The classic film noir tells tales of irony against a backdrop of violence and addiction, but Silvernode’s adventure game Nine black souls Live up to expectations with fast-paced dialogue and plenty of cat-related puns. There is a huge amount of text in this standalone title. But when you’re not focusing on its main story, this volume can make it difficult to maintain interest. Like a ball of thread untangled by a cat, all threads eventually lead to the center. But untangling can be unnecessarily complicated and a more difficult task than anticipated, because your cat wants to keep doing mischief.
in Nine black soulsYou play Cuddles Nutterbutter (yes, that’s his name), a detective from the town of Meow Meow Furrington. He receives a job from the police and investigates a murder at the Knitty Kitty Club. However, the victim turns out to be the club owner’s son, who happens to be the head of one of the city’s major crime families. With the help of his loyal secretary Tabby, Cuddles must bring the killer to justice.
For starters, it’s impossible to play the game without noticing something: the art style. It looks incredibly dated. The aesthetic is similar to an early 2000s flash game that you would have played on your browser. It does work, though: The colorful approach to depicting dark fantasy is certainly unique and matches the game’s highly tongue-in-cheek, deceptive and ironic dialogue.
Cuddles is an interesting protagonist in a noir-inspired game because he lacks the outright sarcasm of most noir detectives. He’s smarter, like Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta as opposed to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. He always has a joke or a sarcastic remark for every weird situation he finds himself in. Unfortunately, many of the characters have the same sarcastic or hanging shade of lampshade humor, so Cuddles’ constant banter can start to come in.
I didn’t think twice before the game would use symbols instead of numbers or characters with stereotypical “pet” names like Cuddles or Gumdrop. But the game refuses to let you suspend your disbelief, and goes over and over to point out how ridiculous it is. Nine black souls I can’t let this strain of self-conscious humor last long enough to let the jokes breathe.
But why are they like this? Why not ask Tabby or the Cuddles to say something like “Oh, tokens are so hard to use in an emergency!” And stop there? Instead, Tabby steamed as if she was recording for a YouTube video. This kind of humor is not bad in itself. However, it works best when one character acts as a sane man pointing things out while the other characters take it step by step. Instead, everyone, jokes Not possible You land when the actors are constantly referring to how they’re joking wont Terrain.
Hardly anyone can walk two lines without exercising their biting wits. Even the safe you need to open keeps insulting you. I didn’t get past the first area I checked in and was already sighing to myself. 30% of the game’s writing, when played live, is incredibly emotional and incredibly engaging. The rest is mostly jokes. The game is a black comedy but I didn’t expect the writing to cast the gags as a parody airplane!.
The disrespect with which the characters speak can make it very difficult to keep investing in the story. If no one seems to want to be here, why me? Things get better when you start to get to the truth of the puzzle and things get serious. When the writers take off their gloves and show their claws, the dialogue is amazing. But those moments are too few, too late.
However, to say that writing Nine black souls It feels like a Marvel movie will do damage to the game. There is an extraordinary amount of dialogue in the game. Moreover, each line is expressed. Each item you expose to a character will receive a specific response. Although the majority of responses basically boil down to “I don’t know,” there is a unique audio line to each item. For Tinkle, cookie crumbs and a coin mean absolutely nothing. But instead of just giving a general sentence “What is this?” response, it actually changes its response depending on whether you offer it the crumbs or the coin.
This incredible attention to detail isn’t just limited to the NPCs. Cuddles have three actions they can do on things in the environment: look, use, and lick. Playing each item creates one line (sound). Instead of just saying “Yuck, I don’t want to lick that,” he refuses to lick an alley puddle precisely because he’s worried about germs. He again cites germs when he refuses to lick a random pole outside the Knitty Kitty Club, but the line is different from the line in the pool. It’s really impressive how much time was spent on the game’s many scripts. The small, self-funded development team’s love and passion for this project shine through in the clear time and attention they dedicate to it.
Although the character writing is breathtaking, the mysterious part of Nine black souls It is mind boggling. It never comes close to “moon logic”, but some of the solutions are quite ambiguous. You are using more than half of your items in weird ways with minimal prompts or hints. The game is completely immersed in the old school of point-and-click adventure design, which tends to expect the player to read the mind of a puzzle designer. It’s a bit shocking to see these days, but I imagine older players with nostalgia for that era might enjoy it.
As a reviewer for games with deadlines, I was grateful for some of the tips Silvernode itself gave with the review copy. Without them, you’d be done Nine black souls Circa 2030. I left an area a few times to realize what I needed was in my inventory. I just assumed the item was a hint for a later time, so I never thought about it. Why would I use something that could be evidence in a murder investigation for wiretapping?
Cats may want to jump into boxes, but to solve this game you have to jump. Flexible thinking and imaginative creativity are key to success in Nine black souls.
Nine black souls Available on a Windows PC.