Game Title: The Sexy Brutale
Developed By: Cavalier Game Studios
Published By: Tequila Works
Released: December 7, 2017
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Adventure, Puzzles
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood and violence
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you Tequila Works for the review copy!
Remember that movie, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray? Where he would wake up every morning, and live the same day, over and over again? Take that premise or reliving the same day, and add in some murders, and you get The Sexy Brutale. Lafacdio Boone is the main protagonist in this Groundhog Day. You wake up in The Sexy Brutale Casino/mansion, where people are being murdered in an endless, single-day loop, and only Lafacdio can relive the day and try to prevent the killings. You will be captivated as you play detective and try to prevent each murder.
Early on the game you will figure out that only you, can relive each day, and that you are there to stop the murders from happening. Gameplay revolves around exploring the mansion and casino, finding clues, and then trying to stop the murder before it happens. You will be able to upgrade your stopwatch and relive a bigger section of the day after the beginning murder. It is good to see how the murder happens on the first day loop, then investigate the rooms for items or clues, then try to prevent the murder on future day loops. An example, is with the first murder. A person gets shot, and its up to you to stop it. As you explore, you find a blank bullet, and then load it into the gun to prevent the murder. The gun jams, and you succeed in preventing a murder. The thing is that you cannot be in the same room as other people, so you will be doing a lot of spying, and listening in the shadows. After they leave a room, you get your chance to investigate. After each murder is solved you will receive their mask, which will give you different abilities to aid you on your quest. You can always reset the day or move to the afternoon by using a clock. The in-game map is a huge help, as it tracks each room you have been, and each character’s movement path. As you use your new abilities, you will be able to explore more of the mansion. You will also be able to collect fifty-two playing cards and that are spread around the mansion. If you are in a room with another character, the room gets red and their mask will chase you until you leave the room. It is very hard to die in this game. When you get to the end, and I will not spoil it, I was impressed. It has an amazing twist that you will want to get to and will leave you thinking days after you finish it.
The mood of the game is dark, and there is almost a sense of sadness throughout. The Gothic, almost Chibi art, sets the mood and the environment. The casino and mansion look fantastic. Sometimes I wished that I could run as Boone to get somewhere faster or see more rooms quickly, yet that is not this game. This game is a puzzle game and requires patience. I noticed some stalls in the game when loading a new area from time to time or some long loading times. It doesn’t break the game, and hopefully it will be patched in the future. The jazzy soundtrack adds to the atmosphere of the game and is excellent.
The Nintendo Switch has nothing like this murder mystery in its game library. It is simply a great adventure and one worth exploring. The game deals with guilt, remorse etc. The tale it weaves is great. You will enjoy you time in The Sexy Brutale as you seek to stop these murders from happening.