Night Call (Text-Based Noir Taxi Tedium)

 

I can remember hype text-based adventure games in the early 1980s. They still exist, but the market is quite niche. Read? Lol, I'm playing a game. Not an easy sell these days, that reading business, but a serial killer noir thriller? Easy victory. Or, rather, it could be. In Night Call you're a Parisian taxi driver who survives an attack from a serial killer and the police demand your assistance to hunt them down. Doing rounds in your cab at night you gather information from locations and people to do it. Decent concept, and I have to add that the writing in this game is superb. The reality of the characters' broken lives is almost too personal, and the first playthrough is quite enjoyable. However...

 
 

Night Call is good for a single play only in the current build. Your cab route features the same people in each game with the same stories. Plus though there is the opportunity to make vastly different choices, they all end up eventually to two or three potential endings. After you finish it once, it becomes total tedium, not to mention the expected clue solving is barely there. Info is automatically matched up to suspects on a board, so there's almost no thinking involved. The fare you collect for cabbing is also essentially pointless and provides no further depth; it's for gas and that's about it (you can adjust difficulty but it really makes little difference). For all its darkness of human existence, Night Call proves the central element required of a text-based adventure since the dawn of computers. It absolutely needs to consider the long game. If it lacks replay after one playthrough, forget it.

 

Night Call Official Steam

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Night Call
BlackMuffin, Monkey Moon (developer), Raw Fury (publisher)
2.9 / 5