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10

A Case of Distrust is a noir tale with many inspirations

3. Shoot him dead

I was sitting at my desk stubbing my cigarette out on my ‘to do’ list when the call came in. “Godammit!” shouted the chief. “Where’s my Monday news post! Alice is off and there’s been nothing on the website for hours!” He was angry. I could tell from the context of the words I’ve just written. Angry as a big dog. I lit another cigarette using the heat of my CPU, cracked my fingers a full 360 degrees, and dived into my in-tray. I pulled out the first thing that didn’t feel wet. A game called A Case of Distrust. It was a detective game, described as a mash-up of 80 Days, Phoenix Wright, and the board game Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. With inspiration from Raymond Chandler novels and the title sequences and poster art of Saul Bass. I spat out some lint. Then some more lint. Actually, my cigarette had fallen apart in my mouth, it was tobacco. I vomited. I continued my work. Did nobody tell the developer of this game they are only allowed to mix two things? How am I supposed to write my headline? I can’t write “This game is X meets Y” when there’s also a Z and a Þ and a ð? This is all too much for a Monday.

It’s set in prohibition-era San Francisco and you play private investigator Phyllis Cadence Malone. We’d previously heard about it back when it was called the Ben Wander Murder Collection, so named for its creator, a former doer of things at BioWare and Visceral. The demo for that is still available here but a year and a half has passed so I imagine the game will be different by now. Here’s what we should expect according to the blurb.

“Explore underground speakeasies, smoke-filled billiard halls, classic barber shops, and more. Catch suspects in lies by using evidence, statements, and your wits. Intrinsic challenges face our heroine, as she struggles against a pushback on emancipation, leading to many doubts, both internal and external. Uncover the truth in a mystery full of deception!”

Could be cool. Perhaps a welcome antidote to the other Saul Bass style crime caper, This Is The Police. The creator also explains the process of animation by rotoscope on his blog for folks interested in ye olde film techniques.

It’s out now on Itch, Steam and Gamejolt for a bunch of prices, generally around the £12/$15 mark (sans discount). And there’s —

The phone was ringing again. “Godammit Brendan!” shouted the angry voice, angrily. “You wrote an intro that was three times longer than it ought to be! I want to see you in my offi–”

I threw the phone in the bin. Then I set the bin on fire. Then I put the fire out, because it was dangerous. Another Monday successfully wrapped up.

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Who am I?

Brendan Caldwell

Staff Writer

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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