There's a quiet little town in the desert you might like to visit. A place where the dog park allows neither dogs nor humans, not that you should look at or think about it, where the weather is all-seeing and all-knowing (as well as kinda glowy), and a certain radio station helps those lonely, interminable hours we call being awake pass more pleasantly. For a lot of us, Astrid Dalmady's Twine-based text adventure Investigative Journalism is about as close as we'll ever get to visiting Night Vale... but maybe it's better this way. In this fan-game, you play an intern at the local radio station who's gone looking for The News, which has escaped from its bonds. You'll need to explore the station and the surrounding town to track it down, but of course in Night Vale, nothing is ever easy. Or, well. Sane.
To play, just click the links to explore and interact. Light pink links represent exploration of any sort, while the dark pink ones marked by an eye are decisions. For the most part, Investigative Journalism is probably best regarded as a sort of virtual tour of everyone's favourite cheerful, weird, vaguely Lovecraftian community, and since the writing is up to par, it's easy to imagine Cecil Baldwin's comforting, familiar burr narrating it all to you. That can't be easy to achieve, since Night Vale's charm is the way it so matter-of-factly slips the surreal in with the mundane without so much as batting an eye, but Investigative Journalism largely pulls it off... which of course means that you'll mostly be left confused if you don't already listen to the podcast. While there are a few places where you can fail, the game ultimately allows you to just go back and try again with a different choice, and winning comes down to just exhausting all your options everywhere. Despite that, Investigative Journalism is still going to be a lot of fun for Night Vale fans for the short time it will take you to read through. It's funny, incredibly well executed in several parts, and a perfect homage.