Noir Syndrome is a procedurally generated Detective Murder-Mystery with a new story every time! Featuring slick pixel art animations and a jazzy soundtrack, the player is thrown right in to a highly stylized vision of film noir.
User reviews: Mixed (123 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 2, 2014

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Recent updates View all (15)

October 16

Version 1.8 Now Available

As I had mentioned in the preview, this patch is a big roundup of fixes and smoothing out some parts of the game. Hit Contracts will help ease the pain of hitmen and can be purchased in the Slums. There are also a number of new merchants and a wide array of bug fixes.

It may be the last major update for a while, but I'll post an announcement on that later. For now, take a look at the full patch notes below!

New Features:
- New purchasable item: Hit Contract
- Hit Contracts stop any current hitmen that are after the player
- Hit Contracts also greatly reduce the chance of seeing another hitman for a while
Gameplay Changes:
- New vendor added to the Slums that sells Hit Contracts
- New vendor added to the Department Store that sells food
- New vendor added to the Mechanic Shop that sells lockpicks
- All locations now have vendors and/or unique elements that are worth visiting for
Fixes and Improvements:
- Wiping out the entire town will prevent events that couldn't occur without people
- As intended for Sandbox mode, you cannot gain progress for incremental badges
- Previously Sandbox mode only prevented earning "one-time" badges
- Job-related issues such as blank jobs and nameless NPCs have been fixed
- Minor AI improvements
- Various bug fixes

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October 13

Version 1.8 Preview

Noir Syndrome Version 1.8 will be releasing later this week. Those of you who follow me may know that I've been working on a new game project lately. Therefore, this may be the last major update for a while. That's not to say I still won't watch the game closely, as I've done with all my past projects.

Anyways, there will be more info on all of that later. This update is a big "roundup", in that it will smooth out a lot of things. Hit Contracts, new vendors, and fixes for every known bug in the game. I recommend checking out the full patch notes below!

New Features:
- New purchasable item: Hit Contract
- Hit Contracts stop any current hitmen that are after the player
- Hit Contracts also greatly reduce the chance of seeing another hitman for a while
Gameplay Changes:
- New vendor added to the Slums that sells Hit Contracts
- New vendor added to the Department Store that sells food
- New vendor added to the Mechanic Shop that sells lockpicks
- All locations now have vendors and/or unique elements that are worth visiting for
Fixes and Improvements:
- Wiping out the entire town will prevent events that couldn't occur without people
- As intended for Sandbox mode, you cannot gain progress for incremental badges
- Previously Sandbox mode only prevented earning "one-time" badges
- Job-related issues such as blank jobs and nameless NPCs have been fixed
- Minor AI improvements
- Various bug fixes

1 comments Read more

About This Game

Noir Syndrome is a procedurally generated Detective Murder-Mystery with a new story every time! Featuring slick pixel art animations and a jazzy soundtrack, the player is thrown right in to a highly stylized vision of film noir. Visit locations, interrogate suspects, search for clues, and eventually solve the case before the killer escapes - or you wind up dead yourself.

Features:

  • Procedural generation: Murder mystery scenarios with a new culprit and clues each time, every play-through is unique.
  • Permanent choices: NPCs, interactions, death, and a slew of other features will all persist until a new game is started. Every action counts!
  • Notebook: Collect vital clues in the detective's notebook to help narrow down suspects and solve the case.
  • Investigation: Interact with and examine numerous objects and characters in a number of environments in the search for more information on the killer.
  • Countdown: Given a set number of days to solve the mystery, each area visited will decrement the time left, adding to the urgency of every case.
  • Freedom of choice: Attempt to solve the case, or live out your remaining time doing as you please - be it fighting the law, going after gang members, or just seeing the city.
  • Gunplay: Combat is generally to be avoided as a single bullet will take down the player. However, when necessary, the revolver is always available for use.
  • Badges: Complete a variety of challenges to earn unique badges which directly influence future playthroughs.
  • Statistics and Scores: Statistics and high scores for a wide variety of topics will persist through every game.
  • Costumes: Multiple unlockable costumes can be earned in game. Play as the default male or female detective, or unlock a variety of new outfits.
  • Challenges: Optional challenges unrelated to the main case are generated each game. Every challenge completed provides permanent bonuses to all playthroughs.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), or dedicated GPU with OpenGL Support
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL-Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Tends to run well even on many low-end machines
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 4000, or dedicated GPU with OpenGL Support
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL-Compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GPU with OpenGL Support
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL-Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Set Gatekeeper to allow all applications; Requires Java 1.6+
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GPU with OpenGL Support
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL-Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Requires Java 1.6+
Helpful customer reviews
48 of 63 people (76%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Noir Syndrome is one of those games that falls into the quirky category of "For its price, it