Chicken Police – Paint it RED! Review

🐓🐔 A Clucking Fun Game! 🐔🐓

General Info

Release Date: November 5, 2020
Rating: M 17+
Developer: The Wild Gentlemen
Publisher: HandyGames
Platform I Played On: PC
Platforms Available On: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Mobile
Genre(s): Detective, Mystery, Visual Novel

Synopsis

Taken from the Game’s Official Site

Chicken Police | Noir Detective Story with Animal Heads | HandyGames™ (handy-games.com)

Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken, aka the “Chicken Police”, once a legendary detective-duo – now a washed-up wreck and a wannabe star-detective. But things are about to change when a most mysterious case comes along, getting weirder by the hour and more dangerous than anything the two have faced before. Sonny and Marty will have to face the demons of their dark past on this journey through the crooked city of CLAWVILLE… But the Chicken Police is back together!

Chicken Police – Paint it RED features a stunningly peculiar visual style with artistic photo-manipulation and lifelike 3D backgrounds. The game convinces with a dark story and satire which recalls the mood and atmosphere inspired by classic film-noir movies of the 40’s. And like all the best noir detective stories, this one feels so gritty and desperate, that it can only be served with a side of cynical humor. Experience a carefully crafted world, a grim, sinister story, and absurd humor. All mixed up with elements of story-rich adventures and a visual novel style dialogue system, complete with a complex interrogation mechanic, detective gameplay and an ever-changing city.

Why You Should Play: The Short Version

>> Fun detective story, film noire style!

>> Really neat aesthetics

>> Chickens!

>> Cluckin’ hell just play the game 🐓

Pros

  • Game embodied the film noire spirit
  • Chickens!
  • Great visuals and artistic style
  • Unexpected and well-executed protagonist
  • Many details in all the locations

Cons

  • Shorter than expected
  • A few characters didn’t have a strong film noire essence

First Impressions

Beware there may be minor spoilers below depending on one’s qualification of a spoiler. Read at your own risk. In my opinion, this review should not spoil any new player’s experience with the game~

Disclaimer: This is my HOBBY blog with my own opinions, please take that into consideration~

I was intrigued by this game the moment I read the title. When I watched the trailer I knew I needed to play this game. I have always liked detective stories and always have appreciated the film noire style and aesthetics. The trailer boasted humor and was brimming with fil noire sensibilities. This was simply a fun game.

Since this game is a mystery I do not want to spoil the story. I will say that the pacing is fairly decent and the story isn’t too hard to follow. The story itself is not earth shattering, but that’s how the detective genre works. There is a mystery and it needs to be solved. As the story progresses it takes us to various places and people in the City of Clawville. We have to question people and figure out how a murky mystery all comes together. This mystery is being conducted by the dynamic duo dubbed the Chicken Police. Two detectives who have a long and tumultuous history and solved various unusual cases.

The game itself has quite a bit of humor. At first I wasn’t really sure how to process the humor but eventually I became accustomed to it. I think what made the humor work best is that it was paired in tandem with various typical film noire slang and ambience. I think the bulk of the humor is the dialogue between our protagonist Sonny and his work partner Marty.

I don’t consider this a criticism but the game itself is rather short. I honestly was expecting at least one more chapter before we solved the mystery. I finished the game in under seven hours. This is a game that isn’t time intensive. It makes for an ideal game for people who don’t have a lot of time and want to play it a few hourly sessions.

Considering the length of the game I was surprised we were given so much lore. I have learned so much about this fictional universe in the course of seven hours that I thought the story was going to be more dependent of the established lore. This gives me reason (and hope) that the developers are going to create another game tied to the universe!

This game had just the right mix of story, film noire, humor, lore, and in-game world. I really was impressed by the details and amount of interaction this small game provided. The story itself is not earth shattering but I don’t think that is the point of the game. It’s a game with chickens and solving a classic whodunit. I couldn’t have asked for more from this game! It was simply fun to play!

The Characters 🐓 🐈 🐊 🐀 🐇 🐕 🦝

Variety // Not Long Interactions // How Every Character is Related??

All the characters introduced to us throughout the game all had different personalities and ties to the story. I really enjoyed the variety of animals we got to meet. From the stuttering rabbit friend to the mysterious crocodile, we are always introduced to someone new and unique.

Since the game is short we don’t get much time with the interactions. I really liked that some of the characters knew Sonny and Marty prior to the game and it is definitely implied. Some of the other characters are new to the duo and the player. There is a great balance of establishing various relationships and knowledge. I really liked that the game essentially keeps you guessing on which new characters you will meet and how they are related to the story or simply Sonny and Marty.

Our Protagonist: Santino “Sonny” Featherland 🐓

Clucking Great // Disgruntled Detective // Embodiment of Film Noire

I really enjoyed our protagonist, Sonny. The disgruntled old detective vibe was spot on. From his looks, voice acting, and characterization I cannot imagine another protagonist in his place. I loved the monologues that introduced the chapters and locations.

For such a short story we know much of Sonny’s personality and glimpses into his past. We immediately can understand his cynicism towards, well, everything. Sonny clearly has life experience and has become the disgruntled detective with a hectic past. I like that we are not always told upfront about his past but rather hear references of things from conversations with others or you look at an optional picture and gain insight. The game does a great job of showing Sonny and his quirks. That makes him quite the dynamic protagonist in the visual novel genre.

