If you like cats and a good ol’ detective noire story, boy do I have the game for you! When I read the description of Silvernode Games’ new point and click, Nine Noir Lives and its featured protagonist, PI Cuddles Nutterbutter, I couldn’t not check it out.
To be honest, I was expecting a bit of a meme more than anything. The game does pack a lot of humor – sometimes a little much for my tastes, but a lot of the dialogue made me laugh out loud, and the cat puns sprinkled throughout were both ridiculous and sometimes super clever. Nine Noire Lives is a lot more than just a funny game, however. It’s a full-length mystery to solve, featuring a fully voiced cast and several unique locations to explore.
When the son of a local crime boss is found murdered, the city is shocked. The police are ready to just call it another dead criminal and step away, but Cuddles knows that if nothing is done, it could lead to a full-on family crime war between the Montameeuws and the Catulets. And so he embarks to untangle a very twisted web that involves the city’s history, a dangerous new drug trade, and a world of wealth and power that becomes increasingly hard to step into.
Like I said, I expected a meme – Catulets? Licking? But what I got was an engaging story that kept me making guesses on who the killer might be and what was really going on. I met characters I liked a lot and ones I didn’t really trust. Nine Noir Lives manages to be both a silly remix of the classic detective noir genre, and also a fresh new story all its own.
I’ve played a lot of point and clicks, and always am a little skeptical of how new ones will play – will the interactions be too obtuse for your average player? Will the puzzles make sense? Nine Noir Lives gets my gameplay award for being a classic point and click without being wildly obscure or difficult. The interactions you need to have make sense, and if you’re having trouble spotting what you can touch, your cursor will react a little upon coming across a clickable object, or you can even click the magnifying glass button to show off everything on the screen that can be interacted with. The puzzles are fun and sometimes ridiculous (don’t overlook your licking mechanic – it’s gonna be a thing), requiring you to really pay attention to a room and the hints given throughout the game. The result is an adventure that does have a bit of challenge to it, but by no means is insurmountable or frustrating.
My one complaint is just that clicking between the mouse, look at, use, and lick options can be a little awkward, and I felt slowed down sometimes scrolling through them to find the right interaction, especially with a very finicky laptop mousepad. Everything else was spot-on, and I found it really fun to play.
Nine Noir Lives’ humor and cat jokes definitely make it a unique experience in a genre that’s filled with different and interesting titles and stories, while keeping the classic point and click feel alive the whole time. This is one of the best point and click adventures I’ve played in my time reviewing at The Geekly Grind and I think it will be a fun playthrough for anyone who loves this style of game and wants to laugh out loud. I’m honestly already hoping we might have a sequel and get to see more of the world beyond Meow Meow Furrington, but for now we have a pretty fun story to enjoy, and I hope you like it as much as I did.
You can pick up Nine Noir Lives tomorrow! Wishlist it on Steam here.
Order Up! is a column featuring indie-focused reviews, news, or interviews! We like old games just as much as new ones and are always looking for something to check out. Have a game recommendation, a project, or a company you want to talk about? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @ArcanaChance