Game: Lord Winklebottom Investigates
Genre: Point & Click, Puzzle, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam (Windows macOS & Linux), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
Developers | Publishers: Cave Monsters
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 16+
Price: US $18.99 | UK £15.99 | EU € 18,99
Release Date: July 28th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Neon Hive.
I’ve been following the progress of Lord Winklebottom Investigates for a few years now. I’ve played the Steam demo released on Steam during the Steam Next Fest and enjoyed what was on offer, so I’ve been eager to review the game. Did it live up to expectations or lead to disappointment? Read on and find out.
Charlotte Sutherland is the sole member of Cave Monsters and is responsible for the development of Lord Winklebottom. The game is a point-and-click murder mystery based on the 1920s era and set in England. It reminds me of Agatha Christie mysteries or the Sherlock Holmes old black and white detective films from many years ago with Basil Rathbone as Holmes. Except for one significant difference, the characters are all animals.
Gilfrey the Axolotl
In Lord Winklebottom, you play the role of Lord Winklebottom himself, a graceful giraffe with a smoking pipe, a top hat and a monocle on one eye. Lord Winklebottom is a quintessential English gent, and he is accompanied by Doctor Reginald Frumple, a hippopotamus who likes a good cup of tea.
In a mansion on Gilfreys Island, a maid discovers her Master, Gilfrey, the Axolotl’s dead body floating in a tank of water. Lord Winklebottom and Dr Frumple set out to travel to the island and solve the mystery of Winklebottom’s old school friend’s murder.
Search for Clues, Solve Puzzles, and Interrogate
You’ll search for clues, solve puzzles, and interrogate other animal suspects to find the truth. You’ll meet an entire cast of quirky animal characters, such as Reverend Archibald Peabody, a sea lion of the cloth and Salty Walters, an old English bulldog sailor. Each character has their own story to tell of why they are there and where they were when Gilfrey met his end.
Unlike other point-and-click games in this genre, items of interest in each area are not highlighted, so you have to speak to everyone and click on everything in each room. Puzzles are solved by finding hints hidden in conversations and gathering as many items as possible, which you can try combining.
Press the Cup for a Hint
If an item interests Lord Winklebottom, a monocle and or a giraffe foot appears on the screen so you know you can interact with the item. You can also get a hint if you get stuck and can’t proceed. By clicking on the cup in the top right corner of the screen, Dr Frumple will give you a vague hint.
Usually, the hint is all you will need to get you back on the right path. The puzzles aren’t too challenging to complete. Unfortunately, I did get stuck a few times on my playthrough. However, a little backtracking led me to something I’d missed the first time, and I was off sleuthing again pretty soon.
The story is enjoyable and laced with humour throughout, which made me smile a few times. Doctor Frumple can be pretty sarcastic. Some of his comments made me laugh out loud. Lord Winklebottom and Frumple speak in an old-fashioned manner relevant to the time frame in which the game’s story is set. You wouldn’t hear folk talk like that now; however, for the game, it is perfect.
The characters are exceptionally well voice-acted. The actors sure did get into character for their parts, bringing the on-screen characters to life. As you can see from the images, Lord Winklebottom Investigates has lovely 2D hand-painted artwork; I really like the game’s look.
16 Rating for a Reason
The game is rated 16 in the UK and EU; there isn’t any blood or core. However, some tobacco use and mild swearing are present in the game. It wouldn’t be suitable for younger ears to hear. But, on the other hand, it wasn’t anything my old ears hadn’t heard before.
Lord Winklebottom Investigates is a fantastic first solo game by the developer. So did the game live up to my expectations? Yes, it did, and I loved every minute of my investigation, even when I managed to hit a wall and get stuck for a while. The game offers everything an excellent point-and-click game should. There are many interesting characters to speak to, ingenious clues, and a good time for the player.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up