This title was reviewed on Xbox One, but is also available on PC, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.
The point-and-click genre is one that I’ve dabbled in quite a bit. Although it isn’t my go to genre, it has some fantastic games, such as Leisure Suit Larry and Grim Fandango, so I’m always hopeful when I get given a new point-and-click to review. Does Bertram Fiddle stand alongside the genre’s greatest? Let’s have a look:
Right away, the visuals in Bertram Fiddle are fantastic. The game has a unique visual style that is consistent throughout, with each character looking unique and interesting. The environments are quite detailed too, and the handful you see in the first episode are varied. On the whole, the visuals look like something you’d see on a Cartoon Network show, and they’re great in that respect, with some great animation to boot.
Being the first episode, the story in A Dreadly Business does a good job of being a prologue, while also have a well-rounded standalone story that works in its own right. You play as the eponymous Bertram Fiddle, a down-on-his-luck adventurer in Victorian London. Bertram gets tasked by his wife to take her dog to the groomers, but unknowingly bumps into the infamous Geoff the Murderer, and ends up switching bags with him, with Geoff ending up with the dog, and Bertram ending up with the severed head of Geoff’s victim. It’s then up to Bertram to not only get his dog back, but to also put Geoff to justice. It’s an interesting story in its own right, but its elevated by its humor. There are plenty of moments that made me burst out laughing, and I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. There are also some neat moments too, such as meeting Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Overall, for a first episode, this is a well done story.
As a point-and-click, there isn’t much to say in regards to the basic gameplay. You point, and you click. Click on an area to move there, and click on items to interact. It’s simple stuff really. What makes point-and-click games ‘click’ is their puzzles, and Bertram Fiddle has its fair share. The puzzles are mainly inventory-based, with you needing to find, combine, and use items to progress, whether it is spiking Sherlock’s tea to knock him out or finding a bone to lure your dog into its cage, they’re all well done, if a little on the easy side. I’d rather have the puzzles be easy than have bulls**t moon logic like in the old-school Sierra games though. Alongside the point-and-click puzzle solving, there’s a chase sequence at the end of Chapter 1 where you have to dodge pedestrians while chasing Geoff, which adds some variety. The game overall, with it being a single episode, is pretty short, with 4 quick fire chapters, but what’s here is fun.
The game’s sound is nothing to go nuts about, but it’s well done. The music, sound effects, and especially the voice acting, work very well, and match the visual style to a T.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle was a pleasant surprise to play. The visual style is fantastic, unique, and varied, with great audio to match. The story, for a first episode, is very well done, with plenty of humor and funny moments. The actual gameplay is also solid, with an emphasis on inventory puzzles and a lack of moon logic. The game is a little on the easy side, and it being a single episode is quite short, but what’s here more than makes up for it. If you’re a point-and-click fan or just someone who wants a funny and charming game, look no further.