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About the Story
Jake Keems is a private investigator in 1947 Los Angeles.
The Big Fall is an interactive mystery inspired by works like The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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I'm a big fan of the detective genre, and it's always nice to see a long-form game come out.
This is a big game, spread over a dozen or so locations and three days. It's ambitious, with many scripted events, NPCs, and action scenes.
These kinds of things are hard to pull off. The game handles pretty well during the first day, and I spent a long time with this game up on my desktop trying to work through without hints. As time progressed and I went through the days, there were more and more holes in the system until I ended up relying entirely on the hints, although those had a gap ((Spoiler - click to show)escaping the rope).
The game has a lot of good parts, and credits several testers. The kind of problems that are left seem like ones that are typical for this type of story: one where the author seems to know exactly how each scene should play out and what the player's logic is. The problem is that 'the player will get it wrong', like Stephen Granade once wrote. It's very difficult to guess what people will try unless you have many many testers or constrain the player somehow (by reducing the number of items or by using a choice-based system, or by giving leading hints that increase the more you do the wrong thing).
My overall rating:
-Polish: There are several remaining bugs.
+Descriptiveness: For me, I enjoyed the writing and setting generally.
+Interactivity: The bugs or missing hints threw me off, but I liked the conversation and map movement. Some parts didn't work for me, but overall it was good.
-Emotional impact: Great at first, but kind of petered out at the end. I can't explain why.
+Would I play it again? If it was updated, I probably would!
The game feels fun, noir-y, but it has a number of bugs that forced me back to the in-game hints too often. (And even those have bugs, at least as of Release 1.)
I posted a big list of bugs on the intfiction forum. https://intfiction.org/t/the-big-fall-a-1947-detective-story/51435/5?u=dfabulich
My biggest issue with this game is plot-related.
(Spoiler - click to show)Why did Dixie (the mob boss) let Sylvia live? Why are the cops trying to kill me in the final scene? Shouldn't they just arrest me?
It seems like the game is being noir-y at the expense of its own plot.
I think if the bugs were fixed, this could be at least three stars, and if the plot issues are addressed, it could be four or five stars.