Review: Detective Grimoire

Detective Grimoire is an indie, adventure, point-and-click game from SFB Games which features some puzzles and problem-solving elements. It’s available on PC, Android and iOS.

The story of the game follows the eponymous Detective Grimoire, who has been called to investigate a mysterious murder in Boggy’s Bog.

The first thing that struck me about this game was the fantastic music. It really sets the scene and atmosphere of the bog — the music creates an air of magic and mystery along with a hint of creepiness.

The art style is quirky and fun and I loved the short, animated cutscenes. The backgrounds and environments are really detailed and eye-catching too, and that art and music combined produce a game that is both very unique and memorable. The voice acting is also spot on in my opinion, with all of the characters having fitting and interesting voices, particularly the little girl and the café chef.

The game requires you explore a swamp, interrogate different characters, find clues and solve puzzles. Little touches in the game’s styling make the game more immersive too — the menu elements are organised as that of a stereotypical detective; case files and evidence-come-clues.

One of my favourite of the game’s features was the ‘draw what you think is happening’ challenges, which made for enjoyable, silly fun. Throughout the game has you construct theories about what is happening as well as choose dialogue options when interrogating suspects to find the correct information like in normal point & click titles, however this really works well with the main character’s ‘detective’ role.

The types of puzzles change from maze-like puzzles to arranging some cogs, a very nice variety which stops the game from becoming repetitive. There’s a lot of these interactive sections throughout — you even get to do some ‘chemistry’ in a cauldron!

Like all good detective stories, this title draws you into the mystery and motivates you to discover the culprit. I was so invested that I finished the game in one sitting.

The game is very kid-friendly due to both the interface being simple and the puzzles not being too complicated. The story is exciting and a little bit ridiculous (in a good way). That said, it is also a great game for adults as Grimoire’s sarcastic humour is entertaining and doesn’t feel forced. I particularly loved the quip Grimoire makes about Professor Layton (a slightly similar and very popular detective game) – ‘that top hat guy would’ve so struggled with this one’. An older audience may appreciate this humour more but also understand the more subtle, creepier side of the story.

There are only a couple of things about this game that I can criticise. Firstly, the game is quite short, but I do recognise that this is an indie game and that perhaps the developers wanted it to kept the game compact. That said, some people may even prefer to have a game they can complete in one or two sittings, and this title could be a nice, quick adventure for those of us who don’t have a lot of time to spare.

Secondly, and this may not apply to everyone, but I feel that the culprit was a little obvious. However, as this is quite a child-like game, it wouldn’t make sense for it to be too challenging.

Despite this, I think Detective Grimoire is an engaging and fun experience. The game does leaves you with some unsolved mysteries, which gives the ending a little bit of extra intrigue, so I hope you play it for yourself to experience this wonderfully unique adventure. 

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