Adventure Corner: Demetrios – The BIG Cynical Adventure
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column we take a look at Demetrios – The BIG Cynical Adventure, which is available on multiple platforms.
Demetrios – The BIG Cynical Adventure
Point-and-click adventures have seen a resurgence in the last decade, and have regularly begun appearing on consoles, making the moniker seem a little unusual for those unaware of their PC origins many years ago. Joining the trend is an unusual twist on the genre, as Demetrios – The BIG Cynical Adventure has all the trappings of a classic point-and-click with one bizarre difference: the game expects the player to fail. A lot. And failing is quite possibly the best part of the game.
Bjorn Thonen is a loser, living the single life in Paris in a shabby apartment, running a depressingly pathetic antiques store when one night someone breaks into his house to steal a tablet from a statue purchased for the store. The thief also nabs his wallet, which makes poor Bjorn even more broke than usual. He’ll have to use what little wits he has to figure out problems large and small, from why this one antique was stolen all the way up to how to save the world. Wait, what?
Along the way, Bjorn will need to rely on friends to help him out with his harebrained schemes while he searches high and low for both clues and cookies, the in-game hint system for anyone who gets stuck on a particular task. These hints are scaled to gradually give the player the information needed; initially giving a little nudge or two before outright explaining what needs to be done. Players are also challenged to discover as many ways for poor Bjorn to fail as possible; most of these will result in the poor man’s death, but other gaffes may instead find him landing in jail or even without a hand! Discovering all the ways for Bjorn to flunk at his many tasks is, oddly, one of the best parts of the game. Sleuths will also need to keep an eye out for items that can be picked up, combined, or used to help along each task. That tin of beans is sure to be important at some point, right?
For those who enjoyed classic point-and-click adventure titles like Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion, there’s the same irreverent tone in the plot of Demetrios; the game has excellent pacing, never leaving players to hang too long on any given task, and scatters fun mini-games and easter eggs to discover along the way. For those looking for a title they can pick up and put down without losing the plot, this is six to eight hours well spent, with a good amount of replayability to find all the different secrets hidden in each chapter to boot.