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About the StoryNew Losago, 1929 - a town full of creeps, clowns, mobsters and, if you know where to look, the occasional honest citizen. Guide private investigator Lanson Rose through a series of puzzling cases: solve the city's liquor supply problem in "Speakeasy Street", track down a missing food scientist in "The Big Pickle", and investigate strange goings-on under a dilapidated mansion in "A Study in Squid".
1st Place overall; 3rd Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)
Rock Paper Shotgun
"Overall: silly, noir-themed goodness that never takes itself terribly seriously. The presentation captures some of the appeal of a parser, but with the accessibility of a choice-based game."
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"What I love about Detectiveland is its commitment to videogameness. It revels in being a little hokey, throwing in gags about 1920s gender roles, mafia stereotypes, speakeasies, and even a reclusive horror writer who is clearly a massive racist."
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Following Freeware - November 2016 releases
"The overall setting of Detectiveland is a noir detective thriller in plain black and white, but presentation is very much tongue-in-cheek."
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"This is a visual and aural presentation that pops: pretty graphics, some era-appropriate tunes, a clattering typewriter font, Detectiveland has been polished to the hilt. The core story is fun too, with no cliche of the genre left un-mined. Femme fatales, dangerous gangsters, corrupt politicians, it's all here."
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The Breakfast Review
"It recognises its tropes and it adopts a rather humorous attitude towards them without actually mocking them. We're here more to laugh with the tropes than to laugh at them. In addition, the presentation is delightful, with the typewriter font and the background music and the little snapshots showing the characters you converse with."
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
Play-wise, it's a puzzle adventure, but rather than typing into a parser, you're given a few options to click on depending on context. I've seen Quest games do this sort of thing before, and it makes the game feel a little like one of the 90s' era adventures like Day of the Tentacle or the Monkey Island series. The positive of this approach is that you don't have to worry about syntax; the negative is that it's harder to come up with a surprising solution to a puzzle, since all the options are presented to you right off (the 'just try everything with everything' problem.) Detectiveland manages to pull off some neat tricks here, though--in particular, the last puzzle of the case I played, "The Big Pickle", hit right in the sweet spot for me, not too baffling but clever enough that I felt smart when I realized the solution.
Witty, stylish, and lots of fun--highly recommended!
The puzzles are fun, and the solutions are often a bit off the wall, without becoming unguessable. It helps that they don't all have to be solved in a particular order. For the better part of the game, there are three cases that can be worked on simultaneously or in any order. Some of the puzzles (including the last one) can be solved in several different ways.
Mobile friendly: almost there, it just needs autosave, some optimisations on intelligent focus when hitting a button (that it gets you the proper section by context), and some bug fixes. The sounds breaks in android mobile. I miss a more large buttons, or an option to size them up. However it was pleasant to play and very funny.
Overall: I love the world model. I LOVE UI design. I love the style. I love the implementation. I know Robin is very proud of his landscape design for the game, but It works better for me in portrait, in mobile. It just need a further iteration in the UI to be just a perfect responsive IF system. And in landscape my eye jump too much from the left panel to the right panel, so I prefer to resize the window on desktop. Again, for me, portrait with this IF system, is perfect.
The game, as Draculaland, falls on the humor pastiche sub-genre genre (sic). Iím not very fond on detective stories, and definitively Iím not into pastiche humor pieces, but Robin is soooooo fun, he is so smart doing it, that I laugh out loud several times. Just take attention to the office of the Player Character (PC) and later read the Detective book 1001Ö so funny.
I like that the just plain silliness of Draculaland goes here to another level, and that it works so well. It seems as if Draculaland were the first draft of what is coming, because the pastiche silliness is there, the UI is there, both games has the same CSS visual design, but in Detectiveland it simply all makes click! together. Thanks to the improvements in multimedia, the music, the portraits, and of course the magnificent cover, everything works towards the goal, that is to have great fun with a solid modelled puzzle game.
The better of it is that the model system works. This system remembers us why modelled worlds are so funny to play, and in a world that goes towards hypertext and CYOA domination, this feels as fresh air: the old made new again.
Returning to the use of multimedia, however, the music felt repetitive. It seems the author is not comfortable yet with the silence, and the space around it. I think the game would benefit a lot from a more discrete use of the music, doing only a 2 or three times loop, and then stopping until another change in the ambience of the scenery. With that, short bursts of music, would serve as a perfect cue to the new ambience instead of fill every space with an eternal repetition.
On to the structure, it is somewhat open: you have three cases to work, but you have to choose one. The world organises itself for the case at hand. Once the player has solved the three first cases, the games gift us with a fourth case. The initial puzzles for each case are very easy and straightforward, but I found some of the final ones too difficult without learning curve or a progressive difficult curve in the middle. Probably thatís because the nature of the comp, but for a future releases of this kind of games could benefit a lot of a more expanded play time, and a smooth difficult curve.
In one of the final puzzles for one case, the solution was Ö almost "read the mind of the author", but I think it was very well implemented, with an exemplary design on trial and error. But as I'm not accustomed to this nowadays I made the decision to go to the police station; I had the motivation to do that, but, of course the location was not prepared for me for that concrete case finale, so I got stuck. I think for those occasions the game could benefit of a little more railroading or adding dynamic clues when the player has the motivation to look for in other places when he has failed the puzzle and failed to notice that he has to return to the problem at hand in the same place. ButÖ this is nick picking. We donít need perfectly round games to enjoy them, isnít it? Because this is a game of 9. Ooops, I said that... agh, forget it.
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Recommended ListsDetectiveland appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Doug's Top Ten of IF Comp 2016 by Doug Orleans
I played all but one of the 58 entries in IF Comp 2016 (I couldn't play Labyrinth of Loci because I don't have access to Windows or Mac OS). These were the top ten games on my ballot. Note that I rate games on slightly different criteria...
Detective and mystery games by MathBrush
These are games where you play a detective or someone else investigating a mystery. Most of them are realistic games which I am splitting off of my realistic list. Some are more magical or science fi-ish.
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This is version 11 of this page, edited by Robin Johnson on 18 January 2017 at 5:26pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item