16th Oct2019

‘Nobodies’ Review (PC/Steam)

by Britt Roberts

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An Argentinian title which sets you in the blood-flecked shoes of the ‘cleaner’ for a shady government organisation, Nobodies takes a more casual approach, reminiscent of hidden object games more than graphic adventures but comes out a strong and enjoyable title with an interesting premise that gives it more character than similar games.

Presented through mostly static screens with a point and click interface that also utilises keyboard shortcuts for certain things, such as highlighting areas of interest and the hint system (a pager, as this is set in the 80’s, good.), Nobodies starts you off pretty basically. You are on the roof where one of your ‘co-workers’ at the agency has killed someone and the body needs to disappear whilst the crime scene must remain clean. Whilst the first few missions are pretty straightforward, after a while they soon ramp up in complexity, giving way to some ingenious (and tenuous) ways of working. A nice touch to add to the replay value / points system is that you need to put all items back as they were to get full marks for your discretion. This means carefully putting back all items you’ve used and closing all the doors and cupboards that you’ve rifled through during your work in order to truly master each mission.

As previously stated, this game is very much from the hidden object school of thought and is seen purely from the point of view of the protagonist. It’s also a relatively low budget title and so, whilst the voice work in the pre-mission descriptions is strong, most of the game is text-heavy with minimal animations. This actually works in the games’ favour as it makes it pacey and punchy with no loading times or delays in screen transitions etc.

I liked how some items are red herrings and you can try out ridiculous ideas such as just stuffing a body into a cupboard or bunging it out of the window and trying to leave the scene, only to get instantly caught, the same goes for trying to wander around a hotel with a body over your shoulder, resulting in instant capture, this along with your characters occasional quips mean that, considering your line of work, there’s a light-hearted casualness to the proceedings that runs throughout the game, not only making it accessible to all but also stops it from getting overly dark or brooding.

Aside from the bombastic title music, I can’t recall much of the in-game audio aside from the fact it was quite ambient, I think this is a good thing as one of the issues with some hidden object-style games in this vein is that the music can be overbearing and, quite often, on a short loop which more often than not sees my hands reaching for the mute button faster than Michael Madsen signing up for any script that comes through his letterbox, often catching, signing and returning them before they’ve even hit his doormat.

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There are some minor issues in the later game which are quite frankly, to be expected. The much larger scope in the final stages lead to that age old ‘try anything with everything else’ in a bid to work out how to proceed that isn’t present in the more compact, self-contained earlier stages and some of the combinations of items and solutions to minor puzzles feel a bit squint-worthy but it never stops being fun.

I really enjoyed Nobodies. I fully appreciate that its stripped-back approach and the leaning towards a more casual experience may not be for everyone but it’s a good game to play with a glass of wine with others. Whilst being a single-player experience, it was fun playing with my brother, both making suggestions on the best way to clean up the situation and get the hell out of dodge, more than once I heard the words, “Britt, don’t forget, you are still carrying a dead body around”

Good!

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