Last Updated on September 11, 2022
Being born in the early 2000s and primarily a console gamer meant that I had just missed out on the point-and-click adventure games of the 90s. The closest I had gotten to that was Ace Attorney or Professor Layton, despite using more modern interpretations of the genre. In the last decade the industry has witnessed many indie developers revive the retro aesthetic of gaming.
The Dark Prophecy is one of those games, however, it’s the first traditional point-and-click game I have played on a modern console. You play as Jacob, a peasant boy from a medieval village, tasked with sending an important message to Merlin the wizard. Along the way, you’re faced with obstacles and mysteries to uncover using items and clues from NPCs. Start Warp, creators of 2.5D first-person shooter Demon Blast, captured the classic pixel-art style with vibrant background work that reminded me of Stardew Valley.
The sprite work was simple and charming, with animations that were easy on the eyes to allow you to concentrate on the adventure ahead. Initially launching on PC, it seemed well-suited to the style of gameplay, being able to move around efficiently with a mouse. However, on Nintendo Switch, you use the left joystick and ‘A’ to move the cursor to select specific locations to move to. This makes backtracking for further clues fairly tedious. Although, I did like the fact that you can change the function of the cursor to look at, talk to, or use whatever (or whoever) you’re pointing to.
You can pick up items and use them for crafting later on, or to overcome the next obstacle. It reminded me of the ongoing trading mechanic from the Zelda series. The game encourages you to leave no stone unturned, and explore everything to its fullest in order to move forward. I appreciate when a video game makes its environments highly interactive. This is probably the shortest adventure game I have ever played, taking me about 2-3 hours (or less if you know what you need to do) to complete the entire game. I recommend playing this if you need a break from those 100-hour long RPGs.
Unfortunately, there were some unpolished aspects of the Switch version. However, these were minor nitpicks that didn’t hinder my overall enjoyment of the game. For the most part, the music did a great job of setting an atmospheric mood of a medieval fantasy adventure, particularly during the intro and when you visit the Witch’s House. Strangely though, the longer I played for, the music started to overlap on itself as if you have multiple YouTube tabs playing at once. Luckily it did resolve back to its original state, but did cause some mild confusion at first. Furthermore, some spelling and grammar errors were scattered throughout the dialogue and cursor selection. Nevertheless, it was still easy to understand what was going on. The best part about this game was an unexpected plot twist which caught me off-guard but proved oddly hilarious.
In conclusion, The Dark Prophecy pays a great homage to the 90s point-and-click adventure genre. It packs mystery, magic and wholesome humour into one bite-sized quest!
The Dark Prophecy launches on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on 16th September 2022. It’s also currently available on Steam for £7.19.
I am a media and pop culture enthusiast and love Nintendo and indie games, particularly Zelda and Stardew Valley. When I’m not gaming you’ll find me writing, creating fanart, and playing music covers of my favourite games!