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Night Call – Review

You are no detective, but you do have a cab…

Friend. Confidant. Therapist. Voyeur. These are the many identities you will assume whilst driving your cab throughout the quiet, yet interesting streets of Paris.

I hope Santa doesn’t get a ticket

Night Call is best described as a noir-styled, non-linear, narrative-driven investigation game that allows you to interact with the many faces of Paris. These faces will allow you to form a connection on an emotional level, some will annoy you with their arrogant or sterotypical views, and some people will just plainly make you laugh. Who knew the streets of Paris could be this entertaining at night?

Night Call revolves around Houssine- a cab driver that has a unique gift, the gift of making people to talk. You begin the game in a hospital bed as the latest victim of a mysterious serial killer. You didn’t see his face, you were lucky to survive, and the lazy French police need answers.

Have you ever seen Batman and myself in the same room?

In typical French tradition, the Police want to take the easy option and pin the murders on you. And why not… you’re an Algerian immigrant living in Paris, there’s been a number of recent terrorist attacks, and you have a mysterious past- the perfect scapegoat for the case. This is where you’re introduced to Busset- A hard-arsed Detective in charge of the case. She’s uncovered your mysterious past and blackmails you to help track down the serial killer. Busset has done some investigating of herself, shes narrowed down the suspects to 4 people and hands you the evidence they have. It’s up to you to cross-reference this police evidence and use the remaining time gather further evidence, build a case and reveal the actual identity of the serial killer, easy right?

Smooth

There’s an element of micro-managing to Night Call, you simply can’t spend all your time hunting for clues and investigating potential leads. Similar to Papers, Please you still need to earn money to cover your everyday expensives- food, rent, gas for your cab. This means each night you balance your time between business and pleasure, so to speak. This is where your gift of making people talk really shines, use this gift correctly and some passengers will disclose valuable thoughts, stories or secrets that will benefit your case, along with paying your rent. Of course, there’s still plenty of meaningless conversations you will encounter, but some of them can be quite amusing- I had a drunk Santa Claus trying to find where he parked his sleigh, a cat that seemed to understand English, a lesbian couple discussing a potential sperm donor, and an elderly lady that has a slight case of Tourette’s. All conversations are text-based, so if you dislike reading then there’s a high chance Night Call isn’t for you.

You’ll do a lot of … watching…

At the end of each night you retire back to your studio with more questions than answers. You update your investigation board with notes you’ve uncovered from the previous night’s work and from here they’re automatically connected to the corresponding suspect. No link? Then you’ll either have to discover the connection the following night or the clue is a dead end. By the end of the week you should have enough evidence to convict one of the 4 suspects, get it wrong and you will assume the legacy of the serial killer, forever.

Written by Shaun Grimley

I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango?

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