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    The Wardrobe

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    Philippe Gloaguen
    @philippegloaguen

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    The Italian independent developers CINIC Games, together with Mixedbag Games, have made the wise decision to publish their graphic adventure on PC and Nintendo Switch, the hybrid console of the great N. Village. A few days ago we published the review of Detective Gallo, arrived on PC and that Adventure Productions will also bring to the Nintendo console, a sign that the Italian market is moving towards a conquest of the new platform that is interesting for developers, so that you can grab a new catchment area. The Wardrobe is made by three people and is strongly inspired by great classics such as Monkey Iceland e Day of the Tentacle, presenting a new gameplay system that takes from the old genres but transforms it to your liking.



    The Wardrobe's narrative pretext has to do with plums and skeletons in the closet. We find ourselves on a picnic in the open air and Ronald, our co-star and object of desire, offers plums to Skinny, the alter ego we control. The latter is allergic to that type of fruit, so much so that he becomes a skeleton and his friend runs away. Ronald is unaware that for the next five years Skinny will live in his closet to watch over him. Until one day the skeleton has to reveal the crime to his friend, otherwise he will be damned forever. Too bad that today is the day of the move and it will be up to us to find the new home to meet Ronald again. The various narrative sequences justify why the protagonist moves from one setting to another, passing from sewers to cemeteries. The scenarios were created on purpose to create hilarious situations with the world around us, the strange characters that we will meet and make fun of the protagonist, making him take an action that he himself warns us not to want to carry out. Really remarkable is the characterization of Skinny, a more cynical character than Guybrush and always ready to break the fourth wall to interact with us and make us feel stupid and more part of what we are controlling.. Skinny is just a, pass me the term, you bastard. He will have fun making fun of the many characters he interacts with, remarkably stereotyped to create tragicomic conditions made by the dialogue with our favorite skeleton. The player moves around a city, passing from scenario to scenario and making new acquaintances, but the relationship with Ronald is only presented at the beginning and their relationship is not very deepened, so as to leave little empathy with the characters and the bitterness in mouth on the finish: really a shame.



    Besides the dialogue and cynicism, one of the juiciest parts of The Wardrobe is the gameplay. The player is pushed to take part in the game by exploring the environments, as they are rich in quotes area of culture popular. Not only are elements from the 80s and 90s taken up, such as old graphic adventures (Grim Fandango) or cult films (Back to the Future), but also modern-day works such as Night at the Museum or Stranger Things. The quotationism distinguishes most of the dialogues and settings of the title, as they are present in the scenarios, paintings and objects that recall the culture of our times, so those who do not know these elements will surely be able to enjoy the story and the gameplay, however its experience will be cut short to a large extent. If you have fully experienced the various forms of modern and past entertainment, then this is the title for you, taking from the classics and proposing them in a new sauce. or. The player can observe, collect, use and discuss (doing it with inanimate things will give Skinny room for his jokes towards us) with the selected element of the scenario. In order to continue in the game, in addition to having to select lines of dialogue to talk to others and find out what to do to solve, for example, their problem, you will need to solve puzzles as in the most classic of games.

    The longevity of the title strongly depends on your acumen and the intuition that you will lend in solving the situations that will arise in front of you. Even with Monkey Island I had to bang my head in order to continue, however The Wardrobe has too many puzzles that lead to No.sense. In the rib cage Skinny hides all the collected objects and you will use them by combining them with others or handing them to the right people, however it is difficult to understand the logic to solve them and, as the protagonist himself says, in this graphic adventure you must not combine everything with everything, but you you'll find yourself over and over again at squeeze le meninges and use this little practice shared by your skeleton. In line with Skinny's comedy is the art direction, presenting a cartoonish style with bright colors and easily recognizable pop culture objects. Skinny moves, with not exactly the best animations, through pleasant and detailed settings. The soundtrack is all too anonymous, well contextualized, but it does not offer memorable pieces.



    The Wardrobe is an ideal graphic adventure for a public nostalgic who wants to relive the same feelings of the past. The younger ones will hardly get to a work that makes quotationism its strong point, an element that I particularly appreciated, and is based on gameplay mechanics that are not really innovative. Unfortunately, despite the presence on the Nintendo Switch of the touch screen which makes navigability more comfortable, interaction with the elements is almost impossible. In conclusion, CINIC Games has made an old-fashioned graphic adventure that is really fun and with a comedy surprising, giving ample scope to a truly pleasant artistic style. In short, it is a well-packaged, courageous product that could enchant the foreign market.

    Videogamingallday.com review
    Graphics

    The Wardrobe's artistic direction is truly remarkable, presenting well-distinguished scenarios and an enchanting cartoonish style.


    80
    SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM

    The soundtrack is anonymous, with well-contextualized but not very memorable songs. The Italian dubbing of the main character is remarkable and well done, a little less the secondary ones.


    63
    GAMEPLAY

    The puzzles presented by The Wardrobe are too nonsense, but the comedy created by the situations pushes the player to continue in the adventure. The narrative pretext works, providing the backdrop to the puzzles and exploration presented.

    73
    Total Rating scale
    71
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