Throw in Franky, the feline sidekick, and another cat that slyly negates any involvement with catnip in favor of spewing an eye witness account that will help to solve a murder case? Okay, you got me; I’ll sign over my possessions in blood.
It’s why Hot Tin Roof immediately grabbed me by the ruff of my neck. It’s a 3D side-scrolling adventure that deals with murder in the back of a cafe, and you must assist Private Investigator Emma Jones in finding the killer. It’s a hardboiled detective experience that places you at the center, the person with the clues, doubled with the pressure of your Chief, who demands you to take the rabble off the streets. It’s a smoking revolver that you have to manually reload. You can even spin the barrel if you like.
But it’s also got a sense of fucking humor, too. I swear simply to express my relief.
The game has the rare ability to move from a serious investigation of a foul-smelling body among the tins of powered milk and broken bottles of what might as well be a cafe in Brooklyn at night to a moment of slapstick involving multiple floors, a revolver loaded with ammo that provides a kickback that literally tosses P.I. Emma Jones into the air and a pack of cheese-hungry gambling rats in a temporary get-up.
“Grab your fedora and revolver; in Hot Tin Roof, you’re on the case! Find clues and unearth secrets in a noir 3D side-scrolling world.”
It knows when to change the mood and how best to do it. The voiceover doesn’t sound forced and sets the tone of this light-hearted scene-sniffing well, and most importantly, Hot Tin Roof knows when to make you laugh.
As blocky as the characters might be, as cute the hopping animations seem, Hot Tin Roof is an intelligent, well-written adventure from the small portion I’ve been able to play so far. It appreciates noir fiction with an on-the-beat homage, as much as it then turns around and drops its pants to reveal a golden arse to its conventions with a silly, but memorable moment.
Of course, good things only come to those who pay up, and if you don’t, expect a hard-nosed bloke to turn up at your door, demanding, “WHERE’S MY MONEY?!” Hot Tin Roof is on Kickstarter. It needs $20,000 to be able to be expanded and become the cheeky-serious detective fiction it has showcased that it can be.
That’s not too much to ask. Hot Tin Roof is going to be hitting Windows, Mac and Linux, and if you want it on Steam, then you’re going to have to lift your finger once more and give it a “Yes” on Greenlight. So off you go, and mind your manners, you.