The Mystery of Woolley Mountain review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Huey Games
Developer: Lightfoot Brothers
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

You need to be in a very specific mindset in order to fully enjoy The Mystery of Woolley Mountain. First, you need to love a specific brand of British humour. Then, you need to love that humour filtered through an adventure game that owes a massive debt of influence to some of the classics of the genre. Then, to round it all out, you have to be in the mood to click on everything on screen at any given moment, and to have the patience to try out every possible combination of items in order to figure out the game?s internal logic.

Needless to say, I was not in that mindset during my time with The Mystery of Woolley Mountain.

In my defence, it?s hard to get in that mindset, on account of the fact that all that clicking around randomly makes it difficult to care about anything else going on. Even with the ability to highlight every object in any given room that you can interact with, there?s a whole lot of mindless clicking going on here, and you?ll quickly get very tired of the asides and wisecracks that accompany every new action.

Similarly, The Mystery of Woolley Mountain falls victim to that great peril of the genre: nearly impenetrable internal logic. This is the sort of game where you play an arcade game to win a bracelet to win over a friend, where you take a balloon to fend off a wolf attack later on in the game, where you pick up a skull to carry some mud to throw at someone to trade for their bowling ball to smash some boards…and so on. It?s not impossible, of course (and it helps that the developers have a handy walkthrough on their site), but unless you enjoy long, convoluted trains of thought that meander all over the place, you?re going to find it exhausting.

And, throughout it all, you?ll be treated to a game that makes South Park look like a technical masterpiece. There?s nothing inherently wrong with cheap-looking graphics, to be sure, but when you?re already as annoyed as I was with the game, all it takes is some Flash-level animation to sour you even further.

To reiterate what I said at the beginning of this review, though: your mileage on all this will vary depending on how much love you have for cheap-looking adventure games with a very British sense of humour. If you pine for the early ?90s and wish games like Day of the Tentacle could come back (albeit in a much dumbed-down form), then this may seem like an answer to your prayers. As it stands, though, if you aren?t in that mood, then there?s nothing going on in The Mystery of Woolley Mountain that?s likely to win you over.

Huey Games provided us with a Mystery of Woolley Mountain Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C-