Pinnacle City is a place where crime and corruption abounds, and it’s up to one ex-cop — whom is now the city’s cheapest private eye — to get to the bottom of everything going on. You used to believe the one thing you could always count on — no matter what — was your gut instinct, yet your gut instinct ended with a hospital burnt down — your partner dead — and you thrown in jail. For ten years since then you’ve been trying to make sense of everything you saw that night — fantastical visions for which there was no corroborative evidence — and now you’re determined to finally prove your sanity, one odd job at a time.
Thus goes the premise to Pixel Noir, SWDTech’s isometric — pixel-art driven — simultaneous tribute to both classical detective novellas and old school Japanese RPGs. In the game players will have to slowly take any odd job they can — starting out with stuff like missing cats — as they slowly work their way towards the truth of what happened ten years ago, but the path perhaps isn’t as easy as simply following up every lead you get. Pixel Noir will have branching paths, and the only way to get to the deepest truths — and change your perception of everything — is to explore every last corner of Pinnacle City (thus discovering the hidden evidence that people don’t necessarily want you seeing).
While poking around every last corner — in an environment where you can interact with nearly anything and everything you see — is certainly important, even more so will be knowing how to defend yourself. You can’t go poking around the dark corners of Pinnacle City without bumping into people that perhaps don’t necessarily want you there, and that means getting into the occasional shoot-out with unsavory sorts. This combat is executed via a mixture of Chrono Trigger style combo-attacks, mixed with Super Mario RPG styled timed-attacks (wherein you’ll need to press the button at key moments).
That said — unlike many other classical Japanese RPGs — there’s more to fighting in Pinnacle City than mindlessly tapping the action-button in sync with the animation, especially once you begin running into boss battles. You have the option to equip yourself with an array of guns — weapon modifications — and bullets to aid you in your struggles, and you’ll regularly need to switch up these tools if you wish to survive intact. For Instance: although you could simply pummel your way through a riot-shield with excessive fire power, a smarter person might deliberately target the shield with corrosive ammo — shoot straight through with armor-piercing rounds — or even try something else.
Accompanying this is a soundtrack — featuring a mix of chip-tunes and orchestral pieces — that even contains songs produced by the famous Hiroki Kikuta, whom is better known to most for his work on Square-Enix’s Secret of Mana. Those with Spotify accounts can currently listen to a free sampling of songs from the upcoming Pixel Noir, which SWDTech released last year in order to drum up interest for their upcoming game. Releasing this soundtrack — however — didn’t exactly raise the developments funds that SWDTech had been hoping for, which is why they recently turned towards Kickstarter’s community with a request for $30,000 in additional development funds.
But this — you see — isn’t a please for your money, seeing as how the fundraiser has already successfully closed with more than double SWDTech’s original asking amount (thanks to the generosity of nearly 2,000 backers). This led to nearly all of the projects stretch goals being pulverized, including: XBOne port, 3DS port, New Game + content, Expanded Story content, a Triple Triad inspired mini-game, and even an actual iOS port. As a result, iDevice owners everywhere will all be able to join in on the fun when the hard-boiled hunt — aiming to discover all of Pinnacle City’s greatest mysteries — begins sometime later next year.
Until then, people having trouble waiting can optionally check out a currently free — albeit PC and Mac only — Pixel Noir game play demo (and afterwards, should they like what they saw, there’s still time to then become a late-backer over at SWDTech’s website).