Noir Syndrome Review

Noir Syndrome Featured

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Developer: Dave Gedarovich
Publisher: Glass Knuckle Games
Platform: Mobile – Android PC – Desura, Direct, Steam

Do you fancy yourself a detective? In Noir Syndrome, you get to put on your best detective garb and get to work solving a murder before many more victims surface. The supposed Anubis Killer is incredibly smart though, able to lure even the best player around town to dodge arrest. Even so, a good bunch of clues should make it very apparent who the killer is in town.

Noir Syndrome tells one basic murder story again and again but changes the clues and murderer each playthrough. You start off in your tiny apartment with cute cat and (hopefully) a chunk of cash. The player then weaves through various buildings to collect clues, talk to townspeople, and maybe nab a bite to eat. Some characters drop hints about shady locations while others name suspects.

Being a detective apparently makes one quite hungry. After a bit of searching, the game alerts you to a constantly depleting hunger status. Those who ignore it beyond the announcement of “starving” will actually die before solving a case. This, along with a two-week timeline, make Noir Syndrome a bit too difficult. Sometimes finding enough clues and names isn’t possible if you go to one or two “wrong” locations.

Noir Syndrome Featured

Still, the challenge lends itself to a lot of humorous failures. I don’t know how many attempts it took to finally apprehend the correct suspect, but it was always entertaining to try again. After a while I became better skilled at finding food and items, and knowing what items might mean. Items being basically invisible on-screen (requiring constant pressing of the investigate button) is a pretty annoying design choice, though.

If you’re someone who enjoyed The Ship or are looking forward to SpyParty then this is another game to check out (specifically, try Dinner Party mode). Even if you aren’t, it still offers a murder mystery with arcade-style play. The short playtime each case also makes it a good choice for smartphone play. Noir Syndrome is an odd, goofy look at being a detective. Despite the steep difficulty, it’s worth a look.

Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas

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