Developer: Rumpus Animation
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: November 22, 2018 (EU & NA)
Adventures of Bertram Fiddle Episode 2: A Bleaker Predicklement, from developer Rumpus Animation, is a most peculiar tale indeed. I had the privilege of reviewing the first game in the series, A Dreadly Business, and was pleasantly surprised by how well the story was told and the point-and-click puzzle elements were incorporated.
A Bleaker Predicklement has you resume your role as Bertram Fiddle alongside your one-eyed cyclops sidekick Gavin with a narrative full of intrigue, murder, and horrendously amazing puns. While the first episode in the series was a brief experience, A Bleaker Predicklement offers a far more complete experience with all the charming British wit that the series is known for. This is fortunate, as it doesn’t come without a few faults in its presentation and archaic gameplay mechanics.
The story opens not too long after the conclusion of A Dreadly Business, with Bertram resorting to working as a phone salesman in Dulsworth’s Adequate Soap Factory to meet the demands of his upper-class leaning wife and their dog Foofi. Bertram has claimed to swear off adventuring, but within moments of his late shift ending a mysterious caller leads him to a new adventure. Unfortunately, Geoff the Murderer, the nasty fiend from the first title, is still skulking about London and then frames Bertram for his latest killing. What follows is a series of item puzzles and hilarious jokes worthy of the Sierra Interactive days of adventure gaming.
If you haven’t experienced A Dreadly Business, don’t be too worried about jumping into A Bleaker Predicklement. It introduces a majority of the main cast in a quick opening sequencing, although I do advise engaging with Bertram’s opening act. If for no other reason than to get more ponderously plentiful puns. Either way, the second episode is a standalone adventure that also carries on the plot of its predecessor, but with a new mystery surrounding enshrouding Victorian London.
You’ll meet all sorts of colorful characters from, from a pretentious Sherlock Holmes and his deprived assistant Watson, to a depressed painter in need of dreary implements, and an ecstatic reporter always on the job. It all flows marvelously well, with inventory puzzles that only serve to add to the humor. Perhaps you may need to block a squirrel from fleeing, jamming an old piece of pipe to craft a paintbrush, or perhaps adding some cement to make tea biscuits absolutely ROCK! I would advise keeping the subtitles on while puzzle solving, as there are actually some unique jokes for even the incorrect items when solving certain puzzles.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it in regards to the second episodes gameplay mechanics and controls. Pushing the A button will allow you to perform a variety of functions and hotspots can be shown by hovering a cursor over them. The inventory is immediately accessible from the left-hand side of the screen and it’s easier to combine items and quickly use them with a character or in the environment.
My only gripe with A Bleaker Predicklement was its rather unpolished state. What I mean by that is despite a splendid tongue-in-cheek presentation, there are some technical issues where audio may skip right at the end of lines and sometimes animations where people are talking don’t appear to play right if at all. It’s by no means a game-breaker, but a little disconcerting considering the quality found everywhere else in the title.
Overall Adventures of Bertram Fiddle Episode 2: A Bleaker Predicklement is a positively splendid title that continues the series’ humor and clever narrative making for a fun experience. While I did run into a few more technical issues and the gameplay mechanics felt a little archaic at this times, I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing through the second episode and hope to see more games like this in the future. It’s not for everyone, but for anyone interested in a solid adventure title, this is one Predicklement you shouldn’t pass up.
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Chorus Worldwide Games
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