Review – Lord Winklebottom Investigates

I spent a chunk of my youth years in England, where I was introduced to the delightful world of snarky, sarcastic, dry British humo(u)r. TV shows and movies are filled to the brim with this particular kind of comedy, with movies like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, as well as shows like Top Gear (back when it didn’t suck) or Little Britain. Games, on the other hand, aren’t as plentiful in this regard.

Back when Rare used to rule the world, Conker and Banjo were loaded with British sarcasm, but that’s not the case nowadays. A few indies here and there have tried to bring such humor back, namely Her Majesty’s Spiffing and Yooka-Laylee, but they were few and far between. Nowadays, comedy in games is a lot less subtle, with most comedic titles throwing one billion jokes at a wall hoping for one to stick. See Borderlands for a prime example of this. Not to mention when a game tries way too hard to be funny, but fails due to poor writing and awful characters, such as No More Heroes. Thankfully, this is not the case with the game I’m talking about today. Lord Winklebottom Investigates is comedic gaming done right.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates Opening

Literally the first thing you see when you start a new savefile. Off to a slightly traumatic start.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates‘ premise synthesizes everything that works in British humor into one intentionally dumb package: dry wits, sarcasm, silly puns, Monty Python-esque absurdity, making fun of British people themselves, and most importantly, subtlety. With the exception of its utterly bonkers premise, Lord Winklebottom Investigates doesn’t try to bombard you with a myriad of jokes every three seconds, hoping for a payoff like a tryhard comedian. It constantly throws you small references, small quips, and so on, making it a game that, while not necessarily hilarious to the point of making me lose my breath, made me chuckle constantly. I played it to the very end with a smile on my face, never feeling tired of its humor.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates Dr. Frumple

…that was a rhetorical question, right?

The only thing that’s absurd about it is, well, its premise. This is a mix between a Sherlock Holmes mystery, an Agatha Christie novel, and a whodunit murder mystery. That alone isn’t what makes it so unique. It’s its characters. They are all jolly Brits from the 1910s and 20s, with the sole difference of them being animals wearing posh Eton clothing for no reason. You control a giraffe wearing a top hat and a monocle; your sidekick is a hippo wearing a suit and always holding his cup of tea. He even complains if you pour tea the wrong way. The game rarely makes fun of its animal-centered premise. That’s the world the characters live in, and you’re basically told to deal with it. Love it.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates

Plus their hats. Don’t forget the hats.

As for the game itself, it’s a very traditional point-and-click adventure with the tried and true formula of the genre: collect items, talk to NPCs, solve small puzzles, read a ton of text, listen to a lot of great voice acting. I wanted to review Lord Winklebottom Investigates on the Switch due to its touchscreen functionality, and while it does work, it’s not properly calibrated. I resorted to playing it with analog sticks, which can’t be calibrated either. Sure, the left stick moves the cursor quickly, and the right one moves it at a slower speed, but I would have appreciated the possibility of calibrating the cursor to my liking.


Pictures you can hear.

None of the game’s puzzles felt too obtuse, nor did they feel stupidly easy either. I did get stuck at a point, but it was due to me not paying attention at a very, very, VERY obvious prompt right in front of me. You can always talk to your associate in order to get a very cryptic hint in case you’re stuck. All in all, a perfect feel-good fit for a portable like the Switch.

Lord Winklebottom Investigates Butler

It wouldn’t be a proper whodunit without a butler.

This is the kind of game I wish was more common. I got hooked on Lord Winklebottom Investigates for its utterly nonsensical premise, impressive plot, and barrage of chuckle-worthy jokes and puns, the kind of British humor not often seen in today’s gaming scene. Even though it’s your typical “one and done” kind of adventure game, and its gameplay could have received a handful of improvements, I had a great time with it. I got way more involved in a game featuring a giraffe wearing a god damn monocle than I could have ever imagined. Please sir, could I have some more of these adventures?


Graphics: 8.0

It’s really weird, but I can’t stop looking at it. Lord Winklebottom Investigates is certainly a visually unique game.

Gameplay: 7.0

Some issues with the precision of its touchscreen functionality, and I didn’t like not being able to calibrate the speed of the cursor when playing with a controller. As for the rest, it worked as well as a point-and-click adventure should.

Sound: 9.0

I will never get tired of listening to animals speaking in polite British accents… as well as that one Irish puffin.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Never too obtuse, but never stupidly easy either. It’s never outright hilarious, but almost always, at the very least, chuckle-worthy. Not to mention the completely bonkers premise. 

Final Verdict: 8.0

Lord Winklebottom Investigates is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Lord Winklebottom Investigates was provided by the publisher.