Paradise Killer, analysis: A great detective game

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A detective adventure with vaporwave aesthetics that claims the freedom of the player. The design of a detective game has a great stumbling block: proposing a complex mystery to the player and adapting it to the user’s ability to solve.

In other genres, the fantasy of being able to play a hero of colossal strength is created through the buttons and combos that we can perform with the controls. However, how to make a detective from a player who does not possess the intellectual gifts of Sherlock Holmes? Of course there are prodigious minds in real life, but the average user is rarely that (anti) hero versed in solving near-perfect crimes. All in all, sagas like Phoenix Wright have managed to overcome the pitfall of creating an enigma accessible enough for the player, without relegating their participation to a passive role. Paradise Killer, by Kaizen Game Works and Fellow Traveler, is the example of everything we can wish for in a detective title: an investigative adventure for PC (Windows and iOS) and Nintendo Switch in which freedom of action invites the player to be daring with his inquiries, without him being overprotected.

License to investigate

A common sin that detective titles commit is to lead the player by the hand and guide him excessively during all the investigation and resolution phases. If we do not collect the necessary clues, we cannot progress in the story, and sometimes we do not need to make our own deduction, since it is broken down into the correct dialogue option. On the other hand, Paradise Killer allows us to be the ones to investigate to our liking, in the order we want, and for us to analyze the information and make our own hypotheses. There is a real truth about the crime on Paradise Island, but how we get there will depend on ourselves.

Paradise Killer has two very different phases: the investigation and the trial. From the first moment, we can announce to the Judge that we are prepared to unmask the murderer and uncover the truth and face the consequences of our detective work. On the other hand, our accusations will only be taken into consideration if we show sufficient evidence, which we must also thread correctly. Otherwise, the official version of events is the one that will prevail. Even with the option of going to trial with empty pockets, we will always be curious to know the truth, and discover even the smallest detail that can disrupt our conjectures and prejudices.

“When love dies, only the facts remain”

We are in Paradise, an idyllic holiday island that evokes the most idealized postcards of the cities on the beachfront. This place is a sweet trap, created to attract humans who will be offered in sacrifice to the gods of a bizarre pantheon. Behind this architect is the Syndicate, a group of immortal beings who wish to bring back their divinities using human blood. In this dimension, a cycle of creation and destruction occurs, in which one island is destroyed to create the next and thus continue with the cruel cosmic order. However, a crime has interrupted the process: before moving to Perfect 25 island, the entire council that governs the island has been brutally murdered. Only one woman can unravel the truth and bring peace to paradise: Lady Love Dies.

Our main detective embodies some of the clichés of the noir genre, covered with the peculiar aesthetics of Paradise Killer, which we will explore later. Lady Love Dies is a sensual intelligent woman, cheeky, confident and passionate about her work; It is not for nothing that she is nicknamed “the research geek”. With a cloudy past that led to her exile, she is brought back to Paradise to solve the case “The crime that ends all crimes”, as well as the enigmas linked to it.


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