Detective adventure Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus – The Awakening of Golden Jazz (to use its headline-bloating full title) makes the leap to PC next week, but investigative sorts can sleuth around its free demo today. Prequel to Neilo’s long-running Jake Hunter series (known as Detective Saburo Jinguji in Japan), it’s a conversation-heavy point and click mystery. Released on consoles late last year, the PC version arrives on July 5th, but you can try a slice of it here on Steam right now. If you’re an aspiring Gumshoe fresh off the Phoenix Wright series, it’s worth a look.
Amusingly, despite invoking the Jake Hunter name from the localisations of earlier games, the demo immediately introduces the protagonist as Saburo Jinguji. No risk of Phoenix Wright hamburgerisms here, and probably a good call, as a key point of this game is that it’s about a Japanese guy investigating a murder in New York. Someone’s gone and offed Saburo’s mentor – his grandpa – so it’s off to the mean streets to talk to a lot of people and poke around the ‘orchard of your mind’ to piece together clues. Mash together enough info internally and new avenues appear.
While not much of a fixture in the west (its first localisations didn’t make much of a splash on the Nintendo DS) this series has been knocking around since 1987. They’re games that I’ve heard recommendations for and seen about, but never gotten around to actually playing until now. Given that this one is a prequel and origin story for the character, it seems like a good place to start as any, and the demo opens with a gently paced tutorial. While primarily a visual novel, its branching conversation trees should be enough to keep the Zero Escape/Danganronpa crowd happy, too.
Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus – The Awakening of Golden Jazz is a very silly and largely nonsensical title. It also launches on July 5th, and you can snag the demo on its Steam store page now. It’s published by Arc System Works.