Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure—a game as good as it is disgusting

WARNING: This game contains toilet humor.

Courtesy Cowcat
At the beginning of “Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure,” the main character, Bjorn Thonen, is introduced through a short comic, rather than through gameplay dialogue or an animated cutscene.

“Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure” is a point-and-click adventure game developed and published by the independent French studio Cowcat and was released on May 31, 2016. While that was just over three years ago, the game is still relatively unknown. I’d played the demo a while back (around three months ago, I think), but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend much money on it. However, it recently went on sale for the Nintendo Switch on the Nintendo eShop for five dollars, so I bought it, along with a couple of other games (it’s also available on almost every other system). Despite purchasing this game on a whim, I don’t regret it. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this short game.

Courtesy Cowcat
Bjorn speaking to himself after the player tries to use a lighter on the bed in “Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure.”

The game follows Bjorn Thonen, who, despite owning an antique shop and being a huge slob, is just your average guy. One night, after coming home completely wasted, he wakes to the sound of someone in his apartment. When he decides to investigate the noise, the intruder hits him in the back of his head, knocking him unconscious. The following morning, after finally being woken up by the ringing of his phone, he searches his house, though the only things that appear to be missing are his wallet and a stone tablet with the shape of a lightning bolt on it from an antique chicken statue that he’d recently come to own. After further investigation, he comes to the conclusion that there’s more to this seemingly normal burglary than what he initially thought.

Bjorn and Sandra having a conversation in “Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure.”

The game follows a basic storyline but is done in such a unique way that it’s almost brilliant. That isn’t the only unique thing about the game, however; the characters are probably the most unique part of the game. From Sandra, Bjorn’s neighbor from across the hall, and her daughter Caroline, an insufferable eight-year-old, to Roger, an archaeologist, and Big, a homeless merchant, there are so many interesting characters to meet. While most characters have rather small roles, they all add to what makes this game so special.

One thing that may deter people from playing this game is the art style. It’s not the best art in the world, but I think it adds to its charm. A game with as much toilet humor and adult jokes as this game does shouldn’t be expected to look pretty. In fact, an art style like Demetrios’ should be expected from such a raunchy game.

Ice cream man running his ice cream stand in “Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure.”

Demetrios isn’t only made up of toilet humor and adult jokes, however. The story takes so many different twists and turns as the game progresses, and leaves you on the edge of your seat, despite using so many different clichés. Even with all the clichés, I never could guess what would happen next. It was all just one surprise after another.

My absolute favorite part of this game is the many ways in which the player can get a game over. From being arrested to dying, to having your hand cut off, there are so many different ways to get a game over and finding them all is the most entertaining part, in my opinion. Often times, you have to go out of your way to get a game over, and you can even get an achievement for getting all of them.

Now, this game isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t find toilet humor to be very funny. While there are options for less or even no toilet humor, the game isn’t really anything special without it. So, if you’re not interested in the game for that reason, no one will hold it against you. However, if you don’t mind toilet humor, or if you enjoy it, give this game a chance. It’s definitely worth it.