Inspector Waffles (Switch, PS4, PC)

Waffles is a cat who lives in a world full of anthropomorphic animals, but mostly cats and dogs.  He’s an inspector who works for a local police station, but has been downtrodden after his last big case went south.  Now a nearby cat, Fluffy, has been murdered and Waffles is on the beat again.  With his newfound partner, snifferdog Spotty, will Waffles be able to solve the case and get back on his feet again?  You’ll find out in Inspector Waffles, a point and click adventure mystery game.  It’s available to download on Switch, PS4, and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Inspector Waffles plays like pretty much any other point and click adventure game out there.  Move a cursor around the screen, and it’ll highlight at any points of interest.  You can pick up certain things and use them as items later, or even combine them to make new tools.  Talk to animals to gather clues, and sometimes when you click on things and talk to others, you will write down clues that you can click on in conversations to move the story along.  If you get stuck, you can call Waffles’ mom, a retired detective, and she’ll give you hints as to what to do.  But most of the time, the game is pretty straightforward.

The story and writing in the game is great, and pet owners will really like the added humor.  Waffles’ and Spotty’s banter between each other is also fun.  The game is split into five chapters and the whole thing is about as long as an old TellTale point and click adventure.  Not too short, but not too long either.  I also liked the pixelated retro graphics.

The game does have some problems, though.  While I appreciated the retro graphics, sometimes it made it hard to see what you need to click on.  For instance, if you need a sheet of paper, you have to look for a small line of white squares that may be hard to see.  Another time I got stuck because a dog was holding a hair dryer I needed, but since she was holding it in front of her, it looked like part of her outfit.  On the Switch, the text is way too small when playing in handheld mode.  There is also a sidequest where you must collect sports player cards from a fictional game called Woolball, and if you get them all you get a secret ending.  But if you miss any, you may not be able to go back and collect them later and may have to start the game over, which is annoying.  But I cheated and looked at the secret ending online and it’s not much.  Aside from these problems, Inspector Waffles is still a fun point and click adventure that any fan of the genre should enjoy.

Kid Factor:

Inspector Waffles is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Violence, Use of Tobacco and Alcohol, and Suggestive Themes.  I don’t remember seeing too much blood, and depictions of death are usually just a body in a bag with cat legs sticking out.  And it’s not very graphic anyway due to the retro visuals.  Most of the other descriptors are in the text only.  They refer to catnip as an illegal drug, and milk is an alcoholic beverage in this world.  Because of the subject matter and high level of reading involved, I’d say this game is best for teens and older kids.

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