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The Wardrobe review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: MixedBag
Developer: Adventure Productions/C.I.N.I.C. Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

You don’t have to look very hard to figure out The Wardrobe’s influences. Between the brightly-coloured cartoon landscape and the sarcastic, fourth wall-breaking characters, everything about the game suggests that the folks at Adventure Productions and C.I.N.I.C. Games have fully digested the collected works of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, with a heavy emphasis on the likes of Day of the Tentacle, Maniac Mansion, and the Monkey Island games.

Mind you, The Wardrobe because doesn’t do much more than ape its influences, it contains both the good and the bad of Gilbert & Schafer’s works. If you want graphics that look the emerged from the fever dreams of a very talented ‘90s metalhead, you’re in luck, because that pretty much captures how this game looks.

Likewise, if you’re fond of dialogue that doesn’t just straddle the stupid/clever divide, it jumps all over it, you’re in for a treat. Further, if you’re fond of characters and narrators who are both self-aware and incredibly sarcastic — which, again, absolutely screams late ‘90s — you’ll be in heaven here, since main character Skinny (a walking, talking skeleton) basically has a dialogue with the player going the entire time.

As I said, though, because The Wardrobe draws so heavily from classic adventure games, it also has the unfortunate habit of having puzzles that tend to rely on their own inscrutable internal logic. Consequently, every time you arrive in every new environment, you’re forced to click on every single object in the hope of triggering something new, and the game often demands that you jump to some insane conclusions in order to figure out what to do next. Like many of its influences, it’s sometimes a little too clever for its own good, and the gameplay suffers as a result.

But hey: what were Day of the Tentacle, Maniac Mansion, and the Monkey Island games if not alternatively incredibly smart and way too clever for their own good? The Wardrobe probably won’t appeal to you if you don’t already love those games, but if you’ve been pining for the return of old-fashioned ‘90s adventure games, then you owe it to yourself to check this out.

MixedBag provided us with a The Wardrobe Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-