Detective Gallo (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 09.10.2018

Review for Detective Gallo on Nintendo Switch

While the average point-and-click does utilise a fair bit of gameplay, either through puzzle solving or exploration, the genre itself thrives most on its narrative abilities. Good puzzles can absolutely make for a good adventure, but a bad story in an experience that, quite simply, is narrative driven more times than not, ultimately leads to a poor time. Detective Gallo, like many the point-and-click before it, takes a comedic approach to the genre, but its strengths surprisingly lie in its more subdued moments.

Despite Detective Gallo's opening clearly riffing on the noir genre, the quality of writing in the title's introduction is far stronger than anything else in the point-and-click proper. This is not to say that the script is poor, far from it actually, but the titular Gallo's opening monologue trumps every other piece of written dialogue in the script to the point where the story cannot help but feel disappointing when it inevitably fails to match its first impression in both tone and quality.

The writing itself in the main game is fine enough with supporting characters getting all the characterisation they need, but the dialogue immediately leaves much to be desired. Coupled with Gallo's repetitive - and grammatically poor, at times - internal monologue, the narrative simply is not as interesting in execution as it is in concept. The plot itself does have its share of plot twists, typical for the noir genre, so it is at least engaging on an intrigue level, but there is little to actually be said on the story's part.

Gallo himself comes off as a rather underdeveloped protagonist, as well. While he does grow over the course of his investigation, his arc's beats leave much to be desired and spurred less by the narrative challenge of who he is as a character and more by whatever is blatantly convenient for the plot at any given moment. As a result, Gallo's arc comes out rather undercooked, failing to meaningfully enhance the story.

Screenshot for Detective Gallo on Nintendo Switch

With regards to pacing, even though Detective Gallo does fall on the shorter end of the genre, there is nonetheless a bit of backtracking at play. This does not harm the overall experience as much as it could, but given just how linear progression is otherwise, backtracking does end up damaging the natural flow of gameplay.

Gameplay is par for the course for the genre, mixing light exploration with puzzle solving. Gallo can use his inventory items to interact with the world at large, and examining his surroundings will net new items. The core gameplay loop and puzzles are not all that impressive, simply accounting to the bare minimum and moving on.

Where Detective Gallo shines is in its aesthetic. Fully hand-drawn, Gallo's investigation is visually brilliant. Character animations are smooth (save for mouth flaps), and the world's design has a great colour palette, which works to lend the point-and-click some needed atmosphere. Scored by a refreshingly jazzy soundtrack, the world of the game is strong. A clear visual identity has been crafted, and it genuinely is strong enough to warrant a playthrough. While the rest of the adventure may fall flat, Detective Gallo is at least aesthetically unique without its gameplay or plot ever dipping into outright bad levels of quality.

Screenshot for Detective Gallo on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Although quite rough around the edges, the sheer amount of love and care present in Detective Gallo warrants at least one playthrough. With a surprisingly strong voice cast, coupled with an appropriately moody atmosphere, with a jazzy soundtrack and cartoony visuals, the point-and-click adventure is able to craft an identity all of its own, even if it isn't particularly unique in regards to its genre. The adventure does fall on the short side with puzzles that are not always particularly engaging, but Detective Gallo nonetheless makes for an interesting playthrough even if it does ultimately fail to live up to its potential.

Developer

FootPrints Games

Publisher

Mixed Bag

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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