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The Wardrobe Even Better Edition Switch Review – Point and Click

The Wardrobe Even Better Edition Switch Review – Point and Click

The Wardrobe Even Better Edition is unsurprisingly an enhanced version of point-and-click adventure game The Wardrobe, additions that make it “even better” include new easter eggs, dialogues, and important for the port to Nintendo Switch full gamepad control. Interestingly the creators also managed to not only add some new stuff but also roughly halve the size of the download file (from around 6GB to just over 3GB).

Okay, so now we know a little about what makes this version even better, but what is The Wardrobe? As mentioned above, it’s a point-and-click adventure game. For older gamers, think the Monkey Island series or a Tim Schafer game like Day of the Tentacle, and for newer gamers, think of the Deponia series or a Tim Schafer game like Broken Age. As you might take from that, Tim Schafer is a pretty big name in terms of the genre (he also worked on some of the Monkey Island games, and it’s likely that the Deponia and The Wardrobe teams probably took some inspiration from his works as well).

the wardrobe

For anyone that is clueless enough on the genre that those examples meant nothing, the core concept of the Point-and-Click Adventure genre is that you point at things, click on them, and go on an adventure. Although, it’s not really that simple, while most PaC Adventures are heavily dialogue driven, they contain a lot more puzzle-solving than say a Visual Novel.

And The Wardrobe is no exception here. You’ll need to talk to a host of weird and wacky characters, and try to figure out fairly esoteric ways to solve their particular dilemmas, from cleaning a crocodile’s teeth using a drill, to making a strange concoction to evolve a pile of dust to make it strong enough to remove part of a bed which you can then set on fire to get the missing part for the aforementioned drill.

This game, and the genre as a whole really, is pretty much about trying as many combinations of things as you can think of and hoping something works. Rarely will the solution make itself very obvious, unless you’ve played enough of these games to think as outside of the box as the developers themselves. Speaking of playing enough of these games to know how to progress, either I missed something in the tutorial or the game just opts to not explain some core functionality, namely combining items and using items.

the wardrobe

The tutorial takes you through the basics: click somewhere to have Skinny (your player character) walk to the spot (which is mainly used when a screen extends beyond your initial sight), click an object or character to get a list of options, select one of those options. The options you have on most objects are an eyeball (to look at an item), a hand (to pick up an item), some gears (to interact with the item) and a speech bubble (to talk with the item). An NPC will normally just have the eye and the speech bubble. There are also arrows that indicate you can move to another screen, and mercifully if you hold down R you can see all the interactive objects on the screen. This last thing is super helpful as each screen is filled with things that look like you can interact but end up just being background stuff.

When you find things you can pick up, they enter your inventory, which the game tells you how to access (the + button, or alternately the B button), but it doesn’t seem to tell you that if you examine an item and drag it over to another you might be able to combine them. It also doesn’t mention that if you hold the item and move the cursor outside of the inventory screen that it will close and allow you to try to use the item to interact with the world, which is pretty much the only way to solve any puzzles.

The Wardrobe, looks, plays and feels like a classic PaC Adventure. The story is more grim than most children’s movies/games, with a classic two boys are friends, they decide to have a picnic, boy A accidentally watched boy B die because of a plum and becomes weird and distant (naturally), while boy B rapidly becomes a skeleton and then becomes reanimated inside a titular Wardrobe only to hide from his grief stricken friend until the family decide to move and boy B needs to make sure his magical coffin wardrobe goes with boy A and his family because of the assumption he both needs to stay near the wardrobe and the other boy… so yeah, pretty tent-pole classic stuff.

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the wardrobe

While the game does revolve around a dead child, it’s pretty lighthearted and fun. There is a joke maintaining that a character stop talking because they want a PEGI-12 rating (Which is what they have in the UK, but it appears it’s a 17+ game in other countries), there are some other questionable jokes and themes included, and overall it really feels like the developers are making this more for the older PaC Adventure fans than trying to convince a new generation to solve problems by jamming two weird things together to see how it goes.

There is plenty of meta-humour, as well as absurdist jokes and pop cultural references. The art is nice, the voice acting is good, the music is solid, it’s really everything you could ask for in a modern PaC Adventure, it does what it sets out to do, and that should be applauded.

Also the wide range of pop culture references baked into each location should be applauded as well. Everything from Wreck-it Ralph sitting on a construction site to the Aku-Aku mask from Crash Bandicoot on a wall, to a One Piece wanted poster. Honestly, just pointing out all of them could be a whole article (and I might miss some with the denseness of some of the images).

The Wardrobe Even Better Edition Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: CINIC Games
Developer: CINIC Games
Release Date: October 31st, 2019
Price: $19.99£17.99€19,99
Game Size: 3.1GB

the wardrobe even better edition

Good showing for the genre

Tons of pop-culture references

Love letter to the classics of the genre without blatantly just copying them


Nothing added to the genre

"Puzzles" rely too heavily on just trying everything over logic

Probably too dark and weird for most kids

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