It’s a beautiful thing to get whisked away in a game featuring a rich and interesting story. While the iPhone has thousands of games in a variety of genres and sub-genres, there aren’t enough games that truly hang their hats on delivering a well-crafted interactive storytelling experience. That is precisely what Nick Chase: A Detective Story is all about. Granted, its developer Big Fish Games ported this title over from the PC, but you’ll likely feel the love and TLC that went into this iPhone edition.
Much like the game’s title would suggest, you embody Nick Chase, a rugged and experienced private investigator who serves as the game’s protagonist. With Nick Chase down on his luck, he serendipitously lands a gig to find an invaluable manuscript that purportedly was drafted by the legendary artist, Leonardo da Vinci. Like any great detective story, things aren’t always what they seem, and we’ll just say that you’ll meet a variety of individuals with their own motivations. Drama!
This room’s a mess. No wonder I lost my envelopes.
Nick Chase: A Detective Story is a noir-inspired tale that flows nicely. The adventure is delivered through a hand-drawn comic book style that’s executed brilliantly. The transitions between scenes are seamless and full voiceovers bring the universe to life.
The gameplay scenarios offer a ton of variety. You’ll play hidden-object sequences that require you to find clues at a crime scene, collect parts to put together machines, solve puzzles, and fix broken circuitry, among several other unique setups. While most scenarios are totally manageable to figure out, you have hint ‘bullets’ that can be used in case you’re stuck. You can’t be too liberal with your use of them though; you don’t have an infinite supply of hints.
Controlling the action is generally smooth, but it’s not flawless. Moving through the game’s storytelling elements only requires a tap of the glass, and most interactive elements only add dragging gestures to the equation. Some actions can be tricky to execute because this is a visually dark game. We had to turn the iPhone’s brightness all the way up to consistently see the game clearly, and we would have preferred an in-game option to brighten the environments.
We’ve already mentioned how beautiful the game looks, but we were floored by depth and density of the audio in Nick Chase: A Detective Story. We can’t decide if the convincing voiceovers, humorous sound effects, or sultry music is our favorite aspect of the auditory experience. It’s AAA stuff by any measure. Big Fish Games also incorporated support for custom soundtracks, but it’s not an option you’ll want to use in this game.
Forgive us for the lack of specificity and details on the game’s story, but it absolutely begs to be explored firsthand. We’d also love to see the story extended through DLC. Nick Chase: A Detective Story is worth every penny and is one of the best adventure/hidden object games on the iPhone.