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Demon Pit launches for PS4 on December 17, Xbox One on December 24, and Switch on December 25

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Detective Gallo

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 28 - 2018

A chicken detective and a case of herbicide.

The point and click adventure genre is probably the least evolved of all video game genres. Sure, the visuals have improved over the years, as has the sound. But for the most part, the gameplay has remained the same for decades. But when a game wants to tell a story, and throw in some puzzles that mostly happen in the players head, why should it change? What worked then will work now, and that is exactly what you get with Footprints Games’ Detective Gallo. Anyone who has played a point and click adventure in the past will know exactly what to expect when they start playing Detective Gallo.

dg1 (Copy)

What they may not be expecting is a cast mostly made up of anthropomorphic chickens, headed up by the hero of the piece, the wise-cracking, cynical noir-style Detective Gallo himself, a rooster with a set of self-imposed, often nonsense rules which guide his life. I have been cast into the dusty shoes of many detectives in various point and click adventure games in the past, but Gallo is probably the most stereo-typical. He is blunt, abrasive and often insulting, which makes him a great character to play and the sort of detective you want working on a case of murder.

Well, I say murder, but when the victims are plants, maybe a different word is needed. What starts as a regular, jazz-infused night for Detective Gallo takes a turn the distraught Phil Cloro turns up and begs Gallo to take on the case of his destroyed prize plants. It’s heart-breaking, but never one to turn down a case, at least when a hefty fee is involved, Gallo rises to the challenge and starts searching for clues.

Set entirely at night, as all noir detective tales should be, what follows will be a whole lot of moving from one area to another, talking to everyone and interacting with anything that the player can find. The standard pixel hunt for items to interact with is present and correct, although perhaps easier than some games. Even then, Gallo has a special trick up his sleeve that will highlight things to interact with in a scene at the press of a button, making this potentially frustrating side of the game far easier. As the player gathers seemingly useless items, they are collected into the inventory. The inventory is easy to use, and items can be, and will often need to be, combined to make them useful.

dg2 (Copy)

Again, point and click history dictates that many puzzles will require an obscure solution, one that perhaps doesn’t make any sense at all when a perfectly acceptable solution is right there in front of the player. Fans of this genre will already know to expect this, and will be ready to not only think outside the box, but leave the box factory in the rear view mirror. Often, solving these types of puzzle will involve trying everything, trying to combine everything, and failing that, searching everywhere again. But when the solution is revealed, there is a sense of satisfaction that waters down any frustration that may have risen up.

The number of locations to visit in Detective Gallo don’t even reach double figures, and the number of different characters to interact with also limited. This means that there will be a lot of backtracking, revisiting areas time and again and talking to the same characters over and over to further the story. Some will find this annoying, but there is a familiarity that forms with the different areas and characters that make it feel more natural, and to be honest I don’t miss getting lost or having to track for ages to find some random new guy. With a running time of only a half dozen hours or so, the game wraps up before the small playing area gets too repetitive, so it’s all good.

There is an interesting cast of characters, with some being more likeable than others. The voice work in the game is generally pretty good, with Gallo himself being the stand out star, and rightly so. But each of the characters sound strangely as befits their personality, which is an impressive feat for whoever cast the voice actors considering how strange some of the characters are. The player will be spending a lot of time talking to certain characters, especially as a large number of conversations will eventually involve some kind of hunt for one thing or another, so it is good to know that none of the characters are annoying enough to put the player off.

The visuals are charming. Despite the noir style, the hand-illustrated and hand-animated visuals pop with colour and personality, and would not look out of place as some form of kids show. The game is nicely polished and the developers have obviously put a lot of love into this project, which comes through when playing.

dg4 (Copy)

Detective Gallo doesn’t break the well worn mould of the point and click adventure genre, but that is no bad thing for fans of the genre. The game is very well made and packed with all of the sorts of obscure puzzles and cynical humour that the fans would want. It runs perfectly on the Switch as well, but that is no surprise. If you are looking for point and click fun on the Nintendo Switch, pick up Detective Gallo and help him solve this heinous, plant-based crime.




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