SCOTT WHISKERS in: the Search for Mr. Fumbleclaw

One of the games' genre where solo developers thrive the most is adventures. Not because it's easy to create one, on the contrary, I think it's one of the hardest genres in game development to get involved in, but because there are many remarkable game engines and tools, which, combined with the "static" nature of their gameplay, make it more feasible for the more... "lonely" ones to create them. Scott Whiskers in: the Search of Mr. Fumbleclaw is another such case, which was accompanied by a successful Kickstarter campaign, which practically completed four years of Mr. Axel Friedrich's efforts.

The disappearance of a cat can cause fainting spells.

However, when we talk about an indie creation of one (or in our case, a handful of people who helped him, not including the voice cast) man, several things happen: on the one hand, it's more a product of "devotion" and less a purely commercial product, and on the other hand, it sometimes lacks the polish of other titles in the category. Scott Whiskers has obviously been worked on too much by its developer, but its indie origins are still very much in evidence, with the relative consequences in the end result.

Of course, we're in no way claiming that this isn't a worthwhile adventure. After all, the good vibes are evident and the whole Scott Whiskers affair starts off in a totally feel-good mood - even the lack of an introductory cut-scene is mocked on the grounds of low budget! How could it be otherwise, after all, when our main goal is to help the nerdy protagonist track down Lord Fumbleclaw who has suddenly disappeared? If you're wondering who Lord Fumbleclaw is, you're probably not observant enough (or you're not imagining how eccentric the rich can be), since he's a white cat who has gone missing from the beauty parlour where his boss had sent him in order to win (for the fifth time in a row) the feline beauty contest "Ricky's Finest".

It's all about this little devil.

As an animal lover (he also works at a shelter), Scott couldn't stand by and watch such a tragedy unfold, only the case turns out to be much more complex than he could have imagined. So much so, that he'll have to enlist every means, legal or not, until he gets to the bottom of this and the reason for his disappearance. Of course, all this with humour and self-deprecation as the common denominator, with no shortage of regular references and easter eggs to modern pop culture (or not so modern, as Star Trek is the belle of the ball) and classic adventures.

After all, the game's creator promotes it as a family-friendly game and this is very much true, as Scott Whiskers doesn't depict killing and gore, neither touches on serious political issues. Remarkably, however, its family-friendly aura doesn't affect in the slightest the apt and beautiful writing it features, with the humour being spot-on most of the time, while its puzzles wouldn't be described as "simple" either.

Beware, there are also very dangerous quadrupeds...

Especially for a newcomer to the genre, the game is capable of making him "stuck" several times and for a long time, but fortunately there is a very useful journal that gives valuable hints, while recording with bullet-points the objectives we have undertaken and/or completed up to that moment. However, being "old timer" in the genre, we can't say that we found a puzzle that surprised us or that we haven't encountered before (except for one point that I won't spoil, of course), so we progress the adventure at a fast pace and manage to complete the game in about six hours.

Certainly, this time is indicative and depends on whether or not you have the hotspot indicator enabled and how thoroughly you follow the dialogues with the various characters we meet. It's true that, for all its undeniable writing quality, the dialogues are long-winded, often rambling on about things that are irrelevant to the plot, in an attempt to "build up" the profile of the characters involved in the adventure and probably manage to include as many jokes as possible.

I guess the letters won't get there in time.

Granted, it's interesting to read about how much the detective worships Sherlock Holmes and dresses like him, or how modern horror films lack the thrill of the old ones and stars like Vlad Popescu have been pushed aside, but all of this often works to the detriment of the central plot and our ultimate goal. Especially there are times (thankfully not many) when there is a lack of cohesion, for example, when we've informed a character of something that is about to happen and when it eventually comes to pass, he's surprised as if he's hearing it for the first time. In general, we felt that Scott Whiskers is filled with a lot of "fat" in its text and we estimate that the same things could have been said, just as funny, with fewer lines of dialogue.

At least, in terms of controls and accessibility, Scott Whiskers gets an excellent score, as everything happens with one click (or double-click to get from one screen to another faster), while the always-on map icon is extremely useful, transferring us at any time to one of the available areas (which are not few) of the game. However, a strange option (and the only one that gives achievements) is to take pictures of the game's characters (both bipedal and quadrupedal) with an old polaroid camera, which fills our inventory with photos! Except for a few cases where, indeed, some photos are necessary to solve certain puzzles, the rest have no reason to exist and become a bit annoying. A sort button would be quite useful here.

Exclusively vegan pizza in an Italian restaurant?

Overall though, despite all the drawbacks mentioned above, Scott Whiskers rolls along nicely and practically succeeds in realizing its original vision. Namely, to offer an enjoyable adventure that primarily appeals to fans of the genre, but that everyone can enjoy without stress, while towards the finale, it also makes its own mark in terms of the attitude some people have towards their pets. Some may be put off by the particular style of its colourful graphics, which sometimes resemble children's drawings mixed with 3D models from another era, but if there's one thing we "adventurers" have learned is to even mess around with pixel graphics in 2024. As such a feature exists, if you want to try it out!

To sum up, Scott Whiskers in: the Search of Mr. Fumbleclaw is not the adventure that will change your life, nor will it thrill you, but it is perfectly capable of making you have a few pleasant "adventurous hours", especially when the last few months have been in relative short supply. The fact that a sequel is already in the works means that Mr. Friedrich still has several ideas in his head waiting to be implemented, and we await them with open arms.

Go to discussion...

RATING - 72%



A nice adventure that ticks all the boxes, but at the same time it doesn't really excite.

Γιώργος Δεμπεγιώτης

Lover of action, shooter, adventure, RPG's and sometimes racing games, he prefers mainly single-player gaming. Every now and then he breaks out into a multi, but he doesn't overdo it.

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