This Carmen Sandiago-Inspired Detective Game Requires Real-World Sleuthing

This Carmen Sandiago-Inspired Detective Game Requires Real-World Sleuthing
Long live pixel art games. (Image: General Interactive Co.)

If playing a cyberpunk detective game that asks you to find clues to solve cases both in the game and in real-life tickles your fancy, then Chinatown Detective Agency might be your jam.

Chinatown Detective Agency, a point-and-click pixel art detective game developed by General Interactive Co., finally got a release date during yesterday’s ID@Xbox Showcase. You play as Amira Darma, an ex-Interpol agent turned hard-boiled private investigator based in Singapore. You take on a myriad of dangerous cases as she travels the world and makes a name for herself, all while avoiding the threat of going broke in 2037’s collapsing economy.

Chinatown Detective Agency is General Interactive Co.’s second game, following 2017’s 3D farming simulator, Terroir. It first announced the game way back in 2019, and in 2020 released a free prequel adventure, Chinatown Detective Agency: Day One, to set the stage for the main course. Now, it’s almost here.

Don’t let the game’s point-and-click description fool you; you might not have time to sit and admire its sleek pixel art because you’ll need to put on your thinking cap alongside Darma to discover case-solving clues. If you’ve ever thrown your hands up at detectives missing the obvious, Chinatown Detective Agency is gonna make you put your money where your mouth is with its real-world research aspect.

Indeed, the game’s Steam page teases that you’ll have to rely on your own “smart thinking” and “intuition” to look up clues within the game and in real-life. If an in-game lead goes cold, you might have to do some sleuthing of your own in the real world, likely by firing up the ol’ Google machine to find clues pertaining to Darma’s cases. That’s some bold game design, making players do their own research outside the game. Respect.

Beyond the sleuthing, the game also aims to bring some authenticity through its voice acting. Darma, the game’s Singaporean main character, is voiced by Leonie Koh, a Singaporean voice actress. Alongside its trailer, Id@Xbox posted a YouTube video introducing Koh and shedding some light on her vocal performance as Darma.

Koh credited her performance of Darma as a hard-boiled femme fatale to Chinatown Detective Agency’s “superb” pixel art and its Pulp Fiction and Sin City-esque vibes.

“[A] badass female Singaporean private investigator, I don’t think it’s been done before,” Koh said. Certainly not in games.

Chinatown Detective Agency is slated to release on April 7 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and Humble Bundle.

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