Lord Winklebottom Investigates – Demo Preview

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By Richard Winstone

Lord Winklebottom Investigates by Cave Monsters a solo project by Charlotte Sutherland, she has over 10 year experience working in the games industry and has a pretty impressive resume working on games such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, several of the Lego Games and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed AND Little Big Planet 3 just to name a few. All this and also Lecturing in Animation passing on her wealth of knowledge to the next generation of animators.

I’ll be honest I don’t really tend to look that deep into studios, in general, there is usually a group of people involved which means it takes me a few hours to delve into and it gets laborious, but with a solo developer you get to just focus on the one person and really get a feel for there work. I’m even going as far as to plug here Animation Showreel below.

From Charlotte’s previous work you can tell she likes to have fun with her characters and has a really fun sense of humour.  That will hopefully shine through in her upcoming game.

So Lord Winklebottom is why we are all here, Well Charlotte has not disappointed, right off the bat we are set in an alternate reality back in the 1920s where animals have evolved into aristocrats as you play Lord Winklebottom, a giraffe with a talent for solving mysteries. A human skull can be found in the first room with a hilarious dialogue similar to how we imagine dinosaurs, claws, teeth and death.

With your faithful companion Doctor Frumple (A Hippo Doctor with a fear of needles), you visit an old friend, eccentric explorer and naval admiral, who meets his untimely death just before you arrive.

You can instantly sense the Sherlock Holmes influence in the game with the bond between yourself and Doctor Fumple, but retold in a new fun way, from bad jokes to dry humour, this very British tale unfolds.

With every object clicked and notes taken, the game never fails to make you chuckle. There are only a few puzzles in the demo and they are actually engaging, as you decipher the history of your recently departed friend to gain access to his hidden vault. I don’t want to go too much into it as I genuinely don’t want to take away from the experience of playing the demo yourself, the best part is that the demo itself is unique and is not content from the final game, there is nothing worst than playing a demo and then waiting month to play the full title only to realise you have done this before. So no spoilers just a taste of what’s to come.  

As point and click game mechanics go, there’s not much to say everyone understands the premise there is nothing new or innovative here, but I also feel there is no need. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

The demo truly left me wanting more and seeing the end credit has left me somewhat frustrated, I am very much excited to review the full game on release, so much so that I even pledged a few quid to the kickstarter myself along with another 5 people while I was writing this early demo review.

My final thoughts…..

A new fun, reimaging the glorious 1920s and the tales of Sherlock Holmes in a fun and engaging way. I really hope this gets the recognition it deserves as I can see a future of reinvented tales like The Murder on the Orient Express, I picture maybe a Walrus or an Emperor Tamarin as a Poirot style character in a future game from Cave Moster.

This game really is for anyone, the older generation it will hark back to the days where murder mysteries were popular, and great fun for younger people with the interactions with the fellow animals and entertaining puzzles.

You can check out the Kickstarter and Pledge to the campaign here 

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