Gameplay

Keyboard // More than Usual Visual Novel // Variety of Interactions

Options: Keyboard & Controller

I only played the game via keyboard and I don’t have any complaints. Everything about the game is pretty straight forward. At first I was a bit nervous to play the game on my PC because I have traditionally played visual novels on either my 3DS, Switch, or PSVita and thought I might get bored sitting at my computer reading dialogue. This game was an elevated visual novel experience so I never got bored or felt like it would have been better on a different platform.

I would argue this is loosely visual novel because there are quite a bit of interactive elements to the game. While the bulk of the story is dialogue based there are numerous aspects of the game that set it apart from a traditional visual novel. Other than simply talking to animals you can first look at them and you will get commentary from Sonny. In some cases you get glean information from animals or have the opportunity to question them.

The questioning sessions are actually rather fun because you have to pick the correct kinds of questions depending on the character. You can actually fail the questioning session if you don’t take into account the animal’s personality. The other kinds of interactive elements in the game include: items of interest you can look at, play a mini game at the shooting range, optional places to visit on the map, and a few collectables in the game. All of these components really elevated the gameplay experience. I was pleasantly surprised.

Artistic/Aesthetic Style & Ambience 🐓🐓

LOVE LOVE // Black & White // Anthropomorphic

The aesthetics and art style in this game are phenomenal. I loved that the entirety of the game is done in black and white, a traditional film noire aesthetic. There’s something about the black and white that gives a classic sense of beauty. The background music also helped set the tone of the game with various jazz music. It even includes some songs featuring that stereotypical film noire saxophone.  

The areas we go to throughout the story are presented in one backdrop. In some cases doors or hallways allow us to go further in the building. The backdrops are all gorgeous and detailed. There is strong art deco décor in some areas while others have that 1930s urban New York feel. Every location had various fun additives to look at. For example in the location the Czar Club there are a series of movie posters that are parodies of real-world movies. The fact that they inserted anthropomorphic animals and pun-filled titles was simply glorious.

I think Sonny’s voice actor did such a good job in capturing the film noire style, it was simply perfect. Majority of the game’s characters really added to the overall film noire ambience the game portrays. From the slang, standard noire accent, and definitely “not politically correct” characterizations the ambience was great in transporting you to a gritty society. I appreciated that they didn’t try to make everything align with modern sensibilities and simply let the world and character live and breathe. His voice acting alone really sold me on the tone of the game and I couldn’t imagine the game without his commentary threading everything together.

One minor criticism is that Marty’s overall voice and dialogue was too modern in tone and nearly clashed with Sonny’s film noire ambience. I would have liked to see Marty use a bit more slang and have less of a standard modern accent. This was really jarring to me at first because many other characters seem to have more slang and that gritty edge. It was noticeable enough to distract me from the otherwise perfect film noire vibes. However, in the end I grew to like Marty as a character but I really wish he had that added grit or edge that so many of the other characters had.

The NPC characters all looked like they were handcrafted and given wonderful detail in their clothing and overall appearance. Each character fit in with the location we were visiting and even if we did not talk to that particular character it added an extra element of ambience of all the varieties of animals and walks of life that are present in Clawville.

I can sense that there was a considerable amount of care and attention to detail when creating the overall ambience of this game. In comparison to other visual novels Chicken Police just oozes with charm and has a strong identity. I feel like a broken record saying they nailed the film noire vibes, but the developers really did just that! Film noire perfection!

Would I Recommend? 🐓

Chicken Police – Paint it RED! is a game I thoroughly enjoyed playing. The game itself was short but fun. I loved the premise of a film noire detective game with anthropomorphic animals. The title Chicken Police was honestly enough to make me intrigued by the game.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I immediately fell in love with the backgrounds and attention to detail throughout the game. All the locations had their own unique vibe and had glorious advertisements and animal puns. The fact that everything was in black and white game this game a classic charm. There is something beautiful about black and white movies and photos and this game was simply gorgeous.

I loved playing as a chicken detective. I mean what’s there not to like about that premise??? The protagonist Sonny Featherland is memorable for all the right reasons. The game executed the film noire disgruntled detective vibe perfectly. The voice acting for Sonny’s character was the cherry on top moment. Everything about the protagonist was stellar!

I liked this game so much that I would definitely be interested in another case featuring the Chicken Police! I think there’s potential in maybe a few more short games. I would love to see a new adventure that involves more of the lore and the in-game universe.

I wouldn’t recommend this game if you are someone who doesn’t like short games, isn’t fond of visual novels, or doesn’t have a sense of humor(?). This game is short and is at its core a visual novel, if you don’t like those you’re out of luck. The humor may not be for everyone. I like ridiculous, absurd, or simply satirical humor so this game is right up my alley. The backdrop of the game is innately absurd due to the fact that everything is anthropomorphic. If you cannot grasp absurd and situational humor, it may not be for you.

I would recommend this game for anyone who likes detective or mystery games, film noire aesthetics, or visual novels. It is a fun short game that you can enjoy casually and is low stress. The film noire backdrop and the story make this a really fun game. If you wanted a detective game that isn’t super convoluted, you should really play this game. Honestly, if you were intrigued just by the premise of being a chicken cop I think you’ll enjoy the game. This game is a clucking hell of a game 🐔🐔