Night Call

Night Call will bring you stylish French noir from the back of a taxi

Night Call‘s shade of noir-infused drama seems to be one part Drive (2011) and two parts Taxi Driver (1976). Upcoming for PC, iOS, and Android, Night Call will have you playing as a Parisian taxi driver who hopes to find the killer who has orchestrated a number of recent murders around the city. But you don’t do this in the usual videogame way—shootouts in industrial wastelands, chasing a black figure across a rooftop—the whole game takes place inside your taxi. the game uses a real city map for you to drive around Monkey Moon and BlackMuffin Studio, the two French…


Framed 2 will bring more comic-panel shuffling to videogames

Acclaimed noir puzzle game Framed was touted for its ingenuity, taking elements of comic-book panel design and implementing them into its videogame format. Much of the story, then, existed outside of Framed‘s panels, allowing players to fill in the blanks. Lead designer Joshua Boggs attributes this idea to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (1993): “The level of detail and investigation [McCloud] does in Understanding Comics was absolutely pivotal for Framed, and still is to this day.” Announced last week, Framed 2 will be released in early 2017, acting as a prequel to the first game. Panel switching is an important element in Framed 2, too, but it won’t be exactly the same. “For Framed 2, we’ve…

ben wander murder collection

New female detective game seeks to right L.A. Noire’s wrongs

Ben Wander, a game developer with experience at BioWare and Visceral Games, has wanted to make a game about the 1920s for a while. After years of ogling independent game makers from afar, he finally dove in with a short demo of his upcoming detective game. The premise is that you have to interrogate the butler of a rich man, found dead in his home after an overdose. The newspaper you read that morning speculates suicide. The butler swears to find his killer. You click around his beautiful silhouetted living room and try to put two and two together to…


Explore a bleak British town in a Kafkaesque adventure game

The northern England town of Grimsfield is bleak—completely desaturated of color, existing solely on small, square dioramas. Its inhabitants, architecture, and virtually everything within it are completely cubular, except for some dashing, rare berets. Everyone within Grimsfield is self-absorbed, the protagonist perhaps most of all. He’s an ex-detective who has recently given up on his day job to pursue his dream of becoming a poet. But if only life were that simple in this Kafkaesque adventure. The rules-laden town of Grimsfield is all about making your life inconvenient Adam Wells, the creator of the point-and-click adventure game Grimsfield, is an…


Let the inky dread of Renoir wash over you in its first trailer

Renoir is a bleak, brooding puzzle-platformer from the recently formed Czech studio, Soulbound Games. No, the name is not a reference to the French impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, nor his lush, saturated style. Nor is it a reference to his son, Jean Renoir, whose film La Règle du jeu the British Film Institute considers to be the fourth best of all time, and whose film La Bête Humaine is a cornerstone of the film noir style, to which the game clearly owes a lot. Instead, the developer tells me, it’s both the name of the game’s gritty detective protagonist and…