Gamedec

Review: Gamedec

The future will be televised, or as you sit here now reading this, it could quite possibly be VR’ed. Gamedec takes that idea to a whole new level with its deep storytelling and mechanics that allow a sense of discovery and freedom while the player tries to crack multiple cases and solve mysteries. If point-and-click adventures from yesteryear and RPG games have ever interested you, Gamedec is worth a look simply for the way it brings that genre to the current gen of gaming.

Cracking the Cases

Gamedec puts you in the shoes of a “Game Detective,” a private investigator or sort who is hired to solve cases or crimes that have occurred within the game or VR space. As the detective, you live in Realium (the futuristic real world), and you’re sent into various landscapes and games that range from dirty street corners to a western ranch and town, and a place called Knight’s Code complete with strongholds and islands.

Each one of the games you enter to solve a case is tapped into by an advanced gaming “chair” where the player (or detective) will log in and become whoever they want in that world. That’s just the beginning because you are not only balancing your work within the digital world but the real one as well.

Tapping Into the Truth

The variety of the games isn’t just a draw for the people of Gamedec, but for you as a player. I found that each one provided a fun variety of characters and locations to explore and gather clues. Each one acts as a hub world, with a finite space to explore and discover, though I never felt like they were too small or too limiting. The developers found a great balance with the size and scope of each.

Gamedec largely consists of conversations with the people you meet within Relium and the digital world. It’s not only about gathering simple yes or no questions, the conversations and relationships are complex and meaningful. While many of the discussions you have can go on for some time, the game has a great mechanic in place that not only helps you keep track of clues, but also acts as a decision tree.

For example (spoiler free, I promise), one of the earlier cases has you searching for a missing person. As you acquire more clues and befriend more people, the information adds up to a possible solution. “Was this person kidnapped? Are they willingly escaping reality for days on end?” Once you chose one of those, the story progresses and you have more options and ideas to carry your investigation forward. I found this to be the most interesting aspect of the game. In the end, none of the scenarios are clear-cut. As the Gamedec you can decide what could be the solution and how you want to approach it.

Conversations are interesting, the people feel real, and the writing is top-notch. I cared about my character and the ones I met (in the real or digital world). Each case acts almost as episodic content and that creates a great experience, especially on the Nintendo Switch where I played each one in a single sitting. I felt like I played through a season of a great season of television, and came back for season two a couple of days later.

Quiet But Effective

That’s how I’d describe much of Gamedec’s presentation. There is a ton of dialogue so I never felt like it would be realistic to expect full voice acting in an RPG like this. While it would have been nice, I was more than happy to read through the detailed conversations.

Gamedec also looks fairly simplistic most of the time, it doesn’t pop off the screen with incredibly interesting character designs or buildings. This is only a real issue when the player needs to look around and examine the environment around them for information and clues. There’s only so much you can interact with, and that breaks the immersion a bit as you’re just looking for an obvious item or person to speak to.

Verdict

Gamedec is a great, deep game to add to the point-and-click RPG genre. The futuristic setting, a wide variety of characters, and deep storylines keep you hooked. Each case is interesting and intriguing; I found myself sucked into the digital worlds hoping to help the people who needed me and get to the bottom of what was happening.

While it isn’t perfect, Gamedec is an excellent entry for Switch users who want something that feels more tailored to adults, has a unique story that is well constructed, and has interesting puzzle and case-solving mechanics.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Switch

Gamedec
Recommended
Interesting, deep cases to solve
Excellent writing
Great clue gathering and decision making mechanic
Lacking in engaging music
Some puzzle solving feels tedious