If you enjoyed other colorful point and click adventure games such as Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle then Detective Gallo will be right up your alley. It comes with all the charm and witty writing you’ve come to expect from these kinds of games. In fact, Detective Gallo doesn’t take any risks for the genre. It follows that formula almost to a T and feels just like one of those 90’s games people remember so fondly. On one hand that means that Detective Gallo doesn’t really do anything new. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as these types of games have always had their own niche following. Besides, the genre has aged well over the years.
A Detective’s Work is Never Done
The game starts with our cynical and sarcastic hero Gallo, a private investigator. There has been a series of murders and everyone has turned to Gallo to solve the mystery. The victims? Plants. Someone has murdered a bunch of plants in cold blood. Of course, it’s up to Gallo and his cactus friend Thorn, to find the culprit.
This quirky humor plays throughout the game and that pacing stays pretty consistent through the 4 to 5 hours of gameplay. You won’t get bored. In fact, I felt it could have went a little longer. That’s not to say the story wasn’t complete though. It had a satisfying and funny ending but it left me wanting a bit more. In a good way.
Very much in the detective comic-noir style, Detective Gallo will introduce you to the usual cast of characters and suspects you’ve come to expect from this kind of story; full of colorful personality. The writing, like other well-known point and click games, is strong and is sprinkled with plenty of wit and humor.
One of my favorite characters was Baby Punk. Although he spoke to you with the voice of a child (with a pacifier in his mouth no less) his motives were not what you might expect. He feels that toddlers are mistreated and takes offense when Gallo assumes he’s a kid just because he looks like one.
She Has Charming Looks
Everything is presented in a wonderful hand drawn style that adds to the overall charm. It looks like a lot of care and time was taken to draw the characters, animations, and environment. This game has a lot of personality. Characters are all unique and interesting. Unfortunately there are not a lot of environments to explore. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as they all look really good.
The artists make a great use of colors which makes everything very easy on the eyes. The art, and even the game itself, make this a great game for the younger members of your household to get into.
Point and Click
Controls are what you might expect. You are controlling a pointer with a controller instead of mouse which is a bit awkward at the best of times but it doesn’t take too long to get used to. The game does give you a few options for controlling the pointer. The d-pad, left joystick, and the touchpad all can control the pointer. The touchpad is the interesting option here. If you type with the touchpad on your ps4, this will feel pretty familiar to you. I personally didn’t care for it but it’s a nice option to have.
It did tend to get in the way though. There were several occasions when I accidentally touched the touchpad and my cursor went flying to some far-flung corner of the screen. Unfortunately, there isn’t any options to turn this off. A minor distraction but a distraction nonetheless.
You can push and hold the R2 button which uses the ability called Gallo Sense. This puts a magnifying glass on anything that you can interact with on the screen which is a nice way to give yourself a clue if you get stuck. Which will happen from time to time. After that you have X to interact (grab, talk, etc.) and O to examine things.
Mysteries to Solve
A big part of any point and click adventure games are the puzzles. There are plenty of items you’ll find through your adventure. Most puzzles are fairly logical but do go into the nonsensical category at times. Which is alright because it’s not too hard to figure things out with trial and error when logic doesn’t come through. The inventory is never overloaded to make figuring things out too hard. In fact, the characters themselves can give hints and you also have an informant to call on your phone that can give you a hint as well.
One issue I had was caused by the aforementioned small amount of environments. I found myself backtracking a lot to figure some puzzles out. And while I did eventually find out what I needed to do, I found myself growing tired of looking at the same places over and over. Not a huge deal but it’s worth mentioning. It didn’t ruin the game for me personally but I can see how someone might get a little frustrated.
Not all puzzles have to do with finding a place to use an item or combining items together. Some puzzles take place in the dialogue itself. You’ll have to figure out the correct way through a dialogue tree. There will be several choices in the dialogue and you’ll have to figure out the right path to move on. This didn’t happen too often and served to break things up. It almost like a boss battle of sorts. A text boss battle.
Maybe Some Updating Would Be Nice
One side note I think I should mention is that Detective Gallo does not autosave. I’m all for following in the footsteps of your predecessors but this is an option they should have implemented. Many gamers are used to games that automatically save at regular intervals. If you didn’t know any better (and I didn’t figure this out until later myself) this could be disastrous. To be fair I might be overeacting a little here. The game is pretty short and if you know what to do, it wouldn’t take too long to get caught back up. But still, it’s something to consider.
While Detective Gallo may not quite reach the heights of some of the big name point and click adventure games from the likes of Tim Schafer, it’s still a good addition to the genre. With great characters, good writing, and a fun story, Detective Gallo does well. It’s only marred by a few shortcomings such as a short run-time, illogical puzzles, and lots of backtracking. It sticks to that tried and true formula that came before it without trying too much that’s new. Which in this case, turns out to be a safe bet. Bottom line; if you enjoy point and click adventure games then definitely give this one a try.