Purity and Decay is interesting for its origins alone. It was the product of the Feb Fatale game jam held earlier this year by Dames Making Games, and its "indigenous cybernoire" theme is also a product of its heritage: writer Meagan Byrne and artist Tara Miller, Purity and Decay's Ontario-based lead creators, are both indigenous women.
"The year is 2262 and you're a tough-as-nails P.I. working in the slums of one of the last major cities in North America," Purity and Decay's description reads. "Life is all missing kids and cheating spouses until a dame from the Upper District barges in and changes your life."
You can sample the storyline and core systems in the free prototype available via itch.io. It's a rough build with some sudden cuts and placeholder assets, but it gives a good idea of how Purity and Decay plays and feels.
At first blush it's a faithful adventure game with some snappy dialogue to read and decisions to make, but its art and music are immediate standouts. Aesthetically it's sitting somewhere between classic black-and-white crime dramas and Picasso. Characters have exaggerated, sharply angled features, and subtly distorted environments echo the disturbing classism of its setting. It's all carried by a score of smooth jazz that I can only describe as audible chocolate.
Not wishing to spoil, I can tell you the story deals with several themes rarely touched by games. The topic of the game jam that spawned Purity and Decay was transgression, and it shows. Socioeconomic disparity and sexuality are central to the plot.
Purity and Decay is early in development and isn't expected to release until 2020.