The Rye in the Dark City

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Something smells fishy or rather cakey in Dark City, May 19, 2023
by Heli N.
Related reviews: SeedComp 2022

The Rye in the Dark City is a game entry for the Seedcomp that was organized this year. It's yet to be finished as of the time of this review.

Story Summary

You are the protagonist of this story, Detective Rye, a private investigator people go to when the police are too incompetent to do their job. After a while of not having a single case to work on, your savior appears on your doorstep with a mysterious case. "Miscommunication and  Misunderstandings" are what lead to the accursed (very cunning) plot twist.

Playthrough impressions

1. Just like any other game I've played from the creator, the UI never disappoints. The vintage movie-like style creates the proper atmosphere for a detective story. 
2. While I'm not really a fan of first-person narration in general, reading their POV helped in understanding Rye as a character.
3. Characters
a) Detective Rye: It was nice to have the choices to shape some aspects of their personality (professional vs unprofessional; rude vs polite; lazy vs hardworking) which in turn shaped the endings. Rye is the only person in town with some common sense and higher than average level of IQ, considering the whole messy situation. They are the detective every fictional police station needs but never has (the professional, polite and hardworking Rye of course).
b) Miss Sage Boulanger: "A mesmerizing woman", "Rye's crush-at-first-sight" etc. The player's choices pretty much decide the length of Rye's time with her. If Rye decides to be a troll/lazy, than he never even gets to have his "love? crush-at-first-sight" moment, but he doesn't do so, they'll be stunned by the lady's beauty. I like the contrast between my impressions of her at the start and the ones at the ending. She gave off at first the "a person with a good head on their shoulders" and "supernatural" vibes (Spoiler - click to show)(the latter because of: "There was a mysterious fog shrouding this woman, as if she was hiding something... or someone? but towards the end of my first playthrough she almost became my number one enemy ⸨◺_◿⸩. *Deep breathing exercise* XD ... After calming down, I can say that she seems as a serious and oblivious person. I liked her commitment to her dream and friends and also the (comedic) moment where she properly rejects Rye's creepy advances (in one of the routes) instead of responding to them with a flirtatious remark just for the sake of creating a pointlessly "romantic" moment when she was clearly distressed over the whole situation she was in.
4. The lack of a stats page was what made the playing more immersive. But I would have liked some sort of journal like in TATTEH to keep track of the (Spoiler - click to show)bogus clues of the investigation if possible.
5. The comedy in the story lies in the "Miscommunication and Misunderstandings" trope, usually found on movies and comic books/mangas/manhwas, but with one crucial difference: The reader is aware of it happening, yet here, you are FOOLED along with the Detective ⸨◺_◿⸩. Yet you can choose if you are still willing to help the Miss Boulanger after learning the hard cold truth ╥﹏╥

The game has potential for greatness if the same level of quality writing is maintained. I'd love to read more about Detective Rye's adventures in the Dark City (at this point the police station should just extend a job offering to them).

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