The Darkside Detective

Join The Darkside Detective, Francis McQueen, as he investigates the bizarre, the supernatural, and those missing cat cases that keep getting dropped on his desk.

The Darkside Detective is a point-and-click adventure game featuring detective Francis McQueen, and his sidekick, Officer Dooley. They are Twin Lakes PD’s underfunded Darkside Division, in charge of investigating all the strange things happening in the city. When transdimensional doorways open up, flesh-hungry tentacles rise out of the toilets, or gremlins are on the loose, the Darkside Division is not far away.

The Darkside Detective features 9 cases. The game was originally shipped with 6, and an additional 3 bonus cases have been added later - for free. The bonus cases are unlocked when you’ve solved the first 6 cases. They can also be unlocked if you do a little detective work yourself in the game’s menus. The cases are short and sweet, and each one will only take you an extended lunch break to finish. About 4 hours in, I’ve closed six of the nine cases. That’s pretty good value for money for the asking price of $12.99.

A screenshot from The Darkside Detective showing dialogue with two identical twins on a boat.
The Darkside Detective.

Humor and Puzzles

Like many point-and-click adventure games, The Darkside Detective relies heavy on humor to entertain. Unfortunately, it’s not the game’s strongest side, and while I’ve had a few chuckles, I’ve not had a really good laugh yet. There is some resemblance to writing in the classic Monkey Island writing, though, and that’s a good sign. On the graphics side, you’ll find the pixel art that has become synonymous with indie games. It works well, and it’s never hard to spot important details in each scene.

In the typical point-and-click adventure game, you pick up a lot of different items on your adventuring. Figuring out how to use these items correctly can be a challenging puzzle, but in The Darkside Detective, the ways you combine and use the items is fairly logical - unlike some other games I can think of in the same genre. There’s also an unfamiliar twist, as some of the items can be put back where you found them.

The Darkside Detective also kicks the puzzle aspect of the run-of-the-mill adventure game up a notch by including some actual puzzles. These puzzles, however, aren’t particularly challenging, and will only take you a minute or two to solve. But they are a nice touch, and provides a welcome break from the familiar use-item-with-everything-puzzling.

All in all, The Darkside Detective is an interesting little gem. It won’t take you long to finish, but the good news is that The Darkside Detective: Season 2 is in the works, and scheduled for release in Q1 2020.

Screenshot from The Darkside Detective showing a pipe puzzle game.
A typical Darkside Detective puzzle.


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