Darkestville Castle Switch Review

Well, I'll Be A Guybrush Threepwood's Uncle!
User Rating: 8.5
Darkestville Castle Banner

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
Darkestville Castle Dan Teapot

Classic adventure game debauchery.

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
Darkestville Castle Show All Hotspots

Up button displays all the current hotspots.

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.

Darkestville Castle Dialogue Choices

Wow that’s a lot of choices

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
Darkestville Castle Dan The Man

Dan is in my clutches at last!

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.

Summary
Darkestville Castle does the adventure point-and-click genre justice. It keeps true to the object hunt playstyle and the "use this object on that object" puzzle-solving design. The game is nicely voice acted and contains plenty of humour in an all-ages environment. The colourful graphics and humour are pleasing and give off a Tim Burton-esque vibe that is fun and rewarding to play.
Good
  • Humorous dialog and story
  • Whimsical, colorful art style
  • Inspired by great 90's classic adventure games
  • Touch screen controls
  • Plays well in undocked mode
  • Strong voice acting
Bad
  • Can be tedious finding the correct next thing to click on
  • Some of the colorful dialogue text can get lost on the colorful backdrops
8.5
Great
Written by
Scott is a comic book, music and gaming nerd since the late 70s. Gaming all began on the Colecovision and Atari 2600. He buys and reads new comics every Wednesday from his LCBS and helps run an online Heavy Metal radio station.

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