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The Rise of the Golden Idol screenshot

The Rise of the Golden Idol wants you to solve some gnarly mysteries

Because I’m a fool, I’ve somehow slept on The Case of the Golden Idol, a point-and-click detective mystery that landed on PC in 2022. Unlike other point and click adventure games, Color Gray Games’ dark mystery invites players to come up with their own theories and, by gathering clues, you’ll need to use your noggin to put forward solutions and causes of death that make sense.

It’s only come to my attention because it’s getting a sequel: The Rise of the Golden Idol is set to launch this year, and I’ve just had my hands on its demo. Sporting a new art style and set some 300 years after the events of The Case of the Golden Idol, players have 15 grizzly cases to solve, all involving mysterious deaths and some pretty dark circumstances.

You don’t need to have played the first game to enjoy The Rise of the Golden Idol, but since the stories are connected, you’ll undoubtedly get more out of it if you have. But I haven’t, and after solving just one case of this delightfully sinister adventure, I’m completely hooked.

The Rise of the Golden Idol screenshot
Image: Playstack

The demo introduces you to The Rise of the Golden Idol’s mechanics by having you solve the first case of the game. That first case involves two separate incidents that are somehow connected: the death of a respected professor, and an incident on a building site. In the background, there’s also knowledge of multiple homeless people who have turned up dead, too.

It’s your job to explore each crime scene, gathering enough evidence to be able to piece together what’s happened. By clicking on witnesses or important points of the environment, you’ll gather key words such as names, locations and objects. Starting by putting a name to everyone relevant to the scene, you’ll then need to line up a series of events.

The Rise of the Golden Idol screenshot
Image: Playstack

Figuring everything out isn’t always straightforward, and you’ll have to pay close attention to every bit of information you’re given. Even if it doesn’t seem relevant at the time, you might need it later. For instance, I’d missed one piece of information in the first scene I scoured. I didn’t need it to ‘solve’ that particular scene — but it was a key bit of information in putting together the larger picture of the case.

Needless to say, The Rise of the Golden Idol has my attention, and if you’re a fan of point and click mysteries and detective adventures, it really ought to have your attention too. It’ll take some brain power, but I can’t wait to play more of this intriguing and clever puzzle game.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, you can jump into the first game, The Case of the Golden Idol on either Steam or Switch. And its beautiful sequel, which is set to release later this year, has a free demo you can jump into right now on Steam.

Summer Game Fest 2024 is in full swing, and we’re covering the latest, best announcements right here. Want to see everything so far? Head to our SGF 2024 hub right here.

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