Developed by Brave Giant and Published by one of the most recognized publishers of the genre, Artifex Mundi, who has previously brought us major hit titles such as the Demon Hunter series, Queen's Quest series, and many others. Noir Chronicles: City of Crime was published back in 2018, and up till today remains with a Mixed score in Steam.
I’m always a huge fan of non-fantasy Hidden Object Games, and I’ve been following some of Brave Giant’s releases, so obviously this game had to be on my list. Nothing makes me more excited than a good Noir adventure with a murder mystery case, and alas, I wasn’t disappointed.
In Noir Chronicles: City of Crime we follow detective Fox, who fights crime with all his will and determination, but his latest case has caught him off guard. The victim is someone close to him, too close, and the repercussions will make him travel all over the city, in search of the culprit. Nothing is what it seems and the city holds too many alleyways, and some of them are deadly.
The main story for Noir Chronicles: City of Crime is not going to hold you in suspense, as it’s quite simple and somehow predictable. There are a couple of interesting events that I wasn’t expecting, especially in the Extra Bonus Episode. Other than that, expect a pleasant and casual storyline with a high dose of classic Detective themed adventures across the city.
Gameplay wise, Noir Chronicles: City of Crime is a very traditional game, featuring single hidden object scenes, one per each location. There are two variants for the scenes, one being the classic object gathering with the list of objects, and other with their shape instead of their name. If these scenes are not of interest to you, they can be changed into a mini-game.
While traversing the city in search for the truth, we’ll come across several puzzles and Mini-Games. These range from easy to medium difficulty, with most being very accessible challenges that shouldn’t give you any troubles at all. Object gathering and overall progression are perhaps the most simple and easiest aspect of the game.
In contrast to many other games, this detective thriller doesn’t allow much exploration at all. It’s not uncommon, and I have seen it happen before, where games allow players to traverse between one or two areas each time, making all the previous areas unavailable. Obviously this makes the game considerably easier since there isn’t any backtracking to finding items.
It is perhaps one of the most criticized aspects of Noir Chronicles: City of Crime, although I personally don’t mind much. It’s supposed to be a tale of rushing through the city, one location after the other, always in pursuit, permanently remaining in the shadows of doubts. But it’s also understandable that fans desired a much more in-depth exploration, especially since there is an in-game map, which is pretty much useless, except as a curiosity item to track your steps.
Visually, it’s what you’d expect from Brave Giant’s catalog, with a wide variety of interesting locations, with exquisite detail and setting. Character art is a strange mix between realistic photography, fused with a digital touch. This is the first time I have seen something like this, but it doesn't look that bad, perhaps not the best option but definitely interesting.
The game features original 1080p Cutscene videos and artwork, which looks pretty good in Hidden Object Sequences, with vivid scenarios to easily pick up and identify each object. Most of these are real photos of objects placed into the game, with some rework done to them obviously, so you know the quality is going to be good.
The Steam edition, although it’s not specified, is actually the Collector’s Edition, featuring a Bonus Episode, the In-Game Soundtrack, Wallpapers, and Concept Art. From the original edition published on BigFish, only the Main Menu changed, as for everything else remains including achievements and special collectibles.
The Bonus Episode is available after completing the main story, which portrays one of the darkest periods in the life of Detective Fox. It’s not directly associated with the main narrative branch, and works more like an in-depth perspective over Fox’s early life.
With around 3 or 4 gameplay hours, Noir Chronicles: City of Crime is a really good Hidden Object Game with a fantastic detective vibe. Although the main story isn’t a strong point, it still manages to deliver a fun, casual experience, thanks to its easy puzzles and beautiful design. Perfect if you want a relaxing and enjoyable, simple Noir thriller.
Walkthrough video on YouTube by MinPin Games