Welcome to ID@Xbox Spotlight, a new series which highlights various games from the ID@Xbox program. For the inaugural installment, I’ll be talking about Agatha Knife, a point and click inspired adventure from developer, Mango Protocol. The game follows a young girl named Agatha, who works in a butcher shop with her mother. For years, their business was thriving, but something unexpectedly causes them to lose a lot of customers. A supermarket started selling meat at discounted prices, and all of the butcher shop patrons stopped coming to the store.
As the game begins, our heroine is being dragged along to church so that her mother can pray to God for the butcher shop to thrive. It’s here where Agatha starts to feel skeptical. She’s confused as to why the congregation is praying and why they need to purchase cheese to enter heaven. While “searching” for an answer, Agatha stumbled across a building that helps people create their own religion. The church her mother entered is actually a fake religion created by a man who needed to sell cheese, hence, why the congregation kept buying cheese. Agatha is taught that religion is a sham and that people need to believe in something. This gives her the idea to start a religion that will benefit her family; one that will bring customers to the butcher shop again. This revelation begins her journey to start Carnivorism, a new meat-based religion.
Agatha’s journey to save her family’s butcher shop introduces a world full of crazy characters, satirical humor, and pop culture references galore. Agatha is an innocent 7-year old girl who believes what people tell her. She listens, likes people who help her, but has a hatred of those who get in the way. The humor is occasionally shocking, with an early conversation about prostitution that I didn’t think would be talked about because of the age of the main character. It’s edgy but never excessive. Humor is subjective. A lot of times, what some people find hysterical, others will find offensive. Agatha’s Knife knows when to offend people and when to hold back. The writing is smart, witty, and the game’s strongest aspect.
Gameplay features a mixture of exploration, point, and click, as well as light puzzle solving. There are multiple buildings to enter, and all of them at some point are integral to the narrative. Agatha Knife never takes itself seriously, and that works in its favor. What I loved most about Agatha Knife is the fact that it’s filled with old-school charm, but feels like it belongs in the modern gaming landscape. The art style is deceptively adorable but be warned; this is anything but suitable for families. The dark tone and gratuitous scenes of animal violence will have an effect on younger audiences.
Agatha Knife is a fun 4 hours for anybody looking for a nice change of pace from the typical RPG, FPS, and racing games found on consoles. It’s a game that doesn’t ask for much of a commitment from its players, and while that sounds like a negative, it’s high praise from me. Agatha Knife is short, fun, and offensive, but behind its dark coating, there’s a lot of heart. I started to care for Agatha throughout her journey, and in some strange twist of fate, I wanted her to succeed. Agatha Knife is a breath of fresh air, and I implore Xbox One owners to give it a shot. Helping someone create a new religion and deceiving cute animals may sound like an incredibly mean-spirited concept, but the excellent writing, entertaining characters, and surprising pop-culture references make this journey to find a higher calling one that I really enjoyed.