Cthulhu seems to be all the rage these days, as we've gotten quite a few games lately based on Lovecraftian imagery. It's hard to say why exactly. It might be because everyone just loves that old, creepy squid monster, or because the idea of humans being a horrible cosmic mistake that can be corrected by the arrival of tentacled gods just sounds appealing right now.
Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure tries to do something different by being arguably being the most adorable take on Lovecraft's tales, although its cuteness can't quite cover all of its flaws.
Talk To Me
Gibbous is about a slacker named Buzz Kerwin, who witnesses the kidnapping of a detective named Don R. Ketype, whose name should tip you off about the tone of this game. Ketype was looking for the Necronomicon, which sure enough, Buzz stumbles across by sheer luck. After reading the book, Buzz accidentally wishes that his cat could speak, which comes true thanks to what I assume is Cthulhu magic. From there, Buzz sets out to solve the mystery of what happened to Mr. Ketype, and learn more about the creepy book, while his cat tags along so they can find a way to reverse her horrible gift of speech.
If you've ever played any of the original Lucasarts adventure games like Day Of The Tentacle, or The Secret Of Monkey Island, then you'd be right at home with Gibbous. It's a straight-up point-and-click adventure, complete with an inventory, some minor puzzles, and a ton of irreverent dialogue about almost everything in the game.
Hits And Misses
However, it never really gets particularly difficult. You can press the spacebar to highlight anything of interest in the area, which thankfully prevents the game from becoming a tedious exercise of finding the magic pixel to click. However, as a result of this, the solution to most puzzles are made pretty obvious, and you can usually figure out what items from your inventory you'll need to solve them.
This means you're going to have to rely on the story to carry your interest throughout the game. The writing is solid enough, although there are a lot of groan-worthy lines, and jokes that are trying a little too hard to be clever. The story also goes to some pretty predictable places, so it's not the most enthralling experience. The voice acting is mostly fine, but there's definitely a bit of a community theatre vibe with certain characters. The sound quality can also be a bit iffy, with the main character's lines seemingly peaking the audio of whatever microphone setup he had when he recorded his lines from home.
Gibbous' graphics are actually pretty nice, and very inspired by the games of Lucasarts and the works of Tim Schafer. There are a lot of vibrant colors, and what looks like hand-drawn background art. The animation can look a little too much like Flash animation, but it's not buggy, and it moves pretty smoothly. It's probably the closest thing we'll get to a Disney adaptation of Cthulhu.
Ok, But We'd Like More
Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure is an alright point-and-click game, but it does start to lose steam pretty quickly. It doesn't do anything poorly, yet it doesn't go out of its way to innovate or do anything to stand out from other funny point-and-clicks. It looks nice, but the puzzles are easy, the story gets old, and the voice acting is hit and miss. It is surprising that there aren't more humorous takes on the works of Lovecraft, and hopefully, this game will inspire more goofy tentacled-faced tales.
If you're looking for a decent point-and-click game to pass the time, you'd probably be better off playing games like Thimbleweed Park, Kentucky Route Zero, or any of the remastered Lucasarts games. If you're still hungry for more clicking after that, then maybe Gibbous would be an ok palate cleanser.
3 out of 5
A copy of Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure was purchased by TheGamer for this review. Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure is available now for PC.