Chicken Police - Paint it RED! PC Review

A foul crime requires a fowl cop to solve it.

By Fragnarok, Posted 28 Nov 2020

Chicken Police - Paint it RED! is a noir point-and-click adventure where all inhabitants are some form of anthropomorphic animal. The player takes control of furloughed chicken police detective Sontino “Sonny” Featherland. Just four months away from retirement, Sonny is unexpectedly visited by one Deborah Ibanez, the impala errand girl of Natasha Catzenko, owner of the popular Czar Club. Deborah claims that Natasha has been receiving numerous anonymous threats, which Sonny believes is due to her relationship with mobster Hobart “Ibn” Wessler. Sonny is uninterested in taking the case, but is persuaded when learning that Natasha has some form of leverage over his ex-wife Molly. To help with the investigation, Sonny seeks out his estranged former partner Martin “Marty” MacChicken. The two had a falling out after Marty accidently shot and almost killed Sonny. However, Marty is eager to join up due to the overwhelming boredom after Sonny’s absence. The two head out, off the record, as the once famous “Chicken Police” duo.


Chicken Police: Paint it Red|HandyGames|The Wild Gentleman|THQ Nordic
 

The game is fully voice acted, giving life and personality to every character met or heard from. Sonny’s gruff hard boiled nature and Marty’s jovial taste for action make them a fun and engaging buddy cop team. Other characters like cat singer Natasha, rabbit landlord Lewis, and rival falcon private investigator Filmar are also fantastically performed. The somewhat strange choice of making everyone just real people with animal heads isn’t just a creepy aesthetic. The residents of Clawville are still inclined by their physiology and natural instincts. This can include how they dress, act around each other, underlining racial prejudices, and a suppressed desire to kill or eat each other. Those that give in to these impulses are among the most dangerous and deprived criminals.  

The basic mechanics of Chicken Police - Paint it RED! involves clicking around a static environment looking for clues and objects. Once selected, Sonny and Marty will chime with their thoughts on the subject. While this is sometimes just humorous side dialogue, important clues might come to light after clicking on something two or three times. This means that players should often exhaust all dialogue until characters begin repeating themselves. Once enough evidence is found throughout the city, Sonny can return to his office to link various pieces to each other. This will solve each case at hand and lead to the next story chapter.


Chicken Police: Paint it Red|HandyGames|The Wild Gentleman|THQ Nordic
 

When interacting directly with suspects and witnesses, players are given four options: “Look”, “Speak”, “Ask”, and “Question”. Look allows Sonny to size up a person before approaching them, while Speak includes them in a preset conversation. Ask lets them give answers about already established clues and people. Finally, Question is the meat of the game and enters a subsection to unravel the puzzle. In this portion, Sonny will have more insight on someone’s personality and will need to use certain questions to boost trust or catch them in a lie. By saying the right or wrong things, a “Detective Meter” will indicate if players are on the correct trail. While it is possible to complete questionings with errors, performance will affect rank and Steam achievements. Though, players have the option of immediately retrying a round of questioning if not pleased by their score. 

Players are given many options of what to check out and where to explore, sometimes without a clear focus. Sonny and Marty might gain two or three different leads, only for most of them to be dead ends. Several locations and scenes are only available for a limited time, incentivizing players to investigate them first. These places tend to give more details about characters, relationships, or contain collectibles. In a few of them Marty will become an intractable character, allowing Sonny to use the game’s speech options on him.


Chicken Police: Paint it Red|HandyGames|The Wild Gentleman|THQ Nordic
 

If players become truly lost, they can review their notebook which contains records about various people, locations, and concepts. The clue section will also link up important information related to each other. The notebook, and other prose in the game, is rendered in character specific handwriting. But, just like real life handwriting it can often be too small or illegible to easily read. Thankfully, clicking on any written words will display them more clearly in a plain text box. 

One complaint is that there is no manual saving, with players having to rely on a single autosave slot. These autosaves only occur when moving between locations, which can result in lost clues or dialogue progression if someone decides to continue while already at a scene. This seems to be a means to stop players from save scumming in the middle of questioning a suspect. However, it is easy enough to just quit out and reload. But unfortunately players who go through legitimately may unwittingly find that limited locations have disappeared, collectibles lost, or achievements unobtainable on their current playthrough.


Chicken Police: Paint it Red|HandyGames|The Wild Gentleman|THQ Nordic
 

The mystery surrounding Natasha’s troubles may be the focus of the main plot, but side conversations and lore will be the bulk of the game’s playability. Those that take time to explore Clawville and talk to everyone will find a richly detailed world. The banter between Sonny, Marty, and others is the game’s biggest highlight. Players that happen to stumble into the right path will actually find a much more straight forward and concise adventure. Still, even if completed in just a few hours, Chicken Police - Paint it RED! is worth the current $17.99 USD price to any die hard point-and-click adventure fan.

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): HandyGames
Developer(s): The Wild Gentlemen
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Indie
Release Date: 2020-11-05

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