The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark | Nintendo Switch Review
The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark was developed by Spooky Doorway and published by Akupara Games, and is available now on Windows PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review, I was playing the Nintendo Switch version. This is a sequel to the 2017 game The Darkside Detective, and it is an ongoing series of point-and-click adventure games with retro style visuals and some pretty goofy humour thrown in for good measure.
The game is based around the lives of Detective McQueen and his partner Dooley who investigate paranormal and supernatural incidents centred around The Darkside which is some kind of alternate universe in the town of Twin Lakes.
There are a total of 6 case files for the player to solve. You will accomplish this by talking to various different characters throughout the game, solving puzzles and piecing together clues that you find around each level. Some of the puzzles and clues you have to put together are so ridiculously frustrating that it took me a long time of running around and scratching my head to get to the bottom of them, and it really sucked the enjoyment out of the game for me. You really need to click on every single thing in the environment and talk to every single person numerous times to be able to figure these cases out. A lot of the solutions have no normal logic to them whatsoever, so you really need to think outside the box and try to combine every item in your inventory with every other item in your inventory.
There is no voice acting in A Fumble In The Dark, with all dialogue shown inside text boxes which appear on-screen. Some of the dialect is a bit silly and cheesy, but it kind of adds to the comedy value. The lack of voice acting is no bad thing, though, due to the retro pixel art style of the graphics. I just don’t think voice acting would fit in with the look and feel of the game. The musical soundtrack is an eerie 8 bit kind of music, which fits perfectly with the style of the graphics. Audibly and visually this gets a massive thumbs up with the music being wonderfully matched to suit the atmosphere or the scenes in game.
I encountered quite a few performance issues on the Nintendo Switch version. A Fumble In The Dark really didn’t run too well with some skipping frames and delayed button presses. I am finding this all too often recently on a number of Nintendo Switch ports, and it’s quickly becoming a massive bugbear of mine.
I clocked up around 8 hours before I completed all the cases, so there is a good amount of content here. Although by the time I got to the end, I was more than done with this game. I found the puzzles to be too difficult to solve, but not because they were actually difficult, but because the solutions were so illogical and bizarre that it was just so incredibly frustrating trying to piece everything together.
So overall then, I found The Darkside Detective: A Fumble In The Dark very frustrating at times, but there was a good amount of humour in there which lightens the mood and also the game is visually really nice to experience. I would say it is definitely worth a try if you are into point and click detective games, however, prepare yourself from some frustrations along the way.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
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Many thanks to Akupara Games for the Review Key.