Game Reviews

Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business

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Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business

The UK has a history of making side-splitting comical adventure games - think Simon the Sorcerer and Discworld. And it's nice to see that legacy continue on iOS with games such as Hector: Badge of Carnage and Detective Grimoire.

Newcomer Bertram Fiddle isn't quite as funny, and it isn't as sharply made as those modern-day classics. But it's still a charming game, with a wonderfully offbeat world and a crooked sense of humour.

You play as Bertram Fiddle - a veteran Victorian explorator who's on the hunt for his next swashbuckling adventure of derring do. Little does he know that he'll find it in his own hometown of London when he gets muddled up with Geoff the Murderer.

The game turns into a serial killer manhunt, and you're on a race to uncover his identity before that know-it-all Sherlock Holmes figures everything out.

One is not amused

It's a funny game, but the humour is hit and miss. There are some cracking lines, but many of the jokes are surprisingly crass, and there are lots of puns and movie references that aren't going to elicit more than a wry smile.

It's more about the slightly surreal design of the world. Where a man uses a dodo as a massage machine, or a reporter is whisked away on a news blimp.

And all these characters are fully voiced - most are excellently done but Bertram himself has an annoying squeaky pitch that will grate pretty much immediately.

This is a point and click adventure of course, so expect to pick up items and use them to solve puzzles. And those riddles are reasonably inventive. Although the game isn't always interested in helping you get the answer.

Reminds me of a puzzle

When you come across a broken machine, for example, Bertram just says it doesn't work, but doesn't give any indication of how to fix the problem. That sort of thing.

Luckily the game is pretty easy so it's unlikely that you'll get stuck. And if you do, there are so few locations and objects in any given chapter that you'll figure it out eventually.

Sadly, there are also a few errors and animation glitches that spoil an otherwise high quality production.

Bertram Fiddle's first chapter gives us a reasonably long, reasonably funny, and reasonably well-designed adventure game.

It can't touch the classics with a barge pole but if you fancy some light puzzling and some chuckles, it's worth a download.

Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business

Bertram Fiddle isn't quite as funny or smart as other point and clicks, but it's still a charming and inventive story
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.