“The giraffe can behave like the gazelle, but its neck will always tell a story!” – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Lord Winklebottom Investigates is a point-and-click murder mystery game set in an alternate 1920s in a society filled with animals such as a hippo doctor, a goat maid and, of course, the titular giraffe detective!
Developer: Cave Monsters
Released: 28th July 2022
Price: £15.74 – £15.99
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
This point-and-click game uses mouse-only controls and features mostly inventory-style puzzles. The solutions are logical, satisfying and often at least a little bit amusing! The puzzles are not too challenging and there is a hint system. however, it tends to state the obvious and not be overly helpful, as such it may be preferable to not use it and get the achievement for taking no hints!
Players must solve a series of puzzles, interview the other animals and explore the various scenes in order to deduce the motives of the various guests and ultimately, solve the murder. The silliness and comedy come through in the gameplay as much as the narrative and styling and the experience as a whole feels very cohesive.
Set in 1920s London, the game follows giraffe detective Lord Winklebottom and his associate Doctor Frumple as they attempt to solve the murder of an old friend and axolotl who had summoned a range of guests to his manor for an important announcement. The genre, setting and overall experience are reminiscent of classics such as Agatha Christie, Sherlock and Poirot but with a touch of silliness and humour and a lot of animals. The narrative design is excellent and the story provides many satisfying twists, turns and red herrings all delivered at a nice pace.
The different characters are a highlight of the game, they each have distinct personalities, voices and motives to discover. From the nervous, love-struck goat maid named Beryl Clutterbuck to Captain Salty Walters, a salty seadog with a penchant for alcohol, all the characters add charm and substance to the experience.
Lord Winklebottom Investigates has a charming hand-drawn cartoon art style with a slight painterly feel to it. The scenes and characters make use of vibrant colour palettes with bright, saturated hues that help maintain the lighthearted tone of the game despite its murderous themes.
The music ranges from jazzy, mysterious and somewhat jovial featuring piano, woodwind and drums, to slightly more sinister sounding tracks made up of strings and brass. The soundtrack is very befitting of the game’s 1920s setting and really helps bring the world to life. Similarly, the ambient sound effects such as seagulls and thunderstorms are implemented with great effect, really serving to make the experience more immersive. The voice acting is fun and well-delivered with a plethora of different British accents to enjoy and really helps connect the player to the different characters.
Lord WinkleBottom Investigates is a fantastic example of a point-and-click genre and puts a wonderful twist on the classic murder mystery genre. The colourful cartoon styling, immersive sound design, excellent comedy writing and diverse voice acting all help bring the fun puzzles and gameplay to life making for a satisfying whodunnit. This game is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes a good mystery.
You can also watch a playthrough of the prologue from Lord Winklebottom Investigates on the Indie Hive YouTube channel:
After more detective games? Take a look at these reviews:
Karisvale – Free Top-Down Detective Game with a Dark Twist! – The Darkside Detective – 9 Point-and-Click Mysteries with a Spooky Twist! – Keyword: A Spider’s Thread – A Futuristic New Detective Game