The Innsmouth Case review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment
Developer: RobotPumpkin Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

You?d think that The Innsmouth Case would be one of the more unusual games I?ve ever played. I mean, not only is it based on the works of HP Lovecraft, it?s also a choose your own adventure-style visual novel that?s presented as a book. How many other games fit that description?

Turns out, at least one other: that exact same description could also be applied to Omen Exitio Plague, which came out a little while back for the Switch (and a few years before that on PC). So, niche as that description may be, it?s now a subgenre of at least two.

While both games are good in their own ways, if I had to choose between playing/reading one or the other, I?d likely pick The Innsmouth Case every time. Why? For the simple reason that it?s a lot funnier.

Don?t get me wrong, it?s also got its fair share of cosmic eldritch horror. The game boasts of 27 endings, and in true choose your own adventure tradition, many of them end up with your character dying, often in fairly grisly ways. So even if there are plenty of goofy trappings and one-liners, this game isn?t entirely for the faint of heart.

But the thing that really sticks with you — and the thing that really makes the game stand out — is the comedy. At every turn, The Innsmouth Case allows you to lighten the oppressive mood with a silly one-liner, a funny insult, or a self-aware wink. In one playthrough, for example, my detective found himself in an arcade, where he ended up playing a mash-up of House of the Dead and Resident Evil. Rather than immediately getting into shooting zombies, I opted to continue reading about the game?s opening cutscene — which led to an amusing digression about the detective and the other arcade-goers getting engrossed by the story of a pharmaceutical company?s backstory before it accidentally created zombies.

(Trust me, it?s a lot funnier the way the game tells it.)

This is emblematic of The Innsmouth Case as a whole. While you can certainly play it straight, it?s a lot better if you take all the weird detours it offers — and the end result is a game that, even if it?s not 100% unique, is still well worth checking out.

Assemble Entertainment provided us with an Innsmouth Case Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-