BROK the InvestiGator only has a prologue out right now, but it’s free for everyone to try out. Okay so this game is a mix between a side-scrolling beat’em up and a point and click adventure game.You play as Brok, an alligator handyman and amateur PI who lives in the collapsing slums with his teenage son out in the wastes of the world. In the prologue you have access to the first chapter of the game, which is the first case where a cop living in the slums needs you to find his missing gun so he doesn’t get fired from his job.
The game is fairly simple, you walk around and interact with things. However, the game has two modes that you can switch between with a tap of a button. The first mode in investigator mode, this is the mode where you walk around looking at things, collecting them, and using them. The second mode is action mode, this you switch to in order to jump up or down things or to start beating the shit out of things around you. In action mode almost all, if not absolutely all, of the items you pick up can be thrown to hurt people and some of the items you collect can be used as melee weapons too, these can also be thrown, it’s fantastic.
There are problems in the game that your character can solve outside of the main mission, they aren’t much but they’re something nice. For instance in this you have a depressed robot that was fired from his job and is going to be reset, you can try to get him a new job to make him happy, or you can fail in one of two different ways, one of which leads him to simply be taken away to be reset, the other I’m not sure what it was, I assume it was robotic suicide. There’s another mission simply to pay one of your bills but it requires you to find a way to make money, which is a bitch until you get to the Arena. Lastly there’s a mission with an old homeless man who needs medication so off you go, presumably you can fail and he dies, I succeeded in this cause it was really easy. There’s even different ways to deal with things in the main quests, there are numerous branching paths for different actions you’ve done, there’s even a relationship gauge for your character and others in the game which I didn’t notice until the end of the game. Because of this, there is a bit of replay value simply to get all the paths.
There’s also a deduction gameplay element at the end of the game, in it you take two clues and put them together to formulate a deduction, al la Sherlock Holmes games by Frogware. These deductions become new clues that you can also combine with other clues, you do this until the progress bar fills up and Brok knows what the fuck happened. Then you get to determine how you plan to pass judgement on the person, forgiving them or contacting the cops. You get clues in the first place by talking with people and inspecting objects, like a real PI. Not all the clues you gather have anything to do with the case, and this part confuses me a bit, I mean I understand they’re clues, however they show up in the deduction and they clearly have absolutely nothing to do with anything, they’re just cluttering up the board, so I’m not sure why they’re there and it bothers me.
The fighting mechanics are nice, there’s a combo system as you’d expect, there’s a strong attack, a special attack, jump attacks, etc. You have a few difficulties for the game, I put the game on novice cause I have time constraints to play games, and the fighting was actually fun for me, I don’t like beat’em ups, so the fact that this was fun is kind of seriously impressive. The fights on novice were fairly quick, a combo or two to take out each enemy, and I wasn’t getting thrashed about like a tetherball on a playground. You collect money and experience from beating people up. When you level up you get to choose to increase one of three stats: either ten or twenty points into your health, I’m not sure which; two points into your strength; or something into your special meter, I’m not sure what it is since I never upgraded it since I never really used it either. I didn’t use the special attack for a simple reason, I abhor losing health, in order to use your special attack you have to be under half health and you have to wait for the meter to automatically fill, though it constantly automatically fills after your under half health. There’s a place called the Arena you can get to, it’s a cyber arena, in it you get a tutorial on how to properly fight, and then you can take part in training, you get money and experience from the training which is awesome, it doesn’t give you a lot of money but any little helps, and you can repeat this continuously, this lets you level up and make some scratch. I used it to level up like four or five times, it took me two to four runs for each level up depending on what randomized enemies were in the cyber arena for me.
There’s just a couple more things I want to mention real quick before closing. There’s a hint system, but it’s limited. You find collectables in the game that are literally ads for your phone, there’s three in every room or area you go into, basically any time there’s a transition from one place to another then you have three ads to find. You might be wondering why I suddenly talked about that, well that’s because you use the ads to give you hints, that’s why they’re limited, you have to find the ads in the first place to even use the hint system, not that they’re particularly hard to find for the most part, a few are but in most areas you’ll find two or all three of them without too much issue. I didn’t really need the hint system so I don’t know how useful it is. The game is pretty good at letting you know where you need to go and it also gives you fairly accurate context clues about what you need to do, I never got stumped enough to need to use an ad.
The last thing I wanted to mention, and this’ll be quick, the whole game, every character you come in contact with, is voice acted. I wasn’t expecting it to be voice acted honestly. But, not only is it voice acted, it’s done so fairly superbly, I had no issues with any of the characters voices, I mean none of them were like silk rubbing my brain, but they are all gruff people living in the slums so they shouldn’t be silky smooth. See? Told you it’d be quick.
Overall, I really enjoyed the game, it’s, at least on novice difficulty, a pleasant casual relaxed game to play. The first chapter took me around four hours however a nice chunk of that was me dicking about leveling up my character in the area and making saves, destroying shit to see what would happen, and then reloading said saves. There are some issues with the first chapter, which as a reminder is a work in progress, the main issue is that sometimes when you reload a prior save, some of the things you did, stay done even though it should have reverted, so that’s something the dev needs to work on a bit. There were also a few times I fell from something high even though I was interacting with something that was supposed to be interacted with the way I was doing it, but my character decided to walk up to it by walking down and off the roof instead of up to the door, but that was really it and again it’s still a work in progress so I can forgive these things.
BROK the InvestiGator is currently being developed by COWCAT.
Point of Sale: The Prologue is on Steam and when it fully releases it will be on Steam.
The prologue is free, the main game doesn’t have a price point yet as it’s still, at least, a few months off.
A preview copy of the game was free on Steam.
darkmikasonfire thinks you should totally keep an eye on this ‘punch and click’ game, as the dev calls it. From the prologue as is, even as a work in progress, it’s really good so far. So you should give it a try and check it out.