Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Stuck In Attic

Publisher:    Stuck In Attic

Released:   August 7, 2019              


Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system -- Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (64-bit XP) /Vista/7/8/8.1 or higher (64-bit)
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or AMD Athlon or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Dedicated video card with 2GB of video memory
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 20 GB available space




By Dan Peach



Stuck In Attic

Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure is a 3rd person point-and-click comic adventure game which was successfully funded via Kickstarter back in 2016. Since then, the developers, Stuck In Attic, have kept their backers, and the wider gaming public, very well informed, with a constant dose of update videos and livestreams. For that, and for actually releasing the game, they should be commended.

I want to start with the story, because that is the game's only real flaw. And I'm not sure how much of a flaw it really is. This is a game which is obviously heavily inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and his whole Cthulhu monster thing, and I know absolutely nothing about either of those things. And if you also know nothing about those things, then like me, you might also find yourself getting rather lost with the setup, the background, and the whole story in general. It starts out pretty simply, but by the end I had no idea what was going on or why anybody was doing anything. And I don't know if this is just because I know nothing about Lovecraft, but I'm going to assume that that is at least part of it. Basically, there are some death cults, and some other strange people, and they all seem to want to raise nasty things from the ocean, to visit a terrible fate upon the Earth. There are some additional thought provoking aspects to it all though, which I picked up on, so it wasn't all lost on me.

So how does our adventure get started then? Well, we start out playing as a private investigator - a man named Don R. Ketype. Don has been charged by one of the death cults with locating the Necronomicon, a mythical, magical book that is able to do all kinds of mysterious and cool things. He finds the book in a local library. And it somehow falls into the hands of our second hero, Buzz Kerwan, who works at said library. Buzz takes the book home, where he reads from it, and turns his kitty into a talking... Kitteh. Kitteh doesn't like this, and so the two of them set off to try and figure out just what the heck this book is, why anybody wanted it, and how to turn Kitteh back to normal. Their adventure takes them from Darkham, to Fishmouth (I assume these two are Lovecraft related), to Paris, to Transylvania, and finally to a secret weird island somewhere out in the middle of the ocean. Along the way, we get to play as Buzz, as Don, and even as Kitteh for a little while, which I really enjoyed.

Let's talk about these characters. As his name might suggest, Don is your typical gruff, 1940's film noir P.I. He talks like Clint Eastwood, has a cynical view of the world, is always questioning everything, but remains ultimately pretty good at his job. His is instantly familiar and very likeable. We know where we stand with Don. And he writes in a notebook, so we always have something to look at if we need to understand things a little more, or if we need a hint. Buzz is your typical young, naive, everyman character. He represents us, the player. And like us, he knows the least at the start. He is a reluctant hero. He doesn't really want to be on this adventure, but he goes along anyway because he loves his Kitteh, and wants to turn her back to normal. He might also love the idea of adventuring a little too though. I mean, who doesn't? And finally, Kitteh. Kitteh is awesome. She is the perfect human version of a cat. She is sarcastic, witty, cutting, and nonplussed. She just ain't bothered about, or by, anything. She just wants to stop being able to talk because it's just so uncatly. She and Buzz have a great relationship throughout the game. It starts off kind of weird because now that she can talk, Buzz wonders about weird things, like what did she think when he brought his lady friends home? She tells him in no uncertain terms… what she thinks. But as we progress, they get closer and closer, and by the end, they have a real nice and touching rapport, which feels genuine. What is also great is that when we're playing as Buzz, we can use Kitteh to help us solve puzzles, like reaching things in high up places. And we can ask her for advice when we're stuck. We'll get a snarky response, but usually it's helpful. And obviously, throughout the game we meet a LOT of other characters. They're strange, odd, quiet, loud, serious, and hilarious. A real good mix. Overall, our main characters serve the game well, and we like them a lot, but ultimately, they don't really go through much change, which is not necessarily a bad thing as this game isn't really about huge character development and arcs. They are who they are, and that's good enough for me.

There is quite a lot of talking in this game, and luckily the dialogue is of a superior quality. I generally don't like lots of dialogue in games, but here it flows nicely, and never feels stale, boring, or like it's getting bogged down. There's a balanced mix of exposition, fun chit chat, and some definite funny jokes. I laughed quite a few times. And speaking all of this dialogue out loud is a large mix of actors, ALL of whom do an excellent job. I was very impressed with the voice acting. All the voices fit their characters perfectly, and even when voiced by the same person, there is enough of a difference that you wouldn't even know. Also there's a wide range of voice types and accents on offer, which might seem jarring at first - like why is there a stereotypical New York guy in the same place as a British guy - but you soon get used to it, and it starts to feel like it really works. Like it just fits the game.

Puzzle design is pretty typical for an adventure game. There are some inventory puzzles, and some more obscure in-scene puzzles to solve. The difficulty is just about right, and most shouldn't present a significant challenge. I did, however, have to consult a guide on two occasions simply because I became too stuck. I literally could not see how I was supposed to solve these puzzles. And even when I saw the solutions in the guide, I still didn't know how I was supposed to have figured them out. That was only two occasions though. On the whole, the puzzles were just difficult enough, without being too easy, and I enjoyed the challenge.

Regarding graphics and sound, the game is perfect. There is not a single thing wrong with the graphics or the sound. The artwork is in a cartoony style, which fits the tone of the game perfectly. Locations look dark and moody and atmospheric, and are nicely detailed, with just enough things to click on to keep you interested without overwhelming you. The background music serves to complement each location and scene, and is non-intrusive. And you can control the individual levels for music, speech, and effects in the main menu to get the balance just right for you. There are also numerous fully animated cutscenes throughout, which look great. These are nicely spaced, and are quite short, so you get just the right amount of extra thrill from them.

In conclusion, despite my story problems (which may just be MY problems), Gibbous is an excellent, excellent game, which I thoroughly enjoyed over approximately 11 hours. It looks, sounds, and feels professional in every sense. Twenty years ago this would have been a mainstream game made by a large mainstream developer. As it is, it's made by only a few people, and the talent of this group is obvious. If this is the quality of their very first game, then I can only expect greater things in the future. I could definitely see a sequel to this game as I love all the characters and really feel like they had formed into quite a close knit little group by the end. I would like to see them go on more adventures. I just hope the developers might lay off the Lovecraft elements a little bit for people like me, who don't know, and don't really want to know, anything about it.


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September 2019

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