Games like: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Time played: 1 hour
Courtrooms. Evidence bags. Documents. Exciting stuff that you’d find in an episode of Judge Judy or Divorce Count. But for a video game? Many would say “nay”, these things are for courtroom dramas and terrible daytime television. That was until the release of Phoenix Wright for the Nintendo DS. Sure there have been games based in courtrooms before but those usually found on the Wal-Mart shelves as shovelware before there was such a term. It would only make sense to see these types of games make it into the market where they can really flourish. Regeria Hope throws her hat into the ring and is dressed to impress. And does a mighty fine job of doing so.
Regeria Hope is a freeware visual novel/adventure legal drama video game (get all of that?) that will have you putting together clues and using your courtroom tactics to uncover the answer to the mystery. Regeria Hope was developed using the framework Ren’Py which was created as a visual novel engine. One that I actually have some experience with since the engine itself is also freeware. This is a single episode with the developer promising more to come with new and exciting features that branch off of the Phoenix Wright groundwork. Until then, Regeria Hope is created to scratch that itch of Ace Attorney fans looking for more cases to solve.
What’s more exciting than a murder mystery? Not too much, but that’s exactly what Regeria finds herself in. A blushing bride, newly married, drops dead at the reception. Poisoned! The only suspect in question and the one you have to prove as innocent, is her whiny fiance. Arriving at the courthouse, avoiding the press as much as possible (because yuck, right?) is Pharrell, your boss and confidant. He’ll be the one that will help you through the case giving suggestions as to how to proceed.
Along the way you’ll collect evidence either handed to you in the form of a photo or written documents or through testimony from a witness on the stand. Here is where the magic lies within Regeria Hope. Throughout some of the witnesses recounts of the events, Pharrell will break the silence and say something is wrong with what the witness is saying. From here, you will dig into your case files and double check what is true and what is false. Once you’ve discovered what’s correct, you can throw it into the face of the witness and watch them squirm. Maniacal laugh.
The challenge comes when you break through and show off the correct evidence. If you present the wrong piece of evidence to the judge and jury too many times, the judge will side with the plaintiff and you’ll lose the case, ultimately losing the game. The evidence itself will need to used in unconventional ways more or less of the time. You’ll also have to harken back to what other witnesses have said to be used as leverage against a witness who is being less than honest. Remember kids, people can still lie even on the witness stand. Luckily you can save at any point in the game and replay it at anytime which you’ll use until you get use to the game’s mechanics.
Regeria Hope is comprised of still images, many of them being action shots, on top of static backgrounds. Each character is well created showing great definition in emotion. The background themselves are less to be desired. There’s a huge clash in talent between the two and it makes me wonder if the character images were grabbed from other artists and the backgrounds being created by the developer. Either way, the contrasts stick out like a sore thumb and drags the total product of the game done a bit.
Action points are set throughout the game that drive the excitement of the game’s design. Upon hearing a witness’s lie and knowing that you have the evidence to prove it as such, the adrenaline shoots through you as the player as you click furiously through the menus. Albeit a short playthrough, Regeria Hope paved a nice road of taking a small niche game design, using great free tools for framework, and created an intriguing and fun game.
The game is short, only about one hour, consisting of only one episode. The developer, Golden Game Barn, is committed to creating more with new and different gameplay mechanics. Even through a Kickstarter Campaign (it has been funded) to bridge off what Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney had started. A very exciting project to follow as they continue their journey.
Regeria Hope is a free adventure legal drama video game taking the styling of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney onto the indie gaming sphere. Follow a case of murder, betrayal, and a once beautiful wedding turned deadly as Regeria Hope pulls together evidence and witness accounts to find her defendant innocent. Only a single episode running about an hour of game time, developer Golden Game Barn is committed to continue where Phoneix Wright left off with more interesting crime dramas and gameplay mechanics.
Check out more pics from Regeria Hope: Dead Drunk!
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