Indie Radar: Lamplight City – Something old, something new

Feature article

Title:                                 Lamplight City
Developer:                 Grundislav Games
Publisher:                  Application Systems Heidelberg
Release Date:          September 13, 2018
Platforms:                 PC

It’s that old chestnut. Miles Fordham, former police detective, now a private investigator. He does what he can to seek justice for his clients. In a point in time that epitomises the progress of the new World, Lamplight City still lays on foundations of poverty and crime. But things are falling apart, Miles is still haunted by his former partner talking from beyond the grave. Can Miles hold himself together to seek justice for his clients and his deceased comrade?

Set in an alternative, steampunk-like Victorian era, Lamplight City is an interesting little detective game. It evokes the classic point and click style, right down to the pixelly graphics. Also, it will have over 50 voice acted characters, so it’s fair to say the production for this game really seems top-notch There are five cases for you to solve, each with their own suspects, leads and outcomes. So pretty standard thus far, but there are some odd little additions.

Firstly, you can actually choose to abandon cases, if you see fit. This is pretty much unheard of for this type of game. Generally if you don’t have any leads, you’ll ask for hints, or something similar, but abandoning them outright is an interesting proposition. Now, of course, this is with a pretty reasonable caveat.

If you choose to abandon a case, or really do anything outside the word of the law, then there will be consequences. Characters may react to you different, should you antagonise them. Generally these kinds of games don’t leave a lot of room for player agency, so it will be interesting to see if Lamplight City can deliver on this promise.

There’s also no inventory whatsoever! This seems like a pretty big step forward for the genre. So often point and click games rely on pages and pages worth of an unreasonably large inventory. But instead, we’ve got a wonderful context sensitive cursor that will handle all the item use.

Lamplight City is a pretty interesting little Victorian-era detective story. It’s got a handful of interesting innovations that make this title well worth having a look into. Lamplight City is out now on Steam.

Still searching for more indie goodness? Have a look at my Indie Radar article on Tell Me Everything, another detective game, which lets you question your suspects, one word at a time.