Paint it RED
Ever been curious about the dark side of Zootopia? From the perspective of an alcoholic anthropomorphic detective chicken? Love Film Noir, Jazz, or feeling sometimes confused and mesmerized by what you’re looking at? Well, Chicken Police will definitely have you hooked if so! The game, developed by the Hungarian Indie team “The Wild Gentleman“, certainly strikes as unique, stylish, and a one-of-a-kind experience in the gaming market.
Meet Detective Santino “Sonny” Featherland, a burnt-out famous detective and raging alcoholic living in a dystopian city called “Clawville”, a place where humans are mythological creatures. We learn that Detective Sonny is currently under suspension from the police force, when he is approached by none other than Deborah. She’s a personal assistant coming on behalf of her boss, a famous nightclub singer called Natasha Catzenko. Also, Natasha has been concerned for her safety and has received numerous threats, and she needs someone to look into this “off the books”. Bored out of his feathers, Sonny accepts the case and hunts down his estranged trigger happy partner Marty McChicken. What starts out as a simple case soon turns into something far more complex, and has the retired Chicken Police pulling out their feathers as they travel across Clawville, investigating both the elite and poor alike.
Can I get a cluck yeah? Cluck yeah.
Let’s get into the meat and bones that is the gameplay. Each section or area in the game is static. You can interact with anything on the screen. With the switch, we can control where our cursor goes with the left analog stick on the controls. Sometimes, when you click on certain objects or individuals, you can catch a little bit of exposition, obtain collectibles, and so on. Though there will be times where you will need to look closer, solve riddles or rummage through drawers and books to look for clues. For investigative purposes, you also have the option to question, acquire information, and interrogate individuals based on what you’ve already learned about them.
From here on in, you have to navigate conversations between suspects and tease the answer right out of them. You’ll be given multiple ways to guide the conversation, and the game will rate your detective skills with a +/-. This is to keep you on the straight and narrow. Once you’ve finished questioning, you’ll be rated out of 5 stars and presented with a helpful summary of your findings.
The first thing that struck me as a little jarring with the art style was the fact that from the get-go, each character I was interacting with had a human body with an animal’s head fused on top. The weird hybridization of the characters are nicely paired with believable surroundings. The natural swagger of your character breathes fresh life into this world. While this is not groundbreaking, it’s a brilliant style for a visual novel.
Witness the love child of L. A Noire and BoJack Horseman come to life.
The music, paired with the vibe that the visual novel noir thriller gives, is just atmospherically magnificent. I absolutely adore the smoky jazz soundtrack in this game. It was brilliant finding out that this soundtrack is in fact, original. It blends so well into the overall gameplay experience and adds a sense of suspense as you solve different aspects of this bizarre case.
I did notice some spelling mistakes in the English edition of the game. The spelling errors were not frequent nor were they significant. They were, however, noticeable to me for the English localization. I loved the chill vibe that came with the music, the well-designed rooms and solving each riddle as they came. There is an achievement section for the game, where you can try and collect or complete various tasks so I think there’s a good level of replayability in it. It took me exactly 9 hours to complete the first run, but that was without completing all of the achievements. I’m not clucking with you on this one, this is quality tier gaming. If you’re unsure on jumping into this, dip your toes in by downloading the free demo they have available. Give Chicken Police a chance, and you won’t go regretting it.
You can grab a copy of Chicken Police on the Nintendo Switch.