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Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . With a name like Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure, you might expect an epic quest brimming with cynicism. Unfortunately, this brand new point and click adventure game holds back. While it's occasionally funny, this crime thriller is ruined by a subtitle setting you up for unrealistic expectations. Rating: 64%
Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
I've always been a bit dubious of games that trumpet being fun right in the title. When I play games like Arthur's Absolutely Fun Day, All the Fun of the Fair and Garfield's Fun Fest, the only thing I see is an insecure publisher desperately trying to trick you into buying a crummy game. Right or wrong, this was also my first through when loading up Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure for the first time. I worried that I was being set up for major disappointment simply because of a bone-headed subtitle.

As it turns out, I had good reason to be skeptical of the silly name. For all its promises, Demetrios isn't nearly as big and cynical as the title lets on. It's a fairly straight-forward crime thriller with a schlubby hero who accidentally gets caught up in a major conspiracy. It's fun and occasionally snarky, but anybody coming in hoping for an epic adventure brimming with cynicism will likely be left disappointed.


Our unsuspecting hero is none other than Bjorn Thonen, an unkempt art seller living in a messy apartment in Paris. He doesn't have a lot of money or friends, just an attractive next door neighbor and a failing business in a crummy part of town. But Bjorn's life changes forever when an intruder steals a rare tablet and ransacks his store. This sets the grumpy retailer on an adventure to get his tablet back and bring the thief to justice.

Of course, it's not as easy as that. Bjorn finds the local police force to be less than helpful, forcing our hero to take matters into his own hands. This is the type of game where you'll need to earn every inch of progress. In order to get somebody's help, you'll need to run an errand or collect a bunch of items. And it's more than just a scavenger hunt, since each item will require additional puzzles and tasks. The poor guy will end up running all over the place for just the slightest information. In other words, it's a typical graphic adventure game.

Bjorn's investigation not only takes him all over Paris, but also to an extremely small desert country named Nogo. It's here that the scope begins to expand, unveiling a conspiracy larger than anything our hero could have imagined. What first seemed like an innocent burglary quickly becomes a life and death adventure full of murder, kidnappings and intrigue.

Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

All this will feel awfully familiar to anybody who grew up playing point and click games on the PC. The gameplay is little more than hunting down helpful items that will be used to solve puzzles. Sometimes you'll need to combine objects, but most of the game revolves around interacting with everything in the room in hopes of finding clues.

Because Bjorn is rarely on the screen, we won't need to bother moving him around. This speeds everything up, allowing the player to just point at the objects they want to know more about. Unfortunately, I found this made it harder for me to connect with the character. We spend most of the time just staring at still images hoping something will stand out.

The problem with Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure is that it's misleading. Bjorn isn't cynical, he's just an imbecile. He's constantly surprised by common sense and coming up with ideas long after everybody else. At one point he's utterly baffled by the very existence of a stick shift in a truck. Neither he nor the world he lives in feels especially cynical, at least not in the way I understand the word. He's occasionally snarky and a little bit dense, but not cynical.

Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's also worth noting that the game isn't all that big, certainly not enough to warrant the word in all caps. Sure, Bjorn travels all over Paris and eventually travels abroad, but that's par for the course when it comes to this type of adventure game. I might argue that any one of those Sam & Max games or seasons was a lot more cynical and epic in scope. That's not to say Demetrios doesn't have a few fun twists and turns, but the game's title isn't doing it any favors.

If you can ignore the dopey name, you'll find an enjoyable adventure game. The puzzles are mostly logical and there are more than enough "hint cookies" lying around to get you out of any jam. Bjorn is a likable enough character, but I was disappointed he wasn't more cynical in nature. There are a few laughs to be had here and there, but Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure has a hard time living up to its name.
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