Review: Detective Gallo (PS4)

Review: Detective Gallo (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Detective Gallo
Format: PSN (1.33 GB)
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Mixed Bag
Developer: Footprints Games
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Detective Gallo is a quirky noir point-and-click adventure. A no-nonsense and gruff detective, Gallo lives by a set of rules, talks to his cactus plant, and hates sweets. He quickly becomes entangled in a strange and complex case involving the murder of several plants.

If you did not enjoy older point-and-click games, Detective Gallo will certainly not change your mind. That’s not to say there are no modern improvements. The developers at FootPrints have added a vision mode so all objects that can be interacted with are highlighted.

Gone are the days of the tedious pixel hunt trying to find that last item. Whenever I was stuck, it was usually because I missed something, and highlighting all objects I could interact with would help set me on the right course. There was one door I couldn’t use until the detective vision showed that I could also click on the peephole.

Review: Detective Gallo (PS4)

Sadly, Detective Gallo could have used a little more modernization. His journal shows the current overarching goal but not the numerous steps in between. After a long day at work it can be hard to remember which puzzle I was working on or what item I had just obtained.

There’s also no way to review past dialogue. This is important because the tiniest word can be a big clue. I knew they said something about darkness, but knowing the exact phrasing would have been helpful.

I haven’t played many point-and-click games, but Detective Gallo seems par for the course. The player uses items on objects or combines items to solve puzzles. Sometimes the item needed is not clear and a little trial and error is involved. Generally this will not take long, but trying four or five items will result in the same dialogue being repeated, which starts to get annoying.

A few steps were fairly obvious, but the game made me jump through multiple hoops to get there. Only a few of the puzzles were too obscure, requiring too much time and some dumb luck to solve. The worst puzzle was one that did not unlock until I needed the item that was rewarded for solving the puzzle.

I spent over thirty minutes, with the correct item to solve the puzzle, trying to figure it out because I could see what the reward was. I didn’t need it at that moment, but knew I would eventually. Later on when I did need the reward it did not even occur to me to go try the puzzle again because I had not gained new items that would solve that puzzle.

Review: Detective Gallo (PS4) Review: Detective Gallo (PS4)

Long before I saw the credits I was ready for the game to end. Detective Gallo never reaches the high points it was striving for. The noir theme is mostly well done with unique personality, but a few of the characters were really annoying.

There were also not enough characters to interact with. The same goes for the environments – the areas available for exploration are very limited, and only towards the end of the game will a couple more areas open up. The game quickly became backtracking to the same area for the thirtieth time to talk to the same annoying character.

Visuals:
It’s easy to see that the developers poured a lot of love into the game. The zany areas and characters were all hand-illustrated and hand-animated.

Audio:
The love continues with the music. The score is beautiful and the jazz music is a great fit with the noir theme. I had never heard of the composer before, Gennaro Nocerino. Probably for the first time, I played a game and looked up the composer because I really wanted to hear his other work.

The characters move their mouths when they talk but they are not mouthing the words. Because the developer is based in Italy, I’m not sure if the mouth movements were based on the Italian voice-over or just an artistic choice but the mouths keep moving even after the English VO stops. This just bothered me. Very nitpick-y I know, but it stuck out to me.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Review: Detective Gallo (PS4)

Conclusion:
In writing this review, it appears that I had more negative thoughts than I originally thought. For the most part I felt it was just unenjoyable, not necessarily bad, but boring.

Fans looking to scratch the point-and-click adventure itch will find some enjoyment. Only a few of the puzzles were truly awful and many were well designed. For those not in love with the genre… this is not your game. Without a compelling story and limited, overused environments there’s nothing to drive players to the finish line.

Detective Gallo never reaches the high points it was striving for. The story, characters, environments, and puzzles did not draw me in. I really only need one or two of these to engage me but in the end they all fall short.

Score:
5.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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