous supernatural adventure game was all about. And so, I stepped into the shoes of Francis McQueen, an underpaid and undervalued detective who takes on the weird, supernatural cases that plague the city.
Or, more often than not, he stumbles onto them. The Darkside Detective is split into six different cases, each of which is fairly self-contained, but only the first one has the police intentionally put the Darkside Division on the case. McQueen and his partner, Officer Dooley, are usually just in the right place at the right time – or the wrong place at the wrong time, which is how Dooley usually feels about it.
Gameplay-wise, it’s a fairly straightforward point-and-click adventure game. You control a cursor on the screen which you can use to investigate objects, move to new locations, and talk to other characters. You’ll also gather items that you can use to solve puzzles in the environment, sometimes after combining them. There are also a handful of other puzzles, such as rotating tiles to connect two points, but no matter which type it is, it never feels too obscure or difficult. In fact, the greatest joy in The Darkside Detective’s gameplay comes from investigating everything to see what sorts of wacky dialogue and references you’ll get.
The Darkside Detective’s humor is its strongest point by far. Its cases don’t have the deepest stories, but they make up for that with delightful dialogue. There are so many references in this game that even if you don’t get all of them, you’re bound to find a few that make you smile. Even better is the dialogue between McQueen and Dooley, especially since Dooley barely believes in the supernatural phenomena they fight every day but does subscribe to every conspiracy theory he hears.
Even once I got used to the game’s tone and style of humor, I still encountered unexpected (and sometimes extremely bizarre) comments that made me laugh out loud.
The Darkside Detective’s cases are all fairly short, which is both good and bad. It’s nice to have a bite-sized investigation to handle, especially with the Switch’s portability, but it also makes the overall game rather short. It only took me a few hours to see McQueen and Dooley’s story through to completion, but they were a fun few hours. The developer has said more cases are on the way, and I can’t wait to play them.