Skip to main content

This new narrative noir adventure stars a 1950s private dick who is also a housecat

Audio player loading…

Blacksad is an Eisner-winning comic series created by Spanish authors Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido about John Blacksad, a hardboiled 1950s private dick in New York City. He is also a cat—a big, burly Felis catus—who lives in a world populated by other anthropomorphic animals. And in September, he'll be the lead character in a new "investigative narrative game" called Blacksad: Under the Skin. 

The setup is simple and straight out of the film noir playbook: Boxing club owner Joe Dunn is dead, and rising young fighter Bobby Yale is missing. Dunn's daughter Sonia takes over the gym, but discovers that its finances are in worse shape than anyone realized. Looking for a way out, she hires Blacksad to get to the bottom of Yale's disappearance, a job that will take him "to the darkest, most dismal depths of New York." 

The game will feature puzzles, quick-time events, and multiple-choice dialog options that will "directly influence the development of the character and the story's ending." More than 30 characters will appear in the game, some from Blacksad comics and others all-new, and the gameplay will be backed by "a jazz soundtrack to rival the very best of Hollywood’s film noir." And really, you cannot overestimate the value of a quality jazz soundtrack. 

Blacksad: Under the Skin is being co-developed by Pendulo, which isn't a huge outfit but has some very good narrative games to its credit including Yesterday and Runaway: Twist of Fate. It's also billed as "an official and all-new story for Blacksad, set in the comic book series' unique world, perfectly recreated for gamers," which should be pleasing for existing fans of the books. 

And even if you're not, hey, noir detective stories and kitties? Sounds like it could be a lot of fun. It's set to come out on Steam on September 26.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.