need to know
What is that? A point-and-click adventure set in futuristic Singapore.
release day April 7
Developer Interactive Public Company
publisher HumbleGames / WhisperGames
connection official site (Opens in a new tab)
As a lifelong lover of science fiction and a Singaporean, playing the Chinatown Detective Agency was a rare experience. Soon after entering this futuristic version of my home country, it became clear that this game had two distinct layers, aimed at two different audiences: the first is a point-and-click adventure for people who grew up with Broderbund’s Carmen Sandiego series. who took them all over the world. The other, though not exclusive, is a game designed specifically for Singaporeans.
In the year 2037, the country has gone through an unimaginable process of deregulation, there are anti-government graffiti on the train, drones and robots are a routine sight, and there is only one human librarian in the country. You play as Princess of Dharma, an ex-cop who started out as a private investigator in a dilapidated store in Chinatown. As she takes on cases and meets clients, a princess travels the world while searching for clues to a larger and more dangerous mystery.
On a basic level, it’s really cool to explore your city in pixels – even if it’s a fictional depiction affixed to the standard statement of responsibility that the game is a product of the developers (government) imaginations. Notorious Dispute). This is something Americans, Europeans, and the Global North will never understand because New York, Paris, and London (and to some extent, sinister images of Cold War-era Moscow and Beijing) are old hat. In mainstream popular culture, Singapore’s Western claims to fame are relatively recent, namely the final season of HBO’s Westworld, and Crazy Rich Asians, which was an American movie. I can’t underestimate the importance that CDA features a Singaporean voice acting in the local English dialect, interspersed with excerpts from singlish The Malaysian, which is the controller.
In general, General Interactive Co. A superficial narrative that works with a general audience unfamiliar with Singaporean jokes and cliched words, as well as more accurate storytelling that draws on intense local knowledge: Singaporean grand church culture, class politics, and drinking water supply. Of course on a broader level, these issues are hardly unique to Singapore – widening economic inequality and environmental degradation are ubiquitous. The main plot isn’t rocket science – it’s mostly tried-and-tested tropes like rogue AI systems, cowardly tech tycoons, and omnipresent surveillance. Much of the story’s speculative embellishment is an extension of trends such as mass automation, the rise of labor unions, and unionism.
Most cases are relatively short: checking an object and returning it, decoding a message, or discovering clues, which may take you to different cities. A princess uses a travel software called HORUS and an in-game clock to plan flights. There are a few simple combat events that are very basic shooting and aiming scenarios, although you have the option of getting injured or killed. In the end, the princess must choose a lead client – she went with the suspicious information broker Tiger Lilly, who runs a “health club” in the red-light district of Geylang. Her case concerns a major local church – the Temple of the Self – and the wealthy, and dysfunctional family behind it. It’s a pointed look Great Church Culture in SingaporeAnd one of the most compelling story arcs. I walked out of the house elated, partly bitter to remember the role of evangelism in the relationship between Singapore’s conservative values and its outwardly secular image.
The puzzles are perhaps the most contentious part of the game. The main thing for CDA (which I enjoyed a lot) is Googling yourself – there’s a UI button to take you out to a browser. Even if you’re someone who loves ciphers and taking notes, two of the more complex puzzles – the tablet in particular – were stressful (in part because of the state of the review structure I played). There’s a fine line between giving a player a sense of empowerment and satisfaction, while still pushing them to break a little sweat, and that’s where CDA fades. Thankfully, the game offers help in the form of librarian Mei Ting, so it really depends on how much of a masochist you are.
Small inconsistencies were made for frustrating gameplay at times. The first part of the game is automatically saved after each case. You should be able to save at your own discretion after you’ve selected a key client, but this feature only works for a short period of time; As a result, when I failed a major issue, I had to start everything over again. HORUS was a missed opportunity to deepen in-game money management, with each ride costing a flat $550. One arbitrary weeks pass between cases – I’m not sure why Amira waited a week before revealing an important piece of information to a client. She pays monthly office rent and utilities, and eventually hires an employee, whom she doesn’t pay a salary after, which is funny when you think about the union subplot of the game.
In the end, I face the consequences of my actions: my tough approach means some clients won’t work for me, and working with Tiger Lily elevates it to even more power. In general, the writing is a bit uneven – the main cast is fairly well distinguished by distinct dialogue styles, but some parts of the heavy show veer into overly theatrical territory. Most of the NPCs have a canned line or two of dialogue that sometimes included strange and somewhat contradictory non-sequences, but it fits with the particular nature of point-and-click adventures as an extension of the developers’ characters
Even with these flaws, CDA is bound to be particularly meaningful to a player like me, and the task of reviewing it for a general audience is rather overwhelming. Because of my lack of cultural representation in the Games—the Indies in Southeast Asia are on the rise, though—the CDA inadvertently takes unfair compensating weight to Singaporeans who still bear the residual humiliation of William Gibson’s 1993 WIRED article, Disneyland with the death penalty, which denounced the country as a sterile inferno spectacle. It is a reminder of how imagination deepens our relationship with our homes and environments, and how through imagination we can explore speculative paths to a different future. CDA has probably always been a bustling experience for me, although I can leave the general main plot and spend the whole day photographing local problems and culture. As far as point-and-click adventures go, it’s a pretty good start, with room for improvement. Although it is a cultural artifact, it is very impressive.