Every year at E3, Indiecade gets a group of some great indie games together to show off on the showfloor. I didn't have time to look at them all, or as many as I would have liked, but I did get a chance to take a look at A Case of Distrust, an adventure game set in the 1924 San Francisco seeing players take on the role of a female private investigator.
I had the opportunity to play a quick ten minute demo of the game, where I got to test my investigative skills out on the main character's cat. Well, not really her cat, but one that keeps coming around.
As for the gameplay, it's all about paying attention to what people say and making sure you investigate your surroundings. I was able to look around the main character's apartment, examining various objects like a stack of papers or drawer.
Examining those objects gives you information you can use in later conversations, like presenting evidence to someone to call them out for lying. For example, the cat was hungry and I had to examine the fridge, which was empty, to present the cat with information to get it to leave me alone essentially. That's the main mechanic of the game as you'll have to traverse your way through conversations.
The story sees you take the role of a female private investigator, a rarity in the 1920s. Speaking to the developer, Ben Wander, he said the many different issues of the 1920s mirror what we have going on today, allowing him to use this historical setting as a commentary on what's going on today. It's a smart approach, exploring the issues then and offering insight into what's happening now.
From what I played of A Case of Distrust, I wouldn't be concerned with it being overly political or "preachy" as some may want to say. The writing was smart, presented well, and had great character to it. While I only played ten minutes, I'd say the game is a lot more about the story it has to tell than as an attempt to get a particular message out there.
And as for that story, there's plenty of investigating to do and criminals to catch. My demo also showed a bit of what seems to be the overarching story; a member of organized crime approaches you to look into a matter. Getting into the why and what it is, as well as how it will inevitably not turn out well most likely, will be the thread pulling it all together.
From what I played, I'm excited. The writing is smart, the presentation is very slick and gives you that 1920s feel, and the gameplay should hopefully be satisfying, using the knowledge of what you learn and information you gather to solve some mysteries.
A Case of Distrust is releasing sometime this year on PC and Mac.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.