GameByte Reviews: Darkestville Castle (Nintendo Switch)

Darkestville Castle might be a point and click game you’ve heard of thanks to its cult following on both Steam and mobile platforms, but finally the indie darling has come to console. How does it stack up and – more importantly – is it worth your time?


Credit: Epic LLama

Darkestville Castle follows our demonic hero, Cid, a cheeky prankster who’s been less terrifying and more bothersome for the people of Darkestville. Cid is propelled on an adventure after three skilled demon hunters arrive at his castle, with his journey taking him everywhere from the local tavern to the darkest places of the underworld. Not quite a hero and not quite a villain, Cid is a wonderful protagonist filled with character and some of the funniest lines of dialogue I think I’ve ever seen in a video game. The story is sweet and interesting, though I found the ending to be a little abrupt.


Credit: Epic LLama

The style of Darkestville Castle is nothing short of wonderful, featuring bright colours and charming cartoon characters for its 2D world. The designs of some of the more evil creatures are incredibly wacky, truly giving the feeling of a Saturday morning cartoon come to life (for adults).

Colour palettes vary across the three chapters of the game, ranging from the dingy and blue-tinted world of Darkestville to the bright hot reds of a beach in the demon realm. The game pays great attention to detail to its levels, and you’re able to interact with almost everything in the worlds you travel to.


Credit: Epic LLama

As you’d expect from a point and click game, Darkestville Castle has you complete tasks and solve puzzles as simply a cursor who directs Cid. I played the game on its base settings, meaning I didn’t adjust the cursor speed so I could experience it as straight-up as possible. This definitely slowed down the speed of the game to its detriment, as moving the cursor across the screen as its most basic speed was something of a chore. Thankfully, you can change this in the settings, so if you’re not me (and I assume you’re not), the Options menu should be your first port of call to fix this.

As for the puzzles themselves, there was a really clear learning curve across the three chapters, with the game’s earlier stages easing players into the gameplay. In that sense, Darkestville Castle is great for players new to the point and click genre, or those not well-versed in puzzle games.

The initial few stages of the game made logical sense, but by the time Chapter 3 rolled around, I was throwing dead rats into lakes of lava. There were a few moments of “I have no idea what to do, let’s try everything in my inventory right now and hope I get lucky,” which did lead to me lose some momentum and made for some less satisfying puzzle “solving.”

Books scattered across the levels can often point you in the right direction, but you will need to use a bit of your brainpower and a LOT of imagination to get through the entire game. If you want weird, zany and brain-scratching gameplay that doesn’t mind you taking your time, Darkestville Castle will be right up your alley.


Credit: Epic LLama

Darkestville Castle is a hilarious game, there’s no two ways about it. The tongue-in-cheek humour delivered with wonderful precision from Cid makes for some genuine laugh out loud moments. There’s a lot of adult humour in here, but not as you’d expect, with the game taking shots at being an adult more than making crude references. A highlight for me was using the portal to the other realm, which is done by contacting the portal’s customer service desk.

Solving puzzles with only the power of my brainbox was immensely satisfying most of the time, though the more eccentric puzzles definitely amped up the difficulty to the point of frustration sometimes. “How was I supposed to know to glue this picture of a rhino to this love letter?!” I shouted at one point. For some gamers, this is going to be a dream come true, others might find it off-putting.


Darkestville Castle doesn’t have too many accessibility options you can change, though there are subtitles available in a few different languages, and you can also select from a couple of voice overs in other languages. (There were some grammatical issues with the text throughout the game, but nothing too crazy). Being able to change the text size or add a background to the on-screen text would have been a welcome addition, especially for the smaller screen of the Nintendo Switch. As mentioned above, I’d definitely recommend playing around with the cursor speed to find your sweet spot, because the base speed is just a tad too slow.


Credit: Epic LLama

A short, sweet adventure clocking in at around five hours depending on your puzzle-solving skills, Darkestville Castle makes a really nice addition to the Nintendo Switch library. Due to its focus on exploration and discovery, this is a point and click that’s perfect to wind down with before bed, as it gets your brain going without any heavy action. Quick loading times keep the game enticing, especially when you’re flipping between areas, and the fact it autosaves makes it a great pick-up-and-play game. I didn’t check the game out on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 where it’s also headed to, but I think the nature of this particular point and click makes a better home on the Switch.

If you want a brain-scratching and belly-tickling point and click puzzler, Darkestville Castle is a great option though it won’t be one which appeals to everyone.

Darkestville Castle is out now on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Darkestville Castle was reviewed on Nintendo Switch (mostly in handheld mode).

Featured Image Credit: Epic LLama