Darkestville Castle Review
Throw some eggs on houses…check.
Available on: Steam
Genre: Point & Click Adventure
Publisher: Buka Entertainment
How about everyday the only thing you have to do is play a few pranks here and there at the town you reside at? Even better, with little repercussion other than one person trying to lock you in your house. Trying to figure out new pranks once you get tired of the ones you did and perhaps increasing in intensity over time. Would be a dream, especially for those who do regularly prank others.
We play as the short-of bad guy who lives at Darkestville, a demon named Cid. Cid has been at Darkestville since he fell as a falling star as a baby. Not wasting any time to torment the residents at any chance since then. At some point, whether Cid was able to build a castle, took the castle for himself, or the residents just gave it to him so he would not be in anyone’s hair all the time, Cid got possession of a castle that serves as his home. Luckily, away from the town just in case a prank in the making goes haywire while in the planning process.
As you can probably tell, Cid is more like an annoying prankster than a villain. As you talk to other residents, this goes a little more into this as since a lot of people seem to forgive him. Some due to knowing him since he was a child to just not caring as long as Cid pays his debts or goods. With the other major pranks that can cause harm it plays out two ways: the residents get word about it (Cid accidently slipping it out while talking or spread by someone seeing him do it), it goes horribly wrong in Cid’s face, actually benefits Darkestville, or never got off the planning stage.
The day we looked into Cid’s life is the day that someone actually tries to get Cid out. A Dan Teapot decided to phone in demon hunters to rid Darkestville of their one demon. Though Dan seems to not have planned everything out as Cid does manage to evade the demon hunters…only to have his fish, Domingo, to be mistaken as one instead. And, well, perhaps the demon hunters are as well. Not taking any information on how the demon looks like, only what the sender looks like, and not having some way to know if one is a demon. Perhaps the other demons were more aggressive and did not expect Cid to be complacent.
Based on the information we are given, and how Cid acts, I would hope that I was not the only one that thought Cid’s heart was not all into wreaking havoc. I did crave some serious moments, or semi-serious moments, that delved more into how Cid is like and if he felt bad about pranking sometimes. We do get this towards the middle of the game where his motive changes, but I do wish it was more. The ending does suggest that Cid might of went back to his regular pranking schedule, but perhaps not as Cid is not like any demon. There were also some characters that I do wish got some development on, especially one particular one that I wonder happened to him.
I do like how this did not develop as an episodic point and click game, only going as far as making fun of them while instilling fear in the player. Nobody likes waiting on the rest of the story after a huge development in the story even if we know it would be episodic. Or fearing that there never will be another episode due to the lack of sales, like I have seen with some games that I loved and wanted to see conclude. Of course, talking about this will lessen the hold it will have, but it was just too well done just to not talk about it. I do also like the inclusion of prelude chapters for puzzles that will only take place in one area.
The puzzles are decent. The only hard ones you will get stuck on are the ones you have to try an item on everything or having to combine two items that you would not suspect to. Other than that, you will get the idea of what you need by talking to people or looking at the environment. A lot of the conversations you will have will more or less pertain to a puzzle, even if you find out about it before or not, which can cause some confusion. There is a point where you have to get nails and and a hammer to repair a bridge, but you won’t know that unless you go there first. So if you go to where you will be able to get the hammer and talk to the person first, asking for their hammer is weird. And luckily, the items you can pick up are very obvious, with one or two things thin enough to escape your view.
The graphics has a nice hand drawn, cartoon feel that might of existed years ago. I quite liked all of the backgrounds and how Darkestville was laid out, often able to see where an exit will lead to if you were not sent to the overview map. For items you can interact with, they are obvious, and even then you are able to hit a button so you can see what can be interacted with. Being able to grab, look, or talk to anything or anyone. I also loved the painted glass art and the art on the chapter cards. With the character designs, some of them don’t exactly look like they fit in this universe. Some humans will look drastically different from other humans you interacted with.
The audio is well done. There were no different sound quality between any of the characters and all of them kept up whatever sound altering that it went through without jeopardizing much. It is really surprising that a lot of the voices were done by one person, you can certainly tell for one or two but for the others not exactly. If you keep the subtitles on, you will see little to no typos. If there were more than what I have seen they might be more covert, but the one I picked up was when a character said “which” but the subtitles had “witch”. On this note, the soundtrack does top off the areas and keeps the atmosphere of just another light-hearted game throughout.
+ Interesting story
+ Some puzzles are well done
+ Nice graphics
+ Sound quality
+/- Humor is subjective, so jokes might not hit with you
– Some puzzles can have you trying an item on everything
Darkestville Castle is interesting as you play a prankster that Darkestville more or less tolerates. If you love point and click games, you would no doubt love this game. If it wasn’t the visuals that got you interested, it would be the light-hearted tone that is throughout and is very pronounced in their trailers. So if you are looking for more serious themes or moments, this might not satisfy you. Either way, this game was fun and will keep you wanting more till you get to the ending. Perhaps the chapter cards serve as a little guilty pleasure as “just one more” can take place.