What do you call an anthropomorphic chicken in a comedy-noir point-and-click adventure? Gallo, apparently: Detective Gallo.
From Italian studio Footprints Games and publisher Adventure Productions comes a new puzzle-based adventure in which you take on the role of the titular Detective Gallo; a hard-boiled gumshoe out to solve the bizarre mystery surrounding the deaths of five beloved plants, needlessly murdered in a fashion most fowl. After receiving a generous advance from his new employer, it’s up to Gallo to scour the deepest depths of the city to find the brutal murderer and bring them to justice.
Detective Gallo is a point-and-click adventure right out of the old LucasArts mould; featuring impeckable, hand-illustratedand animated artwork, full dialogue recording and as much chicken-based puzzling as you can shake a drumstick at. While it doesn’t pretend to do anything new with the format, Footprints’ Detective Gallo looks set to absolutely nail the heart and soul of the old classics.
"While it doesn’t pretend to do anything new with the format, Footprints’ Detective Gallo looks set to absolutely nail the heart and soul of the old classics."
Playing through the short alpha demo, it’s clear where the team behind Detective Gallo got their inspiration. The humour is straight out of Monkey Island, its tongue-in-cheek and self-aware nature smacks of Day of the Tentacle and there are puzzles that wouldn’t seem out of place being solved by Mr. George Stobbart himself.
There’s an interesting cast of characters too, including Phil Cloro – the millionaire plant-fancier whose prized, potted pals have fallen victim to the hideous crime; Candy Bop – a Gallo-obsessed small businesswoman who keeps the detective’s picture on her counter; and, of course, the man himself – Detective Gallo, who’s got hundreds of rules to make sense of the crazy, brutal city he lives and works in and a mute cactus called Thorn for a partner.
Detective Gallo is everything that you’d expect from an archetypal film noir trope: he’s a bitter and cynical guy with a short fuse, a penchant for pessimism and a beak for trouble. Cracking-wise isn’t something that he goes in for, being more comfortable in the role of the hard-boiled private eye just trying to get by in a city that’s out to kill him. Yes, it all sounds a bit clichéd, but with the gloriously hammy voice-acting and the obviously over-the-top script, it all somehow works.
As well as having great voice acting and well produced audio and music, Detective Gallo very much looks the part. According to the game’s website, Detective Gallo is ‘entirely hand-illustrated’, and though it’s likely that it’s been dipped in Photoshop or Illustrator, it is incredibly pretty and the art style works well for both the setting and the genre. Each scene is packed with detail that helps you to immerse yourself in Gallo’s world and, when the game inevitably becomes something of a hidden-object hunt (as all point-and-click adventures do at some point), it doesn’t make it too easy to spot the interactable items from the backgrounds.
"Detective Gallo seems to eschew the common, bizarre pseudo-logic that most point-and-click adventures employ in favour of actually having puzzles and their solutions make some kind of sense."
The puzzles in the game are one of its highlights. During the alpha, there weren’t many puzzles where the solution wasn’t logical or, at least, too far outside the realms of possibility to make an educated guess at. Detective Gallo seems to eschew the common, bizarre pseudo-logic that most point-and-click adventures employ in favour of actually having puzzles and their solutions make some kind of sense. Well, most of the time at least.
If you’re looking for a new point-and-click adventure to get excited about going into 2017, a sarcastic chicken and his comedy-noir adventure could be eggxactly what you’re looking for and, having secured the entirety of the €15,000 required to complete the game via Italian crowdfunding site, Eppella, Footprints Games should be all set for a full release this summer.
At time of writing, the alpha demo of Detective Gallo is still available here, free of charge for you to have a play with so you can judge it for yourself.