Demetrios – The Big Cynical Adventure on PC
When a game leads with a subtitle like “The Big Cynical Adventure”, there’s a clear course set for the tone of things to come. With its rude, lazy protagonist and healthy dose of crude humor, Demetrios lives up to expectations. Still, there’s more to this point-and-click story than mere toilet jokes and an emotionally-stunted leading role. Puzzles, minigames, and more await those who dive into everything Demetrios has to offer.
Demetrios begins when our would-be hero, largely-inept “antiques” dealer Bjorn Thoren, receives a late-night phone call warning him of danger. Not long after, Bjorn is knocked out cold by an intruder, and wakes to find that a tablet from a recently-acquired statue has been stolen. Our story begins as Bjorn searches his apartment for clues, and attempts to put together a case to bring to the local police to prove the gravity of the situation.
Of course, as with any adventure game, nothing in Demetrios is simple. Bjorn will have to deal with a price-gouging ice cream man, his neighbor’s back-talking daughter, and plenty of other colorful characters along the way. Genre-typical item combinations and puzzles also feature heavily throughout gameplay alongside a variety of minigames including fishing, racing, and carnival claw machines, to name a few.
Beneath its veneer of crass jokes and misanthropy, Demetrios is a reasonably solid adventure game. Well-drawn scenes present a vivid world, and even offer a hidden-object task within each location. Each screen hides three (very small) cookies, which can be sought out both for completion’s sake and to be used for hints on how to proceed if players get stuck. This dual purpose provides ample justification for players to comb every new locale, and keeps the game moving along nicely when necessary.
Demetrios also shakes things up, with each chapter opening up new places to explore and tasks to complete. Even after Bjorn has seen his assailant put behind bars, the mystery remains as to the thief’s true motivations. The trail leads to the insular nation of Nogo, the origin of the bizarre statue at the center of the earlier robbery. A new cast of characters and challenges to overcome await, with plenty of the game’s rude humor to accompany them.
With its hand-drawn environments, plentiful jokes, and reasonable 8-12 hours of play, Demetrios has a lot going for it. Since a heaping helping of hints can be found along the way, even those who aren’t as puzzle-savvy can even find their way through this bizarre mystery. While the style may not fit with everyone’s preferences, those who don’t mind the crude approach are likely to get their money’s worth for the $9.99 price tag on the game’s official website, or on Steam.
Score: 4/5 – Great