More an interactive full motion video than a game, there is still fun
to be had here if your proclivities are the same as mine.
In that regard, I like FMV, I enjoy a good bit of B-Grade cheesiness,
and strong lead characters are a given.
I didn't "play" the previous incarnation (The Shapeshifting
Detective) so can't tell you anything about how they compare. I can tell
you the game features John "Poe" Pope and Ellis Munro as hosts
of a supernaturally radio show in the town of August.
Not content to stay behind the microphone, they embark on all manner
of spooky-ish endeavours, often putting their safety in peril. Most of
the six chapters start with someone phoning into the station to tell
them about something worthy of their investigatory inquisitions. People
seem willing to spill all sorts of things on the airwaves, no doubt
comforted by Munro's exhortation "you can trust us, we're from the
radio", a line that works in situ as well.
The chapters are pretty much stand-alone, progressed by making some
choices as you go. You have a limited amount of time to do so, less in
some situations than others. It isn't always clear what the impact of
your choice will be, but I didn't think it mattered. The fun was in the
unfolding, however that occurred.
At the end of each chapter you get a summary of the choices other
players made. You can choose to play any of them again once completed,
to see how different choices might impact the events. It saves as you
As well as the sum of the parts of those things I like, the stand out
here are the lead characters, and Munro in particular. They banter, they
flirt, there is innuendo and more. Poe can overdo it sometimes, but that
is part and parcel of the style. Munro's sassy vibrancy is the perfect
foil, with a redheaded attitude to suit.
Other characters aren't so great but it didn't matter. Together, the
performances of Poe and Munro are strong and engaging, and carry the
whole thing well.
It is a very polished FMV as well. Many such games are grainy or
limited in production values. This is far from that. A minimalist (until
near the end) soundtrack accompanies their poking about.
Dark Nights can be kitch, cheesy and low-rent, but feels deliberately
so to keep faith with its chosen design. It isn't really a game, but it
is about three hours of well made FMV enjoyment.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-9700k 3.7 GHz