Private Dick: Red Johnson’s Chronicles

The trailer for Red Johnson’s Chronicles, heralding its release on PC following a stint as a downloadable console title, contains a noirish voiceover and a few penis jokes. It doesn’t particularly inspire me to hunt down the game, which appears to be set mostly in a diner. There’s a bit toward the end of the video where Red flicks through photos of all the things he’ll have to deal with during his adventure, but as they cascade across the screen with increasing rapidity, it’s clear that the same pictures are displayed repeatedly. Maybe that’s a gag that I’ve failed to understand but, hey, one of the pictures shows a couple of urinals so expect toilet puzzles to go with the toilet humour.

Red Johnson has been around for a while and the new adventure, One Against All, can be purchased in a bundle with the previous game for $29.99. The press release informs me that there are quick time events designed to “[add] dynamism to the adventure”, although puzzles and interrogations are the key to successful detecting.


  1. says:

    Backward cap English is literally Russian.

    • CobraLad says:

      Backward “R” is “Ya” and backward “N” is unpronounsable in english. Its extra annoying, althougt I like how Hawken became “Nyashkin” in Russia.

      • elhreno says:

        Backward N – “И” is just like i in “bin”. Й, which looks a little different pronounced like y in “toy”.
        “Ы” on the other hand… and yes, this is one letter.
        Also, “Ъ”.

      • Kollega says:

        “Nashkei”, actually. And “И” is pronounceable, albeit not without hassle – it’s approximately like “i” in “machine”. (EDIT: As the commenter above me points out, though, “Ы” really doesn’t have any approximation in English.)

        That aside, i wonder why the faux-Russian font (“Kremlin”, to be precise – same as in Defcon logo) is used here. Well, except for the purpose of stirring the discussion about faux-Cyrillic and proper pronounciation in the comments.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Let’s drink to that, tavarishi Kollega! Nazdarovie!

        • fuakinjuicy says:

          Ы is like a really harsh sounding i, with all the softness of it removed
          Ъ and Ь have no sound, they only serve to harden or soften the pronounciation of the letter that comes right before them

      • lijenstina says:

        Yaed Johisoi’s Chyaoiicles.

        Who is is Yaed Johisoi ?

        • Trent Hawkins says:

          the “H’ is actually an “N” so that would be “Yed Jonisio’s Snyonislzs”

  2. Felixader says:

    Can someone elaborate what the story and world is about and if it is worth a look (without too much spoilery)?

  3. yogibbear says:

    And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And that and that and that And den?

  4. int says:

    What the shit is this hell?

    Just give me Syberia 3.

    • J_C says:

      Actually the first episode was pretty good. It was more of a point and click adventure game than the recent ones on the market. It is just tailored to the consoles.

  5. Otter says:

    “Red Johnson”? That tells me all I need to know. Pass!

  6. Emeraude says:

    What this thread lead me to learn is that the people who made In Memoriam and eXperience 112 also had to make a plethora of shovelware. Among which a “Plus belle la vie” game.

    The things we’ll do to keep eating.

  7. maninahat says:

    The protagonist looks so boring. Generally, 20 something male models don’t fit into the whole “tough, gritty, loose-cannon detective” mold. It’s all very try hard, especially what with all the gratuitous swearing in a trailer.

  8. The Snee says:

    I played the demo on Xbox. The world was quite intriguing, and the protagonist was a decent enough narrator, and the puzzles had some interesting elements to them, such as gadgets like a UV lamp that could be used to look for clues.

    There was a major, major problem though. None of the puzzles made sense in context. They were just puzzles that were puzzles, not methods to progress the story, and clashed horribly with the world and the story that the game was trying to tell. Some were not so bad, such as trying to figure out how to open a locked box by scanning it and rotating it and looking for clues (which turned out to be written in UV ink on the bottom, lucky i have that lamp a hyuk hyuk) But one stood out by miles.

    There was a section where someone speaks in riddles for some reason. When you get bored of them, you go into the cabin of a grounded ship, and look at the security system. Cameras are placed following a route, and you have to switch cameras to follow a truck, driving between stacks of shipping crates, to read the number on the side of it. That number is the code that you enter into the system to progress. It gets harder, with eventually multiple trucks, in an order, telling you a bit of an equation and the next camera you need to switch to in order to see the next truck. The full equation tells you the code to enter. Once you have done this you leave the cabin and move on.

    You can probably spot the problem there. It made no sense in context, did nothing to progress the story, and worse than that, was completely unnecessary. All I needed to do was leave, but first I had to do this thing.

    This was a demo, mind, and therefore probably didn’t have much context by default, jumping around in the story as it did. But while I enjoyed some aspects of it, the way the puzzles were designed and implemented grated on me way too much.

  9. strangeloup says:

    Played the trial version on the Xbox and it was just terrible. The puzzles were utterly context-free, the dialogue and voice acting was dreck, and one of the first characters introduced other than the amusingly named Red Johnson himself is his… informer or pimp or boyfriend or something (you can tell how riveting the story was) who is possibly the most ludicrously stereotypical caricature of a black man that I have ever seen in a game.

    Didn’t Microids make some decidedly non-rubbish adventure games in the past? I mean, this clearly isn’t one of them, especially for 30 goddamn dollars, but even so.