Story image

Android App Review: Detective’s Choice Volume 1

19 Jan 15

Do you like interactive stories, tough narrative decisions and slightly lazy genre fiction? Then Detective’s Choice Volume 1 just might be the game for you!

Detective’s Choice describes itself as a “RPG text-based adventure”, which is a fancy way of saying it’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure books that you probably read as a kid. And like those books it relies heavily on genre, possibly to the point of parody. As the app says, “you’re playing a tough detective from the 1930’s who loves his ladies, has a fragile ego, and prefers not to take guff from anyone if he can avoid it.” So far, so terribly typical. But I have an enduring love for this kind of pulp trash, so I’m still willing to give it a go.

Basically you read a story written in the second-person, and periodically you’ll be called on to decide what the protagonist does. These decisions determine not only what happens next, but also personal stats like how much money or rage you have, which will presumably affect how things in the story play out later on. I’ll try to avoid spoilers but anyone who’s played Max Payne or L.A. Noire or read any of those Dresden Files novels will be right at home. The first case is called ‘Jack Jericho and the Bloody Burlesque Show’, which is ridiculous enough for me to be intrigued. But then you get a sentence like this:

“You’re at the office, feet up on the desk, a paperback in hand when a leggy blonde in a pinstripe mini-skirt and a black fedora with lipstick the color of temptation saunters in.”

Following this, you get to choose whether you “let your eyes do the talking”, “play it cool”, or “act the gentleman”. Wow. So far it has hints of Nice Guys of Reddit: The Game, but I’m still cutting the app some slack.

Then I find out that the leggy blonde’s name is “Sissy Tease”. Um.

The game gets a bit more interesting once you start making real decision (I don’t count “let your eyes do the talking” versus “act the gentleman” as a real decision). You get to choose what sort of fee you charge your client, and this will affect how much money you have later in the game, but also affects how your client relates to you. And I’m a sucker for a mystery. Who’s behind the mysterious ‘accidents’ that are befalling headline burlesque dancers? Could the pale man with the pentagram ring be an occultist? Or is he drawing your attention away from the real mastermind? I don’t know and I’m still on the fence about whether I care, but now that the story’s there on my phone I’m probably going to dip into it again when I have some time to kill. 

Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
Hands-on review: Having fun in Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty
They don’t revolutionise social video gaming, but they are enjoyable enough to occupy you during a wet weekend. 
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.