Describing The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: A Dreadly Business in three words would be: Victorian, crime, and weird noses (okay, maybe four words). Essentially, it is a point-and-click adventure game for the iOS that is set in a fictional Victorian era. With a saturated market of point-and-click games, what the game offers are simple controls, funny characters, and an interesting mini-game.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle is an episodic game that follows the titular character Bertram Fiddle. Fiddle is an adventurer and with his one-eyed sidekick, the burly Gavin, has traveled all over the world accomplishing many successes. In the first episode, Fiddle is uncovering the identity of a serial killer whose latest victim has serendipitously been switched with Fiddle’s dog. Fiddle must use his wits to chase after the killer and recover his precious puppy.
Controlling Fiddle with a mobile device is simple. A tap on a certain area will move Fiddle to that location. Tapping certain items and people will make Fiddle interact with them. In order to figure out which areas in a screen Fiddle can interact with, a simple tap and hold will show all those. In some obstacles, Fiddle will recruit the assistance of Gavin, in which case tapping on Gavin and the corresponding thing will trigger a response. The controls are very appropriate for a mobile device, especially when most of the screen is needed for smaller devices.
One aspect of the game’s design is the characters’ noses. It is part of its aesthetic, and somewhat gives each character a personality. Gavin’s small nose, for example, is a funny (or ironic) contrast to his strength and stature. Throughout the game, Fiddle will meet a cast of characters with their own eccentricities. Each character adds humor to the game—something that can be appreciated easily in a game featuring a serial killer and weird noses.
An interesting part of the game is a mini-game that features Fiddle running either to chase someone or to flee from something. The mini-game is played by swiping up or down to avoid obstacles that will hinder Fiddle’s progress from chasing or fleeing. It is especially fun playing the mini-game via a tablet; the only downside is that, at least for this episode, there are only a couple of instances for this mini-game.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: A Dreadly Business is a really good point-and-click adventure game for mobile devices. Anyone can pick this game up easily with its simple controls. Those who are looking for a good laugh will also find the game’s story and characters (such as their noses) funny. There is also a fun mini-game played a few times in the game that takes a break from tapping objects in the screen. This is a great first outing from developer Rumpus, whose background as an award-winning animation studio shows in all of Bertram‘s the charming little touches, which will have us coming back for more murder-mystery shenanigans.
That's a Nice...Nose?
Gameplay - 7/10
Plot - 8/10
Design - 9/10
+Simple controls appropriate for a mobile device
+Characters and their noses add frivolity to story
+Fun sliding mini-game
-Sliding mini-game is only on a few occassions