Night Call | Review
by Dillan-James Carter
Image Courtesy of MonkeyMoon
So goes the ever-familiar line when entering a taxi as we surrender to the fact of having very little in common with your cabbie. However, unlike the regular drivers who’ll end up at Brexit Avenue or See-the-football-last-night? Lane, the Night Call driver offers the enthralling search for a serial killer to fill your travel time.
Night Call is published by MonkeyMoon Games; this being their first foray into the PC world from a previous history in mobile gaming. The game is an interactive noir novella. You play a Parisian taxi driver on the hunt for a serial killer who has framed you for a string of murders. Tasked quite rudely by the Chief Inspector to find the real killer or get convicted yourself, you have no choice but to search for crucial clues while still trying to earn a living as a taxi driver. The conversation topics you pick while talking with your passengers may or may not result in certain clues or helpful gossip that can aid your investigation.
Considering there are over seventy characters in the game, it seems like a remarkable achievement that they all feel fully fleshed out. From a toupee-wearing man fresh from a blind date to Santa trying to find his sleigh, the quirky late-night chats are perhaps Night Call’s most outstanding attribute.
Although the conversations can become a bit repetitive on your third run, replay value is achieved by randomly choosing a different murderer at the beginning of the game. That said, actually trying to figure out who the murderer is can feel like guesswork nine times out of ten. If I may use the taxi analogy one last time, the ride was better than the destination.
Stylistically, Night Call goes full Philip Marlowe with a monochrome colour palette which, combined with the heavy beats of the soundtrack, make the grimy streets of Paris all the more enjoyable to drive through.
Needless to say, if you enjoyed ‘Papers, Please’ or ‘This Is The Police’, you will certainly enjoy the narrative arc and dialogue gameplay presented in Night Call – though the resolution may not be as satisfying as a five-star Uber rating.