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Have You Played... Black Closet?

A procedural detective game.

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Black Closet [official site] is set in an girls boarding school, in which you play as a class president with an unlikely amount of power to interrogate, search and apprehend fellow students who pose a threat to the reputation of your school. But whether that setting appeals or not hardly matters: it is a procedural detective game better than any other.

There are scripted events. For example, perhaps a student has been selected to display a painting at a coming social event for the school’s wealthy families. Perhaps there is a rumour that this student has painted something inappropriate, something that would cause a stir, and the painter is refusing to show the piece to anyone ahead of time.

But the details of the case will be different each time, and it’s your job to convince that student to show you the painting ahead of time. You do so by directing your minions – fellow students and student council members – to follow, intimidate, search and question the suspect or their friends. Gather enough information in time and you may avoid disaster.

Or you may fail and become a scapegoat for the disrepute brought upon the school. Either way, the journey is the fun more than the outcome, both in the relationships you form with your fellow students and the stats you develop through the completion of each case.

Black Closet is a smart, well-written, choice-and-consequences game that deserves more attention.

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Graham Smith

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