Do you love talking birds dressed in Victorian era suits? Have you ever dreamed of becoming a lawyer? Then you’ll LOVE Aviary Attorney.
Sketchy Logic, a small two person team out of the UK, created Aviary Attorney; a comical and dramatic adventure game set in 1848 Paris on the crux of a revolution. Players take on the role of defense attorney Jayjay Falcon, whose firm is going through a bit of a dry spell. Luckily, a high profile case is presented to him and his trusty sidekick, Sparrowson. Their client is Bourgeoisie kitten Caterline Demiaou and she has been accused of murder. With blood on her paws it’s up to Falcon and Sparrowson to ruffle some feathers and prove her innocence.
The story unfolds over the course of four chapters. The dynamic duo travel Paris to collect evidence and interview witnesses. But don’t mistake this for a simple point and click and wait for the computer to do the work for you. It’s up to the player to pay attention, connect the dots, poke holes in testimony, and be able to provide the best answers in court to curry favor with the jury. The final chapter’s plot is dependent on the choices you make, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of replay value in this one. If you don’t like the ending or are curious about how things could have gone down, you can easily go back and select any point in a chapter to replay.
Time is of the essence. Players are allotted a finite number of days to collect as much evidence as possible before they are due in court. Use the overview map of Paris to choose which landmark to explore. Each location you visit takes a day off the timeline, so be strategic in your choices. If you use up your days before you’re done exploring you risk missing out on evidence that could have helped you win your case. But if you’re looking to take a break from the investigation you could always play a few hands in Jacques-noir, which is basically just Blackjack.
Along the way you’ll encounter an assortment of peculiar characters; a suave fox who quotes Don Quixote, a giraffe maid with sticky hooves, a donkey librarian who will make you feel like an ass for your lack of basic knowledge, and a host of others. Even without voiceover the characters you meet convey big personalities, each unique to the individual. The dialogue is smart, witty, and littered with pop culture references, as well as historical nods to the events like the February Revolution of France and many more.
The graphics and music take on their own roles. The background art, items, and even characters are all based off public domain pieces, specifically 19th century lithographs by French caricaturist J.J. Grandville. His illustrations in the book, Public and Private Life of Animals from 1877, were scanned and used to create the characters within the game. It’s mind-blowing that the work from an artist during the 1800’s, with no concept or understanding of what a video game is, has their illustrations brought to life on screen. It’s difficult to know if Grandville thought his work would stand the test of time, but the developers have breathed new life into it, and have been able to introduce audiences to a part of history they may have otherwise never known about.
The soundtrack consists of 31 tracks with music from the Romantic era and features composers such as Hector Berlioz, Claude Debussy, and Camille Saint-Saëns. The music will probably sound familiar to audiences as their work has been featured in TV shows like The Simpsons, Ren and Stimpy, and Animaniacs in addition to numerous other films and shows. The music is a reflection of the time period the game is set in, and offers a distinct personality to each location.
The story, art, and soundtrack, create a fun and engaging narrative in this crime dramedy. With the restriction in amount of days allotted to each case the gameplay is fairly quick with the option of playing again for an alternative ending. Spread your wins and get ready to party like it’s 1899.
Aviary Attorney is available on Steam with future plans for iOS, Android, and Linux.
Check out the trailer below: