The Scene of the Crime
Welcome to the first episode of a possible new series from Pastel Games, the masters of short, atmospheric point-and-click adventures. With a story conceived by Karol Konwerski, The Scene of the Crime takes us into the sleazy, blood-stained world of detective novels. Kind of a Great House Escape as re-imagined by Frank Miller.
In a world so noir that sunshine has been legally replaced by ominous street lamps, you play the part of a detective on a murder case. Rather than track down the perpetrator yourself, your job is to collect evidence and put together a case for conviction. Point and click your way around the grisly crime scene until you've ticked off all the necessary plot points, and then leave the apartment to conclude the story. Access your briefcase full of forensic tools through the icon in the lower-left.
There's a nice physicality to this, aided greatly by Kamil Kochansky's thick, twisted visuals. The fiddling with forensic tools, the clump of your footsteps as you explore the apartment, the syrupy background saxophones by composer Kolczok—it all puts you in the scene. The adventure is short, just a chapter in the saga, but even so, there's a feeling of disconnect between the vibrant cutscenes that book-end the story, and the gameplay itself. It might have been more effective to sprinkle parts of the (surprisingly violent) closing scene throughout the game as you discover details, CSI-style.
Even with the shortness and schizophrenia, this is a promising dark new direction for Mateusz Skutnik and crew. Step into the gumshoes of a new hero and explore.