In the twilight of an alley left to rubble I wait. The rain has long since seeped into the wide folds of my trench coat, but from shoulder rubbing with the worst dirt that litters my city’s cobblestones, my immune system is ready to take the hit. In case you haven’t guessed it, yes, I’m a private investigator. A failed cop who left his teammates to die. But you have to pay to eat, so there’s no point in faking when you can only do one thing. That’s why I keep walking through its streets. Each of its cobblestones in its place in my inner geography. For me she is like a lover whose skin you know every square inch by heart because you have stroked it. But that dialogue is only happening in my half-crazy head, however, if this lifestyle allows me to find the person responsible for Bill’s death, there’s no reason for me to change.
A city of sails and steam
An amazing introduction to a video game review? Crazy as you are, you’ve entered the mind of Miles Fordham, an ex-cop haunted by his mistakes that we must help find the path to redemption. For this we’ll have to travel through the darkest streets of New Britain, nicknamed Lamplight City, the eponymous city of Grundislav Games’ latest title. Living this adventure with him means first and foremost knowing an atmosphere that smells good of 1940s film noir. And it doesn’t matter that it’s mixed with steampunk, a good private investigator has to be a cynic who knows nothing expected more from life than satisfying one’s vengeance, and that’s exactly what we’re entitled to. A dark story and a tortured hero, what more could you ask for?
The answer lies in a few words: a French translation. Subtitles would have been enough. Living these adventures in the company of Miles requires a very good understanding of the language of the Fifteen of the Rose, and this is the only flaw we found in the production of Grundislav Games. His narrative is extremely complete. Whether it’s joking about our inertia in making decisions, or the inner anguish of our character, the lines of text are linked together at breakneck speed, as are the slang terms and the burnt pronunciations. These dialogues are very good and the actors dubbing them do an excellent job. Each character has its own voice and the tone used is always right, no matter what the situation we are in.
During the ten hours we spend surveying Lamplight City, we have five cases to solve. As a private investigator, Miles has to keep a low profile. No question about throwing in the stretchers. We must exercise discretion in conducting our interrogations and uncovering the clues that will allow us to identify the culprit. Once our belief is backed up by solid evidence, we can meet with our former colleague Upton so he can make the arrest.
But be careful, it’s very easy to blame an innocent person. Repeating this type of mistake too often will draw press attention to us, which will not make it any easier for us to continue our investigation. It will therefore be necessary to carefully read all the dialogues and try to recover as many documents as possible to collect the evidence. With Lamplight City, a real investigative mission awaits us.
The punk of simplicity
Most of the gameplay will also take place in our heads. In fact, even if it takes the form of a point’n’click, we’re a very far cry from the cannons that Lucasarts introduced in its time. No item needs to be combined here to perform a crazy action. No hair pulling to figure out if we need to search or take an object to unlock the rest of our adventures, everything happens automatically. We just have to click on the object that we suspect is useful so that the corresponding action takes place like a big one. This makes Lamplight City fairly linear in its difficulty and we never find ourselves stuck because we forgot to click on an artifact.
In addition, the now classic visual aid that allows us to see all the objects that we can interact with is available in the title from Grundislav Games. This makes it even easier for us to research. The navigation is quite simple, we just move our cursor over objects, they are never too close to create a selection problem, cherry on the black coffee, touch is available in nomad mode. Something to have fun by making Lamplight City even more intuitive.
Our interrogations consist of a series of topics that need to be discussed, which in turn lead to new points of interest. Everything is done to make life easier for the player and avoid downtime. The pace of interrogation/clue-gathering is interspersed with small enough simple puzzles to just about allow for gameplay renewal. Everything is done for us to enjoy ourselves in this dystopian New Britain with Victorian accents.
Finally, let’s talk about the soundtrack and graphics. Lovers of old-fashioned point’n’click will be delighted. The graphic paw is one of the strong points of this title, which is already very pleasant to hold. With its detailed paintings and its pixel art characters, we live a never-ending amazing adventure in this city where the gloomy slums and the tall buildings rub shoulders. The Mark Benis soundtrack is a prime example of its kind. The piano sounds, often accompanied by the rest of the orchestra, follow one another to create an atmosphere that ranges from somber to macabre, but always perfectly adapted to the situation, one can also make a picture of it in legal streaming platforms.
- Pixel art graphics are clean, detailed and varied
- The soundtrack by Mark Benis is high quality and still fits perfectly
- The game mechanics are simple and intuitive
- Entry is immediate and complete
- Touch makes screen navigation even more intuitive
- The narration is perfectly guided by good dialogues and very good dubbing
- The story is exciting from beginning to end.
- This steampunk dystopia offers a very coherent universe
- 10h lifespan is really good
- Never really difficult, fans of the genre will be left unsatisfied
- Requires good knowledge of English to play
pay attention to detail
price / lifetime