Pixel Noir is a JRPG that incorporates both traditional role-playing elements and Film Noir detective skills into one unique 16-bit game. Currently on Kickstarter, the game by SWDTech Games seeks to bring back old-school graphics and music in a way that should feel both nostalgic and new.
I recently talked with Kunal Majmudar, one of the team members behind the game and the man charge of making the game’s iconic songs. He gave a lot of great details on the upcoming project, and provided insight into both the game itself and the impressive team behind it.
Pixel Noir is “a JRPG inspired role playing game with a few upgrades in mind, including atmosphere and style,” explained Kunal. It takes a elements from a conglomeration of famous games, including the Final Fantasy games and Super Mario RPG. The game puts you in the shoes of a former city-based police detective. However, ten years ago you lost your job due poor leads on a cold case, and now you sit at home and wallow in pity and booze. But now, new information has come up on the case that cost you your job. With your sanity slowly spiraling into an abyss, set out on an investigation to discover the truth about what happened 10 years ago, or die trying.
Pixel Noir is set to feature several different types of gameplay modes within the game itself. For example, “there’s adventuring, and then you actually go into town and you talk to people and go on quests and mini–quests,” which you can see above. Of course, no detective game would be complete without an investigation mode, which is I’m told is “very similar to the [Batman] Arkham games”. While the investigation mode can be used for finding documents or clues to further your search, it can also be used in battle.
“In battle, you’ll be able to use it and turn it on and see that maybe there’s a bottle on the floor that you can run to and grab—you can chuck it or drink it for health.”
Combat in Pixel Noir will be turn-based, and very similar to the battle mechanics in Super Mario RPG.
“In Super Mario RPG, anytime that you are hitting an enemy or defending from an attack, you can hit a button at the right time and you’ll either do extra damage or you can block some of the damage from the attack… We loved that idea, and wanted to put it into our game in our own way.”
Instead of pressing buttons, Pixel Noir seeks to encompass touch screen controls, making use of the innovation of Android or iOS devices. In short, however, “everything will have timed hit element to it.”
Combat will also feature an interactive and destructible environment. If there is a bottle on the ground, for example, it can be thrown at an enemy to injure him. Or if there is a chandelier overhead, shoot it down so it can squash bad guys under it. Things like desks and chairs can also be used for cover, so pay attention to your surroundings. By seeing what’s around you, it can change the course of the battle.
Though the battle is pretty unique, one of the most interesting things about Pixel Noir is the in-game card game. There will be an extensive card combat game within Pixel Noir that can be played as a fun mini-game, though it’s actually not that mini. The card game will be a fully function game that users can play for a few minutes or hours, depending on how much they like it, and that the development team finds it fun.
Speaking of the team, SWDTech Games has a impressive staff to say the least. The 12 team members each have an extensive background and history of working with games. From previously working for DC Comics to Sony to Square Enix, the staff of SWDTech Games certainly has a stunningly impressive combined resume. And it looks like their skills are certainly coming into play with Pixel Noir.
Pixel Noir’s goal is to be available on numerous platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, Vita, iOS, Android and Mac by the end of the year. Visit the game’s Kickstarter page for more info or to donate to it, and check out the game’s catchy music tracks here.