It’s elementary!

Title: Lamplight City
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Developer: Grundislav Games
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: A point and click adventure that tickles your ambition to be a diligent detective.
Price: $14.99/£11.39
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

I haven’t been one to play point and click adventure games in recent years; I find myself getting bored with them too easily, but after seeing Lamplight City pop up in my mailbox, I felt drawn to the game. Mostly because there is a Sherlock-shaped hole in my heart that hasn’t quite been filled, and Lamplight City called out to me to do just that.

The game takes places in 1844 in the city of New Bretagne, and the plot follows Miles Fordham, a diligent detective and his partner, Bill Leger, as they solve crimes in an alternative Victorian-era timeline. Lamplight City opens with the two riding in a horse-drawn carriage as they are called to investigate a string of break-ins at a flower shop in Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley), a lower class neighbourhood known as “the Chum,” that everyone seems to be trying to get out of.

Upon arriving at the flower shop, you are greeted by the owner, Cecilia Hanbrook, an elderly woman who doesn’t have much faith in the police department due to the crimes that go unpunished. She hadn’t called the police as she didn’t think it was relevant, as the person was paying for the items they were stealing.

Miles discovers the entry point and informs the owner, at which point her assistant, Trevor, enters and he informs us he called the police as he was worried that this may escalate. After interviewing Trevor, The two stake the place out and wait for the burglar upstairs, and lo and behold, he turns up but is scared off when the two confront him, and makes his escape, not before making an impact on the detectives lives. Three months pass and the two continue their search for the burglar who got away.

Visually, the pixel art is absolutely stunning! Each scene and character has an incredible amount of detail and love poured into every frame. The game has two different visuals; first is the exploration scenes where you guide Miles around the vibrant set pieces; even in the most grungy and run-down scenes, the visuals continue to impress. The second is the more detailed headshots of Miles and the person he is interviewing; each character has amazing facial animations with lifelike emotion.

The detail, however, isn’t just limited to the dialogue screens or the beautiful scenery; each animation is beautiful, whether it’s climbing in through windows, getting into a game of fisticuffs with an uncooperative individual, or maybe it’s a dead body falling out of somewhere unexpected… Everything seems fluid and realistic, although it’s a tad concerning what they would have used for reference on that last example.

Over the course of Lamplight City, you are tasking with solving five different cases whilst solving the original mystery of the escaped burglar from the flower shop. Within in each of these cases, you can take your own route to solve them; maybe you want to take the bad cop route and get a little rough around the edges to get the answer you need to solve the problem or you want to be the straight laced cop. Lamplight City has the tagline “a detective game where it’s okay to fail.” So, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to get you through the game.

As for audio, the game is fully voiced, giving each character a flair of personality, from the rich and snooty types to the working class. Lamplight City is dialogue heavy, so having fully voiced scenes made it easy to sit back and watch the story unfold without losing interest, which I generally do when I have to read a lot of dialogue at once. Thankfully, you can save at any point if real life ever gets in the way of your gaming session.

Overall, Lamplight City is an amazing point and click adventure game which is something I never thought I would be saying about this genre. It’s definitely a game you should check out if you have time, and you should have enough of it to fit this in before Red Dead Redemption 2 and Black Ops 4 (you have a month!) so grab this game and try it out.

The Good

  • Incredibly detailed pixel art.
  • Amazing animations in all aspects.
  • Fully voiced dialogue.

The Bad

  • Can be a little dialogue heavy for some people.
  • Not available on console.

Family Focus

Lamplight City is currently not rated by ESRB or PEGI.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.