Friday, August 24

Review: Detective Gallo [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Another week, another set of adventure games on the Switch. Fortunately, though the basic formula popularized in the genre’s heyday, mixing humor and funky puzzles, hasn’t evolved much some of its classic frustrations have at least been minimized. Bringing a slightly different style and theme to the table is Detective Gallo, sporting a pretty light and fun feel mixed with a comedic riff on a classic detective noir tale.


Gallo is delivered with a deliberate and mostly straight-laced tone while most of the characters and situations he gets involved with tend towards the odd and silly. This contrast at least provides some entertainment, and when combined with the game’s distinct art style it certainly stands out. Similarly to classic LucasArts titles most of the humor comes in the form of the many dialogue choices you’ll have, though sometimes Gallo’s comments when you try to take certain actions can prompt a chuckle as well.


Aside from the presentation, for the most part this is a pretty stock adventure in terms of both good and bad, with the primary challenge being where to go, what to do, and how to make use of the items you’ll find. In general the game does do an excellent job of helping you know what in the environment can be acted upon, at least cutting down on wasted time and effort clicking everywhere. I’d say that perhaps the pace of simple things like Gallo’s walk are unnecessarily slow so when you need to move through multiple screens things can drag, but on the whole the title does seem to try to respect your time.


With an abundance of adventure options available on the Switch what Detective Gallo has that helps set it apart is the noir theme mixed with the often deadpan humor delivered by the main character. At a minimum the game is easy on the eyes and the voice acting, while perhaps not always perfect, at least generally maintains a consistent level of quality. If you like your protagonists a bit hard-boiled and your humor a bit silly Detective Gallo is a fun choice.

Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • A great art style
  • Consistently funny dialogue and interactions
  • The noir style, sprinkled with humor, isn’t something you’ll find with other titles

Cons:
  • In terms of gameplay it is a pretty boilerplate adventure
  • While some other titles have begun to try to provide effective in-game hint systems you’ll generally be on your own here
  • There’s simply a lot of competition in this space on the console, making it tougher for anything to break out