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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Investigate with Lord Winklebottom—starting today!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Took years, but it's available now.

Back in 2019, KoopaTV reader ShinyGirafarig wrote a guest post asking everyone to support Lord Winklebottom Investigates, an adventure starring the great British giraffe detective Winklebottom and his hippo sidekick, Dr Frumple.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates has been through a journey of a development history with two crowd-funded attempts (the first one didn't work out) by developer Cave Monsters (founded by Charlotte Sutherland) and years of waiting. Nintendo Life, in the article ShinyGirafarig recommended people look at, once said it'd release in mid-2020. In reality, the game entered Alpha stage in June 2021, and was deemed officially complete by March 2022. It's taken quite some time for console certification, but it's now released on the Switch, Xbox One and Series, and Steam for $19.

I have no idea if the game is actually good (ShinyGirafarig is playing it right now), but giraffes are fine and adventure games are a genre we like. Heck, just yesterday I wrote about an adventure game featuring another great British detective, Herlock Sholmes, who predates Lord Winklebottom by about thirty years. But he was involved in bending time and space in that incident by impossibly getting a morning edition of a newspaper on a ship already in the seas as of that morning reporting on events that happened at midnight. Perhaps that space and time distortion in the 1890s is what allowed for Detective Winklebottom's existence. You know, talking giraffes and such. Voice-acted, too.

Pokémon Shining Pearl Girafarig Hippowdon Winklebottom Dr Frumple
Space-time distortions? Well, Pokémon Shining Pearl and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond are highly relevant to that.
I probably need an actual image from the real game before this article is over.

Lord Winklebottom and Dr Frumple were invited to a scary island, the Isle of Barghest... and then it seems like a murder of master Gilfrey the Axolotl took place. Would the murder have happened had they not been invited? Or would they not have been invited were there not a murder? Seems awfully suspicious with a detective arriving and a murder happening at the same time. While an island should mean the murderer will be on the island the whole time, perhaps that makes it... dangerous. (Or maybe the murderer can just mysteriously warp off the island, like newspapers can warp onto steamships.)

The two must interview suspects (or other people of interest)—Winklebottom and Dr Frumple are far from the only animals present—and investigate the scenes in hand-painted environments to voice-acting and what is promoted as a delightful 1920s-sounding soundtrack. Investigation is done by pointing and clicking (or using your control stick and pressing a button) to gather items of interest and solve puzzles. It's all to tell a story that I know nothing about as of writing this. At least everyone promises that the dialogue that is the primary vehicle of telling that story is amusing.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates Dr Frumple autopsy gawping through glass Gilfrey Axolotl
I suppose I can't determine if Lord Winklebottom Investigates is good just by gawping at it through a trailer and official descriptions.
Should I play it then?

ShinyGirafarig strongly suggested to Ludwig (though it wasn't a formal request) that he write something about the release of Lord Winklebottom Investigates, and so this article exists despite him not knowing much about it. Nothing in this article is a recommendation, though maybe you'll find at least one of those in the comments section.


  1. It looks interesting enough. Although for 19 bucks the game had better be of substantial length. I have no problem supporting indie games or smaller developers, but I find quite a lot of them are criminally short. I completely understand why that is, they don’t have an AA game development team, that doesn’t stop the price from hurting and they have had quite a bit of “extra” time.

    1. Well, when she's done, we'll see how many hours ShinyGirafarig put into it.

    2. I so far have no way to tell how many minutes I actually played this game. I also had to replay the end a few times for my family to see the credits that had my name and my cat cameo. But yes it felt short. But since I have so much responsibilities in real life that I shy away from long games lately, I am glad to have a shorter game that I can actually finish.

      I did pay for the early bird special during the Kickstarter so it was $14.

      I did get stumped a few times on what to do next. Dr Frumple gave vague hints when asked for hints that Athena Cykes wishes she was not that obvious when she was asked for hints. I did love the story. The humour (gotta rep the British in the game) was great. Lord Winklebottom is adorable with his constant wiggling ears.

    3. Well I’m glad that the humor was on point. That’s one of the most important things, although other than maybe Yiik I thinks most (intentional) funny games are able to achieve that.

      I can see the sentiment for shorter games, especially the virtual novel types. But i think personally id like a bit more, and unfortunately this game probably can’t get any DLC can it? Still, Hopefully it does well enough for more games from the people behind it.

  2. I managed to get myself a shiny Winklebottom:

    1. Super dapper.

      We're all eagerly awaiting your thoughts on the game itself. :x


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