Rise of the Golden Idol goes full Columbo as it transports the first game's 18th-century murder solving to the 1970s

Alright, bad news: There's been a murder. Worse news: You're going to have to solve it in bell-bottoms. The Rise of the Golden Idol—sequel to the excellent Case of the Golden Idol—just got a funky-fresh new trailer at the PC Gaming Show, showing off its new '70s setting and a few of the ways you'll be piecing together the puzzle pieces of its many terrible, terrible crimes.

And gosh, isn't it striking? Where the first game was an 18th-century tale of murder and misfortune, Rise of the Golden Idol transports your crime-solving forward 300 years, and the artstyle has shifted to match. It's not unrecognisable, but it's lurid and seedy in a way that fits its new disco-era setting: A time of schlocky B-movies, technicolour televangelists and, well, yes, bloody murders that all seem to have some cursed thread connecting them. Some things never go out of style.

Idols, for instance, remain popular, which is no doubt why Rise of the Golden Idol puts you in the shoes of a "tenacious relic hunter on a quest to unearth the powerful artifact that—if the legend is true—can reshape the world." A bit like Tomb Raider meets Columbo, then, and all disquietingly connected to the "unspeakable fate of the Cloudsleys" 300 years earlier, which means murder and conspiracy aplenty.

Puzzles aplenty too, and some of the ones we see do look familiar. For instance, you'll still be dragging around words—names, murder weapons, occult concepts—to piece together your theories, but the screenshots of assault rifles and pistols, alongside shots of lab equipment, suggest to me that things might be getting a little forensic, too. Criminology marches on, after all, and I'm pretty eager to see how the passage of time will impact the actual how of solving cases. 

 And hey, lucky me, I won't have to wait that long. Or at all, actually. Alongside the look at the game's new setting, the devs at Color Gray announced a demo that shadow-dropped during the show. If you groove over to the game's Steam page, you'll be able to take it for a whirl yourself. The full game will drop some time this year. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.