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Death Trick: Double Blind Review

Death Trick: Double Blind Review

Death Trick: Double Blind is the second game from Misty Mountain Studio, the Chinese indie developer behind The Rewinder in 2021, which was met with a positive reception. However, while The Rewinder was an adventure puzzle game, Death Trick: Double Blind is a point-and-click visual novel with heavy inspiration drawn from the Ace Attorney franchise.

In Death Trick: Double Blind, you take on the role of two characters: Jackie (a Magician called to the Circus following the tragic death of her old friend, Hattie) and Jones, a PI who is there to investigate Hattie’s death. While Jackie takes on the role of Hattie to perform one final show, she is also there to find out the truth of what has happened. Playing as both of them, you, the player, have only until the final show to find out what happened the night Hattie was murdered.

Jackies Letter

Each turn takes place during one hour of the game, and at first, you start off with 5 AP (Action Points), which allow you to investigate different places, so long as there’s a character there for you to communicate with. Jackie and Jones each have their own side of a journal, allowing you to focus on their respective goals to gain XP. To complete the goal, you need to talk about certain relevant topics with those around the Circus and find any contradictions in what they’re saying. While an incorrect contradiction won’t lose you AP, a correct one will. Once your AP runs out, it’s the end of the turn, so you need to spend your resources wisely. However, there is a way to earn AP: visiting our good ol’ fortune teller, Tito.

Accomplishing Jackie and Jones’s goals will allow you to earn XP. The first goal is to focus on Jackie asking everyone at the Circus about Hattie, while Jones is trying to figure out what everyone’s alibis were at the time of the murder. Once you’ve found everyone, you can earn XP to trade in at Tito’s fortune-telling tent.

But who’s Tito? We’ve met Jackie and Jones, but they’re only part of this ensemble cast. Tito is a 10-year-old fortune-teller who can offer you 1 AP depending on each 100 XP you bring him. Jackie and Jones can each get a maximum of 8 AP, and with it, they can do more to investigate Hattie’s murder and the affairs of everyone in the vicinity.

Moses the Owner

There are several suspects who you can meet as you uncover the murder of the Amazing Hattie. Hattie worked for Moses, the owner of the Circus, who is in dire financial straits now that Hattie is unable to perform. Without Hattie, the star attraction, the Circus is in trouble. As Jackie takes Hattie’s place, she is helped with her costume by Alys, the Circus’s mechanic. She’s in charge of the sets, in addition to any and all odd jobs in the crew. Jones is first introduced to Rolf, the animal tamer, who first meets him after Jones is attacked prior to his investigation.

As you travel around the circus, you’re encouraged to interact with the other members. For example, there is the former Ringmaster, Chip the Clown, an upbeat and cheerful character who prefers to mess around and has a difficult relationship with his roommate, Echo. Echo is a ventriloquist and a man who is difficult to get along with, he was also formerly an apprentice of the same Magician as Hattie, but he ultimately chose a different path. In the train carriage next to them are the sisters, Aideen and Yan, a fire-breather and acrobat, respectively; Aideen was Hattie’s best friend, while Yan is a young prankster who doesn’t have the best relationship with anyone.

Rolf the Beast Tamer

While I won’t go into too much detail about the characters and their relationships to avoid giving away any major spoilers, I enjoyed how you could investigate their own stories during the narrative. Each story was compelling, and I don’t think that I could have left the game without a more positive experience of each character. They were all compelling and had their own distinct designs, which made it easier for me to remember who each one was.

It helped that the art style appeared to be a blend of manga, realism, and, in some cases, surrealism. I really liked the artwork, especially the small comics that showcased certain scenes through major moments. While I admit I did feel like the cutscene for the final performance was a bit jarring, I appreciated the effort that went into it. However, considering it shifted from 2D clips to animation, it did feel like it stood out more compared to the other scenes.

Aideen the Fire breather

I also enjoyed the music, as it really immersed me in 1920s America, and it felt like I was at the Circus. So many elements were included in Death Trick: Double Blind to make it more immersive, including the flashing objects to help you know what you could click. Admittedly, I would have preferred if the flashing could disappear after I’d clicked it once. Likewise, I’d have also liked it if it was less sensitive when I was clicking on the screen. I didn’t like how if I clicked somewhere while investigating, I could accidentally get stuck on the dialogue until I managed to click an area that wouldn’t trigger an explanation.

In terms of things I didn’t like, I wouldn’t say there were a lot. Honestly, I noticed in the latter part of the game there were a few more typos. They weren’t the biggest deal, but they were frequent enough for me to notice, with a few misspellings here and there and the use of incorrect pronouns when referring to certain characters. While I did find the suspect obvious after a while, there was a certain twist that may impact the way I play the game next time. I’m still undecided if I liked the twist or not, and I admit that only time will tell.

Personally, the final deduction offered a good amount of challenge. While I had already figured out who the killer was, I enjoyed how I had to decipher the timeline of the whole narrative. I had to justify, as Jones, who the killer was and why they committed Hattie’s murder. In this section, I had to make sure to save the game a few times, as a wrong guess could lose you one of your five lives. However, once it’s accomplished and you find out who the killer is, you can fast-forward five years to see where each character has ended up.

Tasks in Death Trick include finding who attacked the Detective

Admittedly, my only issue with the epilogue was that Tito hadn’t appeared to have aged, while Yan had. Overall, it led to a satisfying ending, and while it may offer replayability for some, my mind will be reeling from the twist for a little while longer. As I worry about how that will affect my replay of Death Trick: Double Blind, I would rather focus on the fact that it offered me a fun 6 hours of gameplay.

But as a fan of the Ace Attorney games, I have to admit I loved how you could see the amount of love Misty Mountain Studio had for the franchise. The inspirations were clear, and I appreciate how each character had so much depth to them. Honestly, the twists and turns caught me off guard, and considering how I don’t want to replay it until I forget the major turn of events, it’s safe to say that it did its job well.

8.50/10 8½

Death Trick: Double Blind (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Death Trick: Double Blind is a point-and-click story full of twists, turns, and compelling characters. I came for the circus, but I stayed for the references to Ace Attorney and Sherlock Holmes.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Bex Prouse

Bex Prouse

Staff Writer

Writing about all sorts like a liquorice allsort

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