The Darkside Detective is a charming, retro stylized take on the classic point and click adventure game by the Spooky Doorway team, and it is now on the Nintendo Switch. When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, Detective Francis McQueen teams up with officer Dooley, forming the Darkside Division to solve unusual and quirky cases in the city of Twin Lakes.
The game is chock-full of pop culture references and allusions as Police Chief Scully gives you cases to go investigate haunted libraries and missing persons reports. Ghostbusters, X Files, and Doctor Who are just a few of the many references I’ve seen. I even caught a line from Wayne’s World in there!
About the game
The Darkside Detective released on Steam in July of 2017, but just came to the Nintendo Switch on February 7th 2018. Writer Dave McCabe says, with an excellent tribute to the humor of the game, “We’re really excited to combine The Darkside Detective’s episodic playstyle with the Switch’s portability; we’re looking forward to people experiencing the game on buses, in boring meetings and while hovering over spooky toilets.” Spooky toilets indeed.
The Switch is a perfect place for games like this since it’s so easy to pick up a case on a break or in the bathroom. There also isn’t any high-intensity gameplay, so if you have to put it away really quickly it won’t be a problem. The game allows you to utilize the console’s touchscreen too, although your hands might get in the way of things you need to see. I mostly use the analog sticks. My kids have even enjoyed the game as I read them a case out loud while the Switch was docked.
During the game, you get through cases by going from room to room looking for items and evidence that can be used on their own or combined to pass through or unlock new rooms and areas. It feels good to find a missing key and figure out how to get it where you need it, clicking back where you need to go as fast as you can with excitement. Usually, there will be a puzzle or two along the way. You may have to connect some wires in the proper way, or hack a corrupted disc to eradicate a computer virus. They even give a tip of the hat to Day of the Tentacle as a predecessor of its game type which also hit me right in the nostalgic bone.
Overall, The Darkside Detective is a delightfully comedic story that has me excited to solve each quirky case. It works very well on the Nintendo Switch, and at $12.99 on the eshop it is an affordable indie game to add to your collection. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more news from Spooky Doorway.
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