PC Malone takes her freshly rolled cigarette, sticks it in her mouth, and lights it. She exhales blue smoke and, looking through it, spots the stack of papers near her desk — all old cases from the force that she’d quit long ago. She begins to wonder about her future as a private investigator. Whether the modern world will ever give her more than just thankless adultery cases. Emancipation still has a long way to go. More smoke fills her lungs and she sighs another plume. “Is this life worth what I’ve given up?”, she wonders. “Maybe I should help Green…”
A Case of Distrust is a 2D story-driven adventure game, set in 1924 San Francisco, playing as a female private investigator. Explore underground speakeasies, smoke-filled billiard halls, classic barber shops, and more. Catch suspects in lies by using your wits, evidence, and statements. Uncover the truth in a mystery full of deception. Intrinsic challenges face our heroine, as she struggles against a pushback on emancipation, leading to many doubts, both internal and external.
This game is a blend of the board game Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, the adventure games 80 Days and Phoenix Wright, the poster design of Saul Bass, and the hard-boiled novels of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
I grew up loving mysteries. From shows like Murder She Wrote and Columbo, to series like Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, to games like Clue and Hotel Dusk, to hardboiled novels like The Maltese Falcon and The Long Goodbye. Any time a good murder plot comes along in games, I’m all over it! But those types of experiences are more rare than ever, and some of the old ones haven’t aged well.
Another fascination of mine: modern history. The jazz years. The roaring 20s! But I don’t want a game set in generic flapper style. I want something researched, where maybe, at the end of the game, I’ve learned a thing or two about the time period.
Especially since themes from the 1920s still resonate today. Sexism, racism, prohibition of drugs, fear of immigration — all are heightened in the age of swing. I want a game that tackles those issues from the lenses of different characters, and relates their plights to the realities of today.
I created A Case of Distrust as the type of game I’d want to play. I know you’ll like it too!
Ben Wander - Design, Writing, Visuals, Code
Mark "Marowi" Wilson - Audio