The RPS Advent Calendar 2022, December fifteenth

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On the fifteenth day of the RPS Advent Calendar you open the door with some trepidation, since you’ve heard there is a unusual sequence of crimes and murders on the opposite aspect. But you needn’t have frightened, as a result of all of the weirdo miscreants concerned appear to be frozen in time for the second.

But are you able to remedy the mysteries of The Case Of The Golden Idol with only a snapshot from the second after they occurred?

The Golden Idol has a novel method to puzzle-solving.

Katharine: Detective games are a difficult beast to get proper. Giving gamers all the correct clues to unravel the thriller at hand is one factor, however giving them the liberty, scope and selection to attract their very own conclusions from them (even when it is canonically incorrect) is a uncommon factor certainly. In my e-book, Lucas Pope’s Return Of The Obra Dinn continues to be absolutely the pinnacle of recent detect ’em ups, however Color Gray Games’ The Case Of The Golden Idol comes very near capturing that very same sort of Sherlockian brilliance.

With 12 murders to unravel over a interval of just about 100 years, the meat of your deduction entails scanning a criminal offense scene for word-based clues (names, objects and the occasional verb) to fill within the gaps of a scroll describing what occurred. The homicide scenes themselves are visible delights, providing up a treasure trove of interconnected rooms to poke and prod for clues and telling bits of knowledge, and a gurning, misshapen solid members who’ve all been frozen in time seconds after the crime in query has been dedicated. Their needling expressions, curiously stuffed pockets, snarky feedback and misleading inside monologues provide you with lots to chew and coo over whilst you go about fixing whodunnit and howtheydunnit, and seeing sure characters crop up again and again to trigger extra mischief does a superb job of pulling you deep into its overarching thriller.

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Several men scream in a stable yard as one of them spontaneously combusts in The Case Of The Golden Idol

An ornate gentleman declares his wife has been poisoned in the dining room in The Case Of The Golden Idol

Masked cultists stand around a chamber with a dead body on the floor in The Case Of The Golden Idol

They’re a enjoyable, if devilish bunch, and determining how all these seemingly standalone tableaus join collectively over time is one in all Golden Idol’s best deductive prospers. Alas, there’s nonetheless just one right resolution for every of its dozen murders, however extracting it out of your pool of collected phrases continues to be intensely enjoyable and satisfying as instances develop in complexity. Plus, you are not simply fixing the meat and potatoes of whodunwhat, both, as every case additionally has accompanying puzzles to fill out as effectively, including much more element to its already artfully constructed homicide scenes.

It’s by far the very best detective game I’ve performed this yr, and positively the one which’s come closest to recapturing Obra Dinn’s brilliance within the 4 years for the reason that latter modified the style endlessly. If you fancy a giant meaty thriller to chew over this Christmas, it could be an precise crime to move this up.

Rachel: You know a thriller game goes to be good while you’re reaching for a pen and paper to take notes, and by the tip of my playthrough of The Case Of The Golden Idol, my pocket book web page was a chaotic biro scrawl of crude facial descriptions, messy household timber, cryptic symbols, and cluttered occasion timelines. So. Many. Timelines. It’s a kind of thriller games that leaves the detective work all right down to you (the very best sort of detective game), however there’s a useful trace system when you’re actually stumped. Its fill-the-blank system is wise, intuitive, and by no means will get tiresome, and along with its creepy anthology of whodunnits – of which there are twelve in whole, what a deal with – makes it a stonking good game.

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