It seems like just recently I was reviewing a classic point-and-click adventure on the Nintendo Switch, oh yes it was exactly almost a month ago. The game was Edna & Harvey: The Breakout Anniversary Edition. And now, lo and behold, another classic adventure game comes across my desk for the same gaming console platform. This time it’s Epic Llama‘s, Darkestville Castle. It’s a game that has seen release on six gaming platforms, including mobile. The question is, is the game a bright spot in adventure gaming or is it truly the “darkest” of the black sheep? Welcome to our Nintendo Switch review of Darkestville Castle!
Big Shoes To Fill
The developers’ web pages have made no qualms about letting us know that Darkestville Castle draws its inspiration from great adventure games like Lucasarts’ Monkey Island series, and it shows!
You’ll play this point-and-click adventure as the sarcastic demon Cid. Cid made it his day job to torment the people of Darkestville. Then one day his arch-nemesis Dan Teapot hires a group of professional demon hunters to banish Cid. Ironically, Cid seems to have a loose relationship with the people of Darkestville, almost like he’s more of a Casper The Ghost versus evil demon. And so the game plays out from there in true 90’s classic point-and-click adventure style as Cid and the demon hunters go at in an all-ages playful way.
Control Your Destiny
You’ll interact with the game environment either by using the joy-con sticks to move a cursor around or use the touch controls. I favored the touch controls. When you touch an object you can interact with a graphical menu, depicted by comical skulls, that pops up which allows you access to general actions. These actions include, e.g., pick-up, talk to, look at, etc.
There’ll be cases where you might remember what you disliked about 90’s adventure games. Keeping true to form, you’ll need to collect objects, via hotspots, and use them from your inventory to interact with something else on the screen. In some cases, a hotspot object just yields some funny, sarcastic Cid humor. In the old days hunting for objects to use could get frustrating. One welcome feature in Darkestville Castle is the ability to hit the up button to show all the object hotspots on screen for the duration of the button press.
There are also cases where you’ll need to manage dialogue choices. In a lot of cases, there are quite a few choices, sometimes you’ll make a choice because it appears to be funny just to see what the response is.
The puzzles, while not extremely difficult, can sometimes be a bit obtuse or illogical. Given the high number of hotspots in each area, many of them being irrelevant, you’ll find yourself getting into a bit of tedium just to advance.
Cid A Go-Go
The game plays extremely well in undocked mode. None of the text was hard to read, from a size perspective, and the touch controls are a welcome addition. It was fairly easy to move between touch controls and joy-con controls as the game senses which you’re using. There were some cases where colored dialogue would wash out a bit on similar palettes on the background. More an annoyance than a hindrance.
Bottom line, Darkestville Castle, pays great homage to the Monkey Island series. Not only in its gameplay but also in its story, humor, and voice acting. You can tell that Epic Llama developers have some experience in this area. If you’re a fan of 90’s classic adventures and need one for on the go playing then look no further than Darkestville Castle!
Compare To: Monkey Island Game Series, Day Of The Tentacle
Note: A Nintendo eShop key was provided to Gamespace for review by PR.