I try not to think of myself as sadistic, but Darkestville Castle is the story of a demon who spends every day terrorising the town of Darkestville…and I have never laughed so much in a video game.
This classic point-and-click game developed by the (clearly hilarious) legends at Epic Llama takes us on a tale of mischief and hilarity with Cid the Demon, as he does a LOT of strange things to save his best friend Domingo from Demon Hunters, then save…the Demon Hunters from other demons? The nostalgic graphics mixed with sarcastic and hilarious dialogue mixes perfectly to give viewers of every age a game that is brilliant.
Cid the Demon. The very name makes you just assume he’s evil. Maybe he’s just misunderstood? OK, so he tried to ruin the town crops with mutated chickens, cut the girl down the streets’ braid, and fed laxatives to pigeons to make a mess, but whose fault is that really? This lifetime of evil antics has given Cid his own arch enemy, and I use that term loosely, in the form of Dan Teapot- who hires the legendary demon-hunting Romero Brothers to capture Cid. A few slight mis-steps later, Dan is trapped in a cage, and poor Domingo, Cid’s pet fish and best friend, is trapped in a demon chest! It’s up to you to help our evil yet hilarious, monstrous yet relatable, anti-hero Cid free his pal and save the day. The story continues on for a good few hours of gameplay, but I think you get the idea.
Trust me, the story itself is fun, but the highlight is the interactions. From a Werewolf’s political agenda…sorry, Lycanthrope…to the giant Pig that won’t do more work than the Union allows under article 3; this game just makes you laugh. It’s a good thing this game is so entertaining, because progression can be a bit tricky. The game has nothing in the realm of a quest guide, nor a help system, and many of the puzzles are beyond reckoning.
I found this particularly sad given how much fun I was having. Thankfully, the game has been around for long enough that a cheeky google search will give you the answers you’re looking for, but following a walkthrough is hardly the preferred method of finishing a game.
The graphics are perfect for this nostalgic feeling game, with an extremely Tim Burton-esque feel to them and matches the time and humour perfectly too. The best part about 90’s graphics today though is definitely the motion graphics. Watching Cid swap drinks, characters pass out, and even things exploding is a new take of these old graphics that allow even today’s generation to enjoy the game.
One thing that today’s gamers won’t enjoy is the reminder that point-and-click games don’t really factor in travel. The fact that the landscape is so wide means that traversing the world can be slow and painful, as you click and wait, click and wait, click and wait for your character to get around. It really feels like it takes forever to get to the hot dog vendor and back.
In case you don’t get my vibe on this game from the above, let me make this easy for you… It’s awesome. Even with the struggle to get by without hints or a guide, the interactions are so enjoyable that you’ll want to click on every option in the game just to hear what it has to say. I swear it was by pure chance that I found out that Cid’s a gentleman and therefore won’t “grab Foxy”.
This game is sadistic enough for older audiences, and innocent enough for younger ones. It’s a fantastic mix of gaming generations and a hilarious way to spend a day. Hats off to the folks at Epic Llama, can’t wait to see what’s next.
- Character dialogue
- Lack of instruction