Title: The Darkside Detective
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Developer: Spooky Doorway
Publisher: Spooky Doorway
Release date: July 27th
Tl;Dr: A fantastic retro point and click full of self referential humour.
Price: Not revealed as of writing
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

For the last few minutes, I have been poking Detective McQueen in the face; he is begging me to stop, and is complaining about his spleen hurting. At the same time, I am watching the ghost of Terry Pratchett enjoy a good game of chess.  I have recently been playing The Darkside Detective, the soon to be released game by Spooky Doorway, and I have had one Hell of a time (pun intended).

This brilliant supernatural point and click puts players in the nice fitting shoes of Detective Francis McQueen. The sole detective on the underfunded and underappreciated Darkside Division, in the spooky city of Twin Lakes. We follow him on six different cases, as he and his bumbling sidekick, Officer Dooley, investigate ghostly goings on in the city. The story ranges from run ins with an otherworldly train, to a full on Gremlin invasion, and I have to say, it is brilliant.

Naturally on these investigations, McQueen needs to get to the bottom of these goings on; to do this he will need to solve many puzzles and even craft different items to help put a stop to the ghoulies. These puzzles usually are simple affairs; find the key to the door, use the coin on the machine, throw water on the inter-dimensional portal to hell, that kind of thing. But sometimes they can be a little bit too obscure. For example, on one level I was given a key and told to go to the roof; only problem is there wasn’t a door to the roof! It was a good few minutes of blind clicking before I realised that I actually had to use the key on a window to get out.

Difficult puzzles aside, what really shines in this game is the dialogue and also the humour that comes with it. The majority of the interactions in The Darkside Detective are brilliantly written and incredibly funny. One notable stand out for me included watching the ghosts of H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe duke it out over whose books are scarier, and I did crack a wry smile over a game of eye spy with a otherworldly and downright demented granny.

The game is also full of brilliant references from all over the “geeksphere.” There are angelic statues that dare you not to blink, talk of a rag tag group of ghost hunters, and also a certain purple tentacle with bright green suckers. If any of those references ring true to you, I can tell you that this is the game for you! Plus there are a great deal more which I am not revealing yet! (For the record it was Doctor Who, Ghostbusters and The Day of The Tentacle).

The Darkside Detective is a brilliant point and click adventure. Although the game only six has six cases, which to the perfect player can be completed in under half an hour for each level. This short but very sweet game keeps players on their toes. I heavily recommend The Darkside Detective especially because it made me chuckle at the many jokes. references and silliness that this game gives.


ADDENDUM: Since writing this review Spooky Doorway have actually patched out the inventory issue and also have added a button to allow players to skip dialogue!


The Good

  • Retro point and click madness.
  • Brilliant writing.
  • I met the ghost of Terry Pratchett.

The Bad

  • Some puzzles require a ton of trial and error.
  • There is no option to skip a conversation, which can be a problem if you click a character in error.
  • I keep trying to click an item in my inventory but keep switching rooms :(

Family Focus – The Darkside Detective.

As of writing no rating for The Darkside Detective has been revealed. The jokes and theme however is more orientated towards older gamers because of adult references and language.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code of the game provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.