There’s something charming about taking a tried and true video game genre and mixing it with a new aesthetic, theme, or something unique. Inspector Waffles, currently in development by Goloso Games and published by Hitcents, is a point-and-click detective game where players take on the role of a cat. We here at Shacknews got to put on our investigator hats and then dived into the world of Inspector Waffles as part of the Steam Game Festival.
Inspector Waffles kicks off as any good grimy detective story does: inside a bar, late in the evening. As Waffles sits there, drinking another glass of milk, an urgent call comes in, requesting his assistance at a crime scene. It turns out, a billionaire cat by the name of Fluffy has been found dead on the ground, broken window high above him. Now, as any good sleuth knows, cats land on their feet, and as Waffles deduces, this means murder most foul.
The demo of Inspector Waffles sets up a few key characters that will no doubt be along for the ride and involved in the unfolding story. There’s Chief Patches, Mayor Cookie and his running opponent Maple, as well as a pesky dog journalist Rufus who’s always one step ahead of Waffles.
Gameplay in Inspector Waffles, as is evident by the genre, revolves around looking at scenes and clicking items to receive information about them. One of the first locations is the victim’s house, which contains a few rooms and secrets. In order to gain all necessary clues, I had to do things like click on a trash can to find a broken screwdriver and pull a wheel off of a skateboard in the victim’s room in order to create a makeshift handle to access an area behind a broken door. This sort of puzzle solving acts as a hurdle that must be overcome in order to find clues and progress the story.
When finding something of interest, Waffles either makes a note in his pad or collects the evidence for use later. These can be clicked on when talking with a suspect or person of interest to advance the conversation. If the right clue hasn’t been found, the investigation will grind to a halt. To help combat people getting stuck, critical information is highlighted in the dialogue to help prompt closer inspection or players can call Waffles mother. In one instance, a witness agreed it was a warm evening and yet she had smoke billowing out of her chimney. By highlighting “warm evening” the game was able to direct my attention to the fact that someone wouldn’t have a fireplace going on such a night. Unfortunately, the witness realised we didn’t have a warrant to search her premises.
The demo of Inspector Waffles does a good job at setting up the the story and world while also giving an insight into the kind of gameplay players can anticipate from the full release. There are plenty of questions left for Waffles to solve, such as who pushed the victim from their window, who’s going to be the next mayor of the city, and what kind of milk should he have after he solves the case? For those that are interested in the point-and-click genre, detective games, and cats, Inspector Waffles is one you’ll want to keep a close eye on. Inspector Waffles is scheduled to release on Steam on March 23, 2021.
This preview is based on an early Steam demo build provided by the publisher. The Inspector Waffles demo is available in the Steam Game Festival 2021.