The glorious days of inspector Santino "Sonny" Featherland, who has meanwhile been taken off, are long over. He is now old, addicted to alcohol, suspended from duty and only counts the days until his early retirement. Even his longstanding friend and partner can no longer stand him. But when a young woman shows up in his apartment on New Year's Eve and asks for his help, he just can't refuse. The boss of the mysterious lady receives ever more extreme threatening messages and we should now track down the perpetrator. However, it quickly turns out that there is much more to the case than initially expected. In order to survive this night, Sonny needs support … Can his old partner forgive him?
Source: PC Games
The Chicken Police story never reinvents the wheel. Our protagonist is a walking cliché and the resolution of the case is so stereotypical that it almost hurts. Nevertheless, we were tied up in front of the screen, absorbed every dialogue, guessed who the culprit was and smiled heartily at the countless animal puns. The development studio The Wild Gentlemen has internalized a rule well: Better to copy well than badly made yourself. The roots of film noir from the 1940s can be felt every second, but never feel trite. The genre, which has meanwhile been underrepresented in the film sector, is not being misused by Chicken Police as a cheap black and white trash game, but is reviving our interest in it. By the way, the first-class soundtrack, which can convince with a number of swing songs, is also very suitable.
Please don't shut up!
Source: PC Games
But the game has a special feature: In the world of Chicken Police there are no people, only animals with human bodies. For example, our protagonist is just like his partner: a rooster. Rooster Police was probably just not that memorable, which is why the developers decided on the female form in the game name. The "What if animals had their own humanized world?" Question has often been asked, but in combination with the noir style it is something special. The makers were also hardworking to fill the world with loads of life. In the course of the game we can learn a lot about religious views, historical events, various political opinions and much more from the freely readable chronicle. The many different characters we come across in the course of the story also have exciting background stories and different motivations. Our two main roosters Sonny Featherland and his partner Marty MacChicken have grown particularly dear to us. Not only once did we have to smile at the dry humor of the two. The developers could have left out the one-dimensional representation of women, the constant inappropriate flirting and the inappropriate comments from our feathered friends, even if this is typically noir. Nevertheless, we hope to see the Chicken Police again soon. That doesn't seem too improbable either, at least the game leaves us with a "To be Continued …?"
Point & Click acceptable again?
Source: PC Games
There could hardly have been a more suitable game mechanic for the almost extinct noir genre than the endangered point & click adventure. As in the old classics, we have a fixed camera and can look around at a given angle. In addition to all kinds of objects that you can look at and partly collect, we talk to the majority with the NPCs. All of them are not only written great, but are also wonderfully set to music in English! If you don't speak English, you can use German subtitles. These don't bother you in the least and sometimes even have more animal jokes than the English original.
The biggest (and therefore still very, very, small) playful challenge is interrogating suspects. We have to find the right answer from two to five different possible answers in order to elicit the truth from our interlocutor. Most of the time we have to start with gentle questions in order to then give a little more attention later on. Often the whole thing comes down to guesswork rather than a logical conclusion. If we make wrong choices too often, our interrogation will fail and we will have to start over. It's a bit more exciting than the normal dialogue, but not particularly exciting either. The mini-games offer more variety. For example, we have to shoot out of the car during car chases or solve one or the other puzzles. It's never really challenging, but it doesn't really matter. Chicken Police is a cozy detective game, which convinces with the story and dialogues and not with action-packed scenes – just a point & click adventure.
Source: PC Games
How long we can have fun with Chicken Police depends on our style of play. If we click on every object, conduct every possible dialogue with all characters and optionally return to already known places, the game can definitely inspire over 10 hours. However, if we only chase after the main story and bypass any optional conversations, the adventure can be played in an estimated 6 hours.
With Chicken Police, The Wild Gentlemen has created an excellent genre mix that leaves you with a thirst for more. The game is full of clichés and is logically not a big cinema, but for two or three relaxing evenings, Chicken Police is highly recommended due to its unique style and fascinating game world. If you want to look around for more point & click adventures and indulge in the good old days, we recommend Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town or the German video game of the year 2019 Trüberbrook.
Chicken Police is available on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
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