Chinatown Detective Agency Review – Futuristic Sleuthing
It is an incredible sight to see a local game developer trying out something that’s unique within the indie scene, and perhaps have created something that’s going to be a future classic.
Chinatown Detective Agency is an amazing graphic adventure game that has you literally think outside the confines of your game to solve its puzzles. It harkens back to the days of the old-school point-and-click games and adds in some local Singaporean flair for good measure.
So let’s dive right in, shall we?
The look of the game is reminiscent of both the pixel styles of Monkey Island, with a hint of Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher mixed together to give us this neo-noir style Singapore that’s set in the near future. Its artstyle feels futuristic, yet familiar to those who have roamed the city before, bathed in a graphics style that’s fitting for the game’s feel.
The soundscape is also quite a highlight too. The beeps and boops of the menu interface fit thematically with the atmosphere of the place, not to mention the very familiar sound of the MRT beckoning to us whenever we want to travel to the next waypoint. All accompanied by a soundtrack that’s perhaps a hit or miss during certain intervals of the story.
Tying this pretty neat bow is the voice cast, which like Metronmik’s No Straight Roads, brings in a local cast for their characters and boy are they cast well. It helps sell this futuristic setting, even when you venture to other continents during the game as well, its local flavor will accompany you either way.
I think that the genre of Point-and-click games is over due for a comeback (and weirdly enough as I am writing this, there will be a revival of sorts), and Chinatown Detective Agency brings it back, with a perfect recreation of those good old games too.
Like some of its puzzles will make you visit your OWN web browser to solve a riddle that won’t be within the game. A sort of modernization of that old school Pen & Paper searching from the old Monkey Island days and this was executed perfectly.
There are also tile puzzles in lieu of hacking mini-games and even shooting sections that makes me remind of that one game from the 90s which I already reference, only this time you have to pacify your suspect. Quite simple, yet very engaging.
Chinatown Detective Agency is really quick on its feet to make you feel invested in its world and system. I expect it to be 3 – 4 hours long romp that will intrigue even the rookie detectives and that’s an amicable length for this sort of game genre.
To play a game that looks and feels the part of an old school game with a new coat of paint and a story to tell is rather refreshing, in a way. And knowing that I have seen the game from its first demo back in Level UP KL 2019 and now reviewing it on its release week, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, booting this game up every time.
I highly rate Chinatown Detective Agency for bringing me back to the Point & Click genre with practice bravado. A great game for both beginners or even veterans of this niche corner with the gaming Venn diagram. A bit calculated at times but that’s the beauty of this game, honestly.
Played on PC, Review copy provided by Humble Games.