Night mode

Lamplight City Review (Second Look)

Lamplight City Review (Second Look)

Lamplight City Review (Second Look)

Play a detective who deals with kidnappings, murder, family drama, political debate and abusive spouses, all with his dead partner’s voice firmly lodged in his head

Category: Review
Written by: Jeffry Houser on October 10, 2018
Genre: Point-and-Click Mystery Adventure
Published by: Application Systems Heidelberg
Developed by: Grundislav Games
Release Date: September 13, 2018
Platforms: Windows, Mac, SteamOS + Linux


Lamplight City from Grundislav Games feels like something that would be suited to the Wadjet Eye catalog, alongside Blackwell, A Golden Wake and Shardlight. This might be because of the use of retro pixel graphics. Or it could be because the game is built in Adventure Game Studio. Or it could be that Francisco Gonzalez, the game’s creator, is the brains behind both Shardlight and A Golden Wake, two Wadjet Eye games. Whatever the reasons, I was excited about the game and couldn’t wait to explore the world of Lamplight City.

The Story

You step into the shoes of Miles Fordham, a cop who is investigating a flower shop theft with his partner. Unfortunately, things don’t go very well and his partner is killed. The story focuses on Miles trying to deal with his failure. In a Blackwell-like twist, his partner speaks to him from beyond the grave.

The game takes place in the four boroughs of New Bretagne, but honestly I didn’t realize there were different sections of the city while playing. Miles is now working as a private eye and takes cases from a police contact. You’ll deal with kidnappings, murder, family drama, the political debate over steam technology, abusive spouses and a hint of the supernatural. During all this, the voice in your head wants you to solve his murder.

The Production

I love the fact that your dead partner becomes the narrator of the game and converses with you as you explore the world. I love the fact that every screen has a bunch of things to click on and learn about. It’s a nice change from the norm, where every hotspot and conversation exists to provide you with the next puzzle solution.

Unfortunately, the game is kind of boring and I never connected with its characters. The game includes a lot of walking around and talking to people, but I never felt captivated by their stories. Despite having lots of locations and a lot of places to click, there seems to be very little to explore. As you unlock new locations, you’ll go to them and find between 1 and 3 screens. Click on everything you can. If there is a new character, exhaust all the conversation options. Finally, go back to every character you’ve met to find if you’ve opened a new line of dialog.

The marketing for the game promises 4 different boroughs to explore, each with its own unique flavor. Unfortunately, I found very little variation in the graphics and didn’t even know I should be experiencing four different unique game areas until after I read the marketing copy. The graphics are your standard pixel art fare, but do not present anything special.

The close-up portraits for conversations are clean to look at, but the characters feel cookie-cutter designed. The voice acting is clearly recorded but does not help to distinguish the characters. I do have praise for the sound mix; the voices cut clear through; the music is not too overbearing and the sound effects have good spatial separation. However, don’t ask me to hum a tune now that I’m finished with the game.

The puzzles primarily relate to drilling down into conversation trees, since the game has no inventory. That’s right, an adventure game with no inventory. Instead, you get a casebook where you can review your notes on suspects and documents; it also keeps a list of things to do. Sometimes the list self-updates, but other times I felt like I was ready to move on despite the game still listing incomplete tasks in the list.

Final Thoughts

I want to love this game, but I can’t. I enjoyed my time in New Bretagne, but the game is forgettable. I can’t even tell you the name of Mile’s partner because it isn’t in the marketing text. There is nothing in the story or production that drew me in or left me on the edge of my seat. The game isn’t as good as Shardlight, but not as a bad as A Golden Wake. If you’re a fan of detective mysteries or retro point-and-click games, then give this a try.

Grade: C

+ Around 8 hours of gameplay and more if you replay for alternate paths
+ Multiple solutions to each case
Easily forgettable, nothing in this game captured my attention
Lots of “visit everywhere, click everything” to move the game forward


System Requirements
MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows ME or later
Processor: Pentium or higher
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 640×400, 32-bit colour
DirectX: Version 5.2
Storage: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: All DirectX-compatible sound cards
OS: Mac OS X 10.11+
Processor: 1.2 GHz
Storage: 2 GB available space
MINIMUM SteamOS + Linux
OS: Ubuntu compatible
Processor: Pentium or higher 1.2 GHz
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 640×400, 32-bit colour
Storage: 2 GB available space
Jeffry Houser

Jeffry Houser

Jeffry's first memory of gaming was blowing himself up in Zork by walking into the gas room with a torch. Then he tried King's Quest on a PCjr and has been a fan of the genre ever since.Jeffry Houser is a technical entrepreneur that likes to share cool stuff with other people. In his professional career, Jeffry runs an IT Consulting form. He has a Computer Science degree from the days before the business met the Internet and has built a career around using technology to solve business problems. He has written four technical books, over 30 articles and hundreds of podcasts. Jeffry has published a casual game on Android, titled Igor Knots and the Magonda Maze.In his spare time Jeffry is a musician, writer, podcaster, and recording engineer. His first table top game should come to Kickstarter in early 2015. You can read his personal blog at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.