Yesterday, our Five for Five series kicked off with a Q&A with the brothers De Angelis, the duo behind Detective Gallo, a point-and-click noir adventure with a sense of humour. Oh, and a bird as the protagonist and a devastating multiple plant murder to solve.
I’ve been poking around the Alpha demo over the past few days, a demo which the team have released as part of their Eppela crowdfunding campaign (an Italian Kickstarter). Playing it has reminded me that I don’t get along with adventure games, the logical function of my brain seems to turn off when I play games, a severe hindrance when it comes to adventure games. Nick would have been a better bet to check this out, but he’s been busy writing about Fallout 4 toilet roll mods. Despite not being an adventure game afficionado, I can see the potential in Detective Gallo, even if I can’t hear it in the game itself. For some reason, probably because my computer it on its last legs before I upgrade it, the audio isn’t playing during the demo, either in English or Italian.
My lack of audio is a shame as the intro video (which you can see above) totally gets my attention. I’m a sucker for all things noir, and the sweet jazz music, black and white visuals and melancholy voice over from our esteemed Gallo just pull me right into the mood to play this game. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a problem that can affect other noir entertainment, as evidenced by the fact that you are playing as a walking, talking bird who is investigating the multiple murder of some plants.
You might wonder why Gallo would investigate a plant murder of all things in a town which seems to be full of corruption and deceit. The answer is simple – Rule #25.
Our man (bird?) Gallo has a strict set of rules to follow in his life, and number 25 is simple “Fight the corruption. Or get paid generously”. He is certainly my kind of hard boiled detective, living life out of a sparse office with a desk, safe and fax machine for company. Oh, and a giant cardboard cutout of his partner, Thorn, a cactus who acts as a sounding board for Gallo. The eccentric billionaire who owns the murdered plants, Phil Cloro might think Gallo is mad for talking to Thorn, but I get the impression when poking around the edges of the Knives District that Footprints Games have created a world in which Gallo is one of the few sane ones around. That’s probably thanks to his rules.
I’m enjoying the play on traditional detective tropes, Gallo has to call a secret informant who (guessing from the dialogue text) speaks in a funny voice, the safe combination is hidden around his own office, a Candy Bop from the sweet shop has an undeniable attraction to our feathered hero. I really do wish the audio was working for me so I could enjoy the demo to the full.
Footprints are planning to release the game in June 2017 and they already have a Steam page ready while you can still check out their Eppela page from which you can find a link to download the Alpha demo. Check it out, and learn to live by Gallo’s rules during his hunt for the plant murderer.