Haha, enjoy :)
Gonna wait awhile (and mess around a bit) before hitting with my opening thoughts, but - I am! :D
Figure I've waited long enough, and there's enough of a buffer here so that people won't scroll down and get spoiled, even if just for the first chapters.
I'll be honest, the concept alone had my interest. But I just dig the execution, especially the way the partners rotate out. Obviously, nobody has more intellectual chops than Hackett - well, uh, some people might have more intellectual chops than Hackett... Most people...
But he can paint a scene like a melting gelatin animal on the backburner of a freighter truck. (I tried.)
The elements are really well-integrated together; I especially like the biography system. But, with there being one for the Greeter... Could it be... That she's more than she appears?
Could it be... HACKETT WAS RIGHT, AND THIS IS ACTUALLY A ROMANTIC THRILLER BUDDY-COP
(He's gonna die. I feel like he hit at least twenty death flags this one run...)
Speaking of death flags, what was up with that look Coles gave the good(?) detective? Hrmn. HMN. I, myself, having many keen(??) instincts, can't help but wonder if... Coles was faking faking his ability to think of an answer. I mean, his intellect is listed as being so very high! Though, er, with that wit score...
Anyway, I don't trust him. Even if everyone in this game has really great taste in glasses, hats, headwear and general accessories. (Lucha-who-is-definitely-not-Spidermouth and Rows being two of my standouts. In fact, could it be that Rows and Sparks deserve a notch more likeability? Isn't that true of everyone?! My deductions are just off the chart, this morning!)
Speaking of which... I deduce that Mouse...
I don't know how to put it, but his description, the bottom-right section of his graph...
My heart hurts. Could it be that this is what it truly feels to be a mystery fan... In a mystery...
All right, enough about the cast - I might follow-up with a bit on the Game-Masters later, or how I think Hackett'd be well-served by actually listening to George, his perfume being, strong or no, but - gameplay.
I really like that you can't fail these (early) puzzles unless you're actively trying to torpedo them. Whether you keep that for the future or not, it's a great way to show off the partner detective and their thought process.
The puzzles themselves were very fun. The second one I got the moment I heard Mr. Ant and Mr. Disco, but that's because I've got a twisty mind or something. Gahaha!
Pretty much everything felt smooth; this might be your smoothest game yet. I stated it before, but the integration of the sound test, bios, everything just felt great. And I freakin' loved the title cards.
Since it seems - so far - to be mostly a linear novel, I felt the pacing was good, too. Nothing felt bogged down or drawn out. And I was VERY interested in what served as the ending point here... Actually being able to see some other people's handles on the screen may or may not be important, but it's a really cool little detail.
As you can probably tell, I enjoyed the hell out of it, definitely looking forward to more! One question for you, I've noticed I have the ability to leave reviews, here. Mind if I leave one now, or do you want me to wait until the conclusion?
Finally, 'cause it's tradition - favourite track is currently stuck between Sauntering Around and Investigatory Conjecture.
Lol I may have been a bit unfair to Mouse there. When he gets nervous his intelligence drops haha. Glad you liked the multiple choice puzzle thing, I was bit worried it'd be stale since it's a pretty overdone mechanic. I'll be shaking it up a bit going forward for sure.
Good guess about the Greeter. I'll say no more :)
Thanks for the feedback! I'm shocked you have more to say for a review, but that'd be awesome, of course! You might want to wait until Release II, since it has a surprise that's relevant going forward, and sort of illustrates the entire vision of the type of story this is. ;)
Haha, my friend - it's only overdone when it's done poorly - something you don't need to worry about. :)
I know you'll introduce other stuff too, thinking of interesting twists - whether in dialogue, or presentation - seems to be your milieu. :D
But yeah, I could talk about it for some time; left a (slightly) verbose review, but one that could easily be updated as the story progresses and new perspectives are revealed.
Now, I've got no clue what that change'll be, but I do have quite a few guesses, ranging from the plausible to the mad.
My free time evapourated (more's the pity, I was gonna try for a jam, myself!), but rest assured that I'll be eagerly waiting for Release II! :)
p.s. and well that may be true re: Mouse, it's also why Hackett and Mouse SOLVING THE CASE was... pretty dang great