Remember those old point and click games we loved so much way back in the days of Furbies, Opal Fruits and never-ending disc swapping? Of course you do, and even if you don’t you will have seen or played remastered versions or brand new IPs in the same vein on the PSN store. How wonderful that they’ve made a comeback, albeit a small one. But for every decent point and click that comes out and does well, there’s a tiny hope for a brand new Monkey Island release, and they don’t come more decent than Demetrios. Actually, stuff that. Decent is entirely the wrong word. Fantabulous is much more appropriate.
Demetrios is the story of a total loser, the sort of man you would consider crossing the street to avoid but after further consideration you end up emigrating instead. He’s dirty, he’s rude, he’s thick as pig faeces, and he’s the perfect protagonist for this wonderful but slightly foul adventure. Bjorn Thonen is an antiques dealer, a buyer and seller of old crap. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing, he’s flat broke and one day he acquires a statue that leads him on a perilous journey across the world. He’s Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones had failed his GCSE’s and got a job in Lidl. He’s Nathan Drake if Nathan Drake had a large bottom, terrible breath and the personality of a traffic warden. Bjorn Thonen is a complete prat, but oh I do adore him.
While we’re comparing things, the game Demetrios seems most obviously influenced by – both in terms of style and mechanics – is Broken Sword. Imagine if Broken Sword and Monkey Island had a wild night and produced a three-legged, cross-eyed love child. Demetrios is wonderfully warped with dirty humour, unlikable yet likeable characters and a series of rather unfortunate events. Push Lemony Snicket in front of a bus, because COWCAT games are here. It’s a great story, full of variety and if you don’t like the toilet humour you actually have the option to switch it off.
When you bring this type of game to a console, the mechanics are paramount. A clunky control system can kill a point and click faster than a rolling boulder can kill a flock of blind children on a school outing. The control system in Demetrios is outstanding. Left stick moves the pointer, and for a slower search with a magnified view in the corner of the screen, touch the right stick. This way you have both a fast and slow cursor option, which makes searching the screen an absolute breeze. If you’re the lazy sort, holding down square will highlight objects of interest. Don’t think that will always see you through, however. Some of the puzzles are very tricky indeed. There is a hint system in the form of cookies. Eat a cookie to get a little hint, eat another to get a bigger hint etc. Chew wisely, though. You have to find the cookies first and there are only three on each screen which you can save up, and some of them are a pain to find. Thank goodness for that magnified view!
The difficulty level is just about spot on and with the cookie system you won’t be able to cheat your way to the end. You’re looking at about a six hour game at the very least, more if you’re an idiot like me. There are a few moments where gameplay seems to drag on a bit, but on the whole, Demetrios is a big healthy chunk of entertainment. There are also a few activities to break up the pointing and the clicking, such as worm racing and graveyard pinball.
The art style is crisp and colourful cartoon fun and, if you can excuse the occasional fart, the game’s audio does the job very nicely. Everything runs a treat with no technical issues that we could discern. The one man dev COWCAT has done a splendid job bringing Demetrios to the PS Vita just for us.
For those who love their point and click adventures, Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure is a no-brainer. The control system is beyond perfect, the puzzles are challenging and the toilet humour unquestionably inappropriate. If you need a break from hacking major corporations and riding Chocobos on the PS4, Demetrios is just the dirty little ticket.
S J Hollis Rating – 8/10
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