THE SLAUGHTER: ACT ONE
Developed by Brainchild
Published by Brainchild and Owl Cave
Available for PC on Steam
After the death of a local prostitute, London based PI Sydney Emerson is hired to investigate the murder but who could be the culprit?
THE SLAUGHTER: ACT ONE is a point and click PC game set in Victorian times with The Ripper on the loose. We follow and play as Sydney Emerson, a private detective who always seems to be able to get himself out of a pickle with his sarcasm and wit. His no-nonsense approach is quite fun to watch unfold but he’s not immune to a beating as we see in the opening of the game.
Whilst the story unfolds, the game offers the player a choice of questions and answers when talking to other characters in the game though it would seem that none have an impact on the final outcome of the episode. You can usually ask and answer in any way you see fit and be able to go through the different possibilities. Along the way, you’ll need certain objects to progress through the game and most of these are pretty easy to find with the exception of a couple of pieces. Sometimes items will need to be combined to work whilst others can be used alone.
Object collecting and dialogue selecting aren’t the only gameplay mechanics used. There’s also a fun little game called Shove Ha’Penny included in the local pub although it’s not as easy as it looks! The object of the game is to slide pennies so they sit inbetween two lines. If you manage it, you get a X in that particular column but if your penny touches the line then you must try again. You get three goes of the game, each picking up the pace over the last, but if you don’t win you can still proceed regardless onto the next part of the story.
I’ve already got ideas on who the Ripper character is in the game although it may be too obvious a choice. With further acts to follow, THE SLAUGHTER: ACT ONE is a great opening chapter into this saga at 3 hours long. It’s got humour and even has a touch of surrealism with weird dream sequences that involve a flying fish. There never seems to be a dull moment when playing the game and the wonderful design of the characters and gritty locations means its both a pleasure to observe and play. However, the content of this mystery adventure game is quite dark at times which means it’s not suitable for young audiences. Developer Brainchild has managed to balance the gameplay though so it’s not too heavy nor too cheerful to allow the player to enjoy the experience and the story it has to tell.
With its engaging dialogue, striking music and intriguing storyline, THE SLAUGHTER: ACT ONE is well worth a look for any mystery point-and-click enthusiast.