The last few years have delivered a steady stream of oddball detective games, from the eldritch eeriness of Return of the Obra Dinn to the wacky world of Paradise Killer to occult botany shop sim Strange Horticulture. But if the recently dropped trailer is anything to go by, I think Albert Wilde: Quantum P.I. might have them knocked into a cocked trilby.
Presented in scratchy greyscale, the trailer sees Albert, who is a cat in case you somehow missed the headline, narrating over footage of the game's 3D environments, which appear to be explored in first-person. The game's clearly shooting for a spoof noir tone, as demonstrated by Albert's tongue-in-cheek monologuing. "There's nothing like the rush of being on a case," he mutters. "All six of my nipples are tingling."
It's a goofy and intriguing trailer, although it doesn't provide much insight into how the game will play. Fortunately, the Steam page is more informative, describing Albert Wilde as a "bizarre narrative game" featuring a dynamic conversation system that'll see you questioning witnesses and interrogating suspects, all of whom are anthropomorphised animals such as crows, pigs etc. It further states you can "Move around 1930 in a fictional NY city with your car", which, attempting to parse the garbled syntax, might mean there's a driving mechanic.
The Steam page also provides a brief overview of the game's plot: "When a pole dancing flamingo stumbles upon a dead body in an abandoned warehouse, Albert decides that solving the case will also solve all his other problems" it reads. What exactly a pole-dancing flamingo is doing in an abandoned warehouse isn't explained, although this is arguably the lesser logical flaw in that sentence.
There's no firm release date for Albert Wilde, but developer beyondthosehills expects to launch in "Q3 2022". The Steam page does mention that the game will be "around 4-5 hours" long when it does release, which is a useful bit of info, and something I wish more developers clarified when selling their games.