Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure Review – Slobs Need Adventure Too (Vita)
Most of our adventure games star someone who is larger than life, whether it’s in stature or in the heart. But what if the hero—and I say that rather loosely—is a drunken, lazy, disgusting slob who is far from being the brightest bulb in the box? Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure features such a protagonist by the name of Bjorn Thonen. Bjorn is gross. He doesn’t shower. He has no problems eating thrown away food. God only knows the last time he cleaned his toilet. He owns an antique store, but he’s never there. Therefore, he doesn’t have much money. He also doesn’t have any friends, which is a huge shock, I know. Even worse, his idiocy knows no bounds. And yet, this slovenly creature is going to save the world, even though he really, really doesn’t want to.
This has all the makings of a game of the year adventure title, doesn’t it? Did I mention that it’s filled with toilet humor? Literal toilet humor? You’re completely sold on this title, aren’t you?
A Truly Reluctant Hero
There are a bazillion games that star a reluctant hero. It’s always some poor schmuck who stumbles into a situation and finds that will to be stronger within and save the day. In Bjorn’s case, he simply wants to be left alone. He has zero interest in improving his life outside of suddenly getting rich. He wants to flirt with his neighbor across the hall, rarely go into work, eat chips off the floor, and stumble around drunk at night. He doesn’t have a burning drive inside that needs to be awakened. Everything he does is to be left alone and dwell in his life of lazy. Unfortunately for him, that includes flying to foreign countries, robbing museums, killing sorcerers, fishing for piranhas, and doing a lot of things he (and most normal people) would never get up off the couch to do. At first, he only started this wacky adventure to retrieve his stolen belongings. Even in the end, he had no desire to save the world.
As the player manipulates Bjorn to get up off his ass and save the world, it doesn’t take long to realize that if we truly did all the things in real life that you do in point-and-click adventure games, we’d also be disgusting pigs. Would we ever think of rummaging through every bag we found? Would we ever carry so much crap in our pockets just to potentially build a makeshift fishing pole that we don’t even know we need? Would we really look at and touch everything in every room we enter? Of course we wouldn’t, and we’d definitely hate anyone on the spot we see doing so — especially when you see them picking up cookies off the floor or from under dead rats. They may be doing so because said cookies give them hints for solving puzzles, but outsiders wouldn’t know that. And would us outsiders believe them anyway? There’s a reason why Bjorn has no friends. It’s only partially because the player can make him poop on a copier.
Only Game Where You Want to Die
Aside from making Bjorn do really disgusting things, like pee on a plant or poop in a sink, the biggest draw to this adventure is finding all the ways Bjorn can fail a puzzle. The reasons why Bjorn dies or goes to jail are so hilarious, I was searching for all the reasons he could die in every room I entered. Will he stick his fingers in that light socket? Yeah, he will. What if he tries to stab that assassin? Can I get him to eat garbage and possibly die from it? The fact that there’s a trophy for seeing each and every Game Over screen only makes killing Bjorn more enticing. I had more fun failing puzzles than I have in virtually every other puzzle game out there. Fortunately, each time you do fail a situation, the game will send you right back to where you were when you made that horrible decision.
The only thing funnier than Bjorn’s stupidity and all the ways to kill him are the numerous jabs at other video games. Developer Fabrice Benton even threw in a lovely Portal cake joke, because you simply can’t have inside jokes about other games without poking fun at that blasted cake.
Demetrios doesn’t take very long to complete, and the puzzles aren’t so challenging that you risk eating all of your cookies for hints before reaching the end. That may be a turn-off for some, but this game is more about the humor (especially the toilet humor) than the riveting gameplay. The humor is why I stayed up late playing, and it’s that humor that prods me to recommend this title to Vita owners. Even if you don’t like toilet humor, which did get rather old about halfway through, there is an option to cut it down or remove it entirely. It’s still just as funny without it. The important thing to remember about this Big Cynical Adventure is to not expect a deep story throughout. It’s about as deep as a toilet.
Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure review code provided by publisher. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.