I'm calling it now—animals solving crime is a bona fide gaming genre worthy of respect. Whether it's Aviary Attorney, Blacksad or the upcoming Backbone, animals delivering justice is where it's at. Ahead of the upcoming tidal wave of game releases next week, you might want to make time for Chicken Police – Paint It Red.
This feathery point-and-click adventure follows a crime-fighting duo of hard-boiled rooster detectives named Marty MacChicken and Santino "Sonny" Featherland. Not only that, but Chicken Police comes with a noir setting, featuring a feline bar singer and rats with a Brooklyn accent in front of a gritty, black and white backdrop.
We meet the once a legendary duo of detectives after they've reduced to little more than shadows of their former glory. One of them is slowly succumbing to alcoholism, neither have actually solved much of anything. The erstwhile buddies are now going separate ways, until a new case forces them to work work together and maybe even push past the boundaries of law.
The entire thing could simply be a joke taken too far, seeing as the most obvious selling point literally is " a detective mystery, but with photorealistic chickens", but the high production values just really do it for me, from the voice acting to the promise of some actual detective work that sees you putting clues together and question suspects.
The Chicken Police YouTube channel features a number of dev diaries on the inspirations behind the story and the game's visual style, with developers The Wild Gentleman listing a number of high-profile films and games such as Grim Fandango and La Noire among their inspirations. Multiple videos give you a look at the visuals, which are of course much more than plopping a chicken's head on a human body, but feature plenty of model photography, lighting effects, and 3D animation.
If the story brings it all together, Chicken Police could turn out to be a genuine left-field surprise, much like Paradise Killer was, so I suggest you give it a cluck—there's a demo available on Steam.