Ghosts of Miami is a mystery-solving visual novel where the player gets a limited amount of time to collect clues and find missing persons. It features a female-forward cast, and takes cues from Phoenix Wright, Dream Phone, and and Nancy Drew, with the all the historical drama of Miami Vice. The game is not punitive for failure cases, and crimes are ""solved"" with a simple quiz; success gives players access to more scenes and routes. There are multiple endings and romance options, but pursuing a romance can cut into the time you have to investigate.
The plot follows Chelo Martínez, a Cuban-American who sees people disappearing in the world around her, and the cops are too busy to help. She decides to start her own private investigation firm to find missing persons, and quickly gets caught up in the problems of 1986 Miami: drug-related violence, race riots, and immigration problems. Over five cases, her commitment to being a PI is constantly tested. Sometimes, it's because she'd rather spend time with the cute EMT than hitting the streets to investigate. Sometimes, Chelo finds herself grieving for a friend and investigating her death at the same time, and she just gets overwhelmed.
Despite its dark themes, the game features bubbly sprites and backgrounds in a neon, art deco-inspired color palette designed by indie comics artists Cassandra Freire and Iasmin Omar Ata--it truly looks like no game you've ever seen. With a target release date of August 17, 2017, Ghosts of Miami will be available in English, Spanish, traditional Chinese, and we'll be beta-testing text-to-speech tech with some extra descriptive metadata, so low-vision and fully-blind players can play as well.
Artists: Cassandra Freire, Iasmin Omar Ata, Kim Nguyen
Animation: Lindsay and Alex Butera-Small (BuSmall Animation Studio), Ian Schlaepfer
Music: Casey Yates, 2 Mello