Growing up, I always wanted to be Fox Mulder or Dana Scully — the idea of immersing myself in the weird and occult as part of my job sounded pretty great to a younger me. Darkside Detective is probably the closest I'll ever get to that.
The pixelated point-and-click adventure game stars Francis McQueen, a typical gruff detective who happens to be the sole investigator in the Darkside Division, an X-Files-like spin-off of the police force that looks into cults, demons, and anything else a bit odd. The gameplay is simple, and involves investigating rooms and talking to witnesses, while using bits of evidence to solve puzzles.
While the full game isn't available just yet — it's slated to launch some time later this year, potentially on Steam — a browser-based demo lets you explore a single case for free right now. It's short enough that you could finish it on a lunch break, but it does an amazing job of easing you into the game's surprisingly funny world. The seemingly routine assignment has you searching for a lost little girl, but it's not long before you're warped into a parallel dimension. Though the game is pretty straightforward, it's buoyed by a great moody soundtrack and wonderful dark, yet colorful pixel art graphics.
The full game will have more of what the developers call "bite-size investigations into the occult and extraordinary," but for now you can check out the demo right here.