The Shapeshifting Detective
By: Wales Interactive Ltd.
Full Motion Video (FMV) games have been making quite the comeback over the last few years, with Her Story proving that the medium has a lot to offer. Contradiction provided a slightly cheesier experience, but one with also more active sleuthing. They both managed to make me hungry for more FMV games, but not all of them have been ported to iOS. Luckily, The Shapeshifting Detective is making its way over on February 20th and I was fortunate enough to get an early copy. I’m only about an hour in, but am really impressed so far. The gist of it is that you’re a detective who can shapeshift into other people, thereby getting murder suspects to tell you things they wouldn’t otherwise. But you also need to be careful not to get caught. You can watch some gameplay video below, but I didn’t do any shapeshifting there yet. I mostly got introduced to the characters and learned that I seem to have some secrets myself. You might also notice Rupert Booth and Anarosa De Eizaguirre Butler from Contradiction.
That video ended up longer than planned because I stopped to listen to a story about a cat hunting small animals for its owner. See, when you’re traveling about and talking to people, there’s a radio that’s on the in the guesthouse and the cab. You can choose to ignore it or stop and listen. I’m not sure how many hours worth of audio there is, but it’s tempting to listen to it all. It’s voice acted well and the stories are often on the creepy side.
The game wasn’t explicit about how to shapeshift, but I figured it out in the next video. I’ve already slipped up a few times, saying things I shouldn’t, and it’ll be interesting to see how that affects my progress. It also appears that my shapeshifting powers are limited, so hopefully I can figure who the murderer is before I use them all up. The game is also supposed to have multiple possible endings, and the murderer is random each time. I’m not sure how that works, but I’m eager to find out.
I’ll definitely be spending a lot more time with the game over the next couple of weeks and will hopefully have a full review in time for release. But if you don’t want to wait, you can see what folks had to say about the PC version and then pre-order the game here. The game translates flawlessly to touchscreens, even small ones, as you’re simply choosing where to go, who to change into, who to talk to, and what to ask. So feel free to take a chance on it if it looks like your kind of thing.