ReviewsReview: One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party

Review: One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party

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The world is full of individuals and groups who look to the future, rather than what they have now. The grass is always greener, and this is usually to their detriment. One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party uses this idea in a weird and surreal manner.

Developed by DarkChibiShadow and published by Ratalaika Games, this is a point and click adventure that blends other genres. Filled with hilarious one-liners, witty dialogue, and testing puzzles, this is a short but interesting title. The story unfolds using visual novel mechanics and you control how the plot flows and who you wish to interact with. It’s strange, but the combined elements all work well together to create an enjoyable game.

Stay away from the stairs!

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party is bizarre and you’ll wonder what the developers were thinking.

Games pushing the limits of sensibilities is nothing new, but One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party is right on the edge. Its weird story requires you to forget normality and to go with the flow. If you do this, you’ll experience an odd but brilliant plot that’ll capture your attention from the off. If you are a fan of Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, or Sam and Max, you’ll adore this. 

The story revokes around Beracus and Lee who are on an adventure to cure Beracus’ suffering village. Clues lead the pair to the entrance of an abandoned bunker where a trap imprisons the duo. Stuck, and with nothing else to do, they explore the well-furnished surroundings. Quickly they discover a cultist group of talking skeletons who accept the pair as their own. They talk of the “old world” dying and their desire for the “new world”. Beracus and Lee capitalise upon the cults’ friendly welcome and explore the bunker freely while looking for a way to escape. 

I warned you that this was bizarre as hell! Talking cultist skeletons who are awaiting a “new world”, whatever next, eh?

A helpful map of your prison….er I mean home.

Fascinating characters and interesting puzzles. 

Whenever I read a book, I need the plot to hold my attention from the beginning. I’m not a fan of slow-burners, and luckily One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party jumps straight into the action. You are instantly introduced to the fascinating characters, and you’ll be captivated by their strange personalities. The story flows nicely from scene to scene, and you are only held up by searching each room for clues. 

Finding clues and solving puzzles forms the main concept, and if you love point and click games, you’ll be in your element. Scouring each scene for hints and information was fascinating, and this was helped with each character interaction. The balance of clues and hints was well thought out, and you are left with some challenging problems to overcome. 

The combination of genres was an interesting twist on the usual visual novel experience. You’ll enjoy exploring the bizarre bunker while befriending the skeletons and manipulating them to aid in your escape. 

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party uses colourful and “normal” images that don’t fit the bill. 

The striking still imagery associated with the visual novel elements was great to look at. I loved the vivid colours and well-detailed scenes. However, the “normality” of the world was at odds with the bizarre story you experience. This strange choice from the developers didn’t fit the bill, and I expected something much more extreme.

The audio, however, matched the surreal nature of the plot. Its whimsical and upbeat tones were great to listen to, and I loved how it emphasised the craziness of the surrounding world. Sadly, the same enjoyment wasn’t found in the old-school bleeping that accompanied the dialogue. This constant noise was annoying and distracted me from an otherwise excellent portion of the game.

A book-loving skeleton, who’d have thought it?

Easy controls, though the cursor was slow to move around. 

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party is a slow-paced and easy to play title. This is thanks to its heavy focus on the visual novel and point and click mechanics. The clean-cut UI and helpful reminder tools make escaping the bunker much easier, yet, this doesn’t mean it’s perfect! Sadly, the cursor was slow to move around the screen and this was frustrating. However, it’s serviceable, though I would have liked it to be more responsive.

One element I loved was the multiple endings that were on offer. This was a fantastic decision from the developers and it increases both the desire to return and its longevity. Thankfully, it uses the usual skip text function to prevent you from having to reread previously seen dialogue. This is a great tool that helps to stop the gameplay from becoming stale and it speeds up additional playthroughs. The small achievement list can be completed in under an hour, and this makes this a completionist’s dream.

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party is bizarre and full of old-school charm. 

The surreal and weird nature of One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party is beautifully complemented by the old-school charm. The mixture of genres is unusual, but it works well. The slow-paced gameplay and testing puzzles are just as interesting as the plot and the fascinating characters you encounter. The witty dialogue will make you chuckle as it incorporates some “dad” humour within the story. I enjoyed it and recommend you to buy it here! Solve the puzzles by interacting with the cultists while searching for clues. Manipulate your hosts and find each ending of this bizarre plot. 

SUMMARY

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party uses a wonderful blend of genres to tell its bizarre story. Solve an array of puzzles, interact with skeleton cultists, and try to escape your new home.

+ Striking imagery.
+ Whimsical audio.
+ Easy to use controls.
+ A completionist's dream.
- The cursor moves slowly.
- Loading issues on the Xbox Series X.
- The images don't match the theme.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks a bunch for the review! Wasn’t aware of the cursor issue on consoles, I’ll bring it up with the publisher. (It’s a PC port) And, just so you know for the future, you can turn off / turn down the bleeps the characters make. ^u^ I hope you’ll check out Part 2 when it’s out!

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment, I will look at the audio later as I would like to revisit it again. I will certainly take a look at part two

Comments are closed.

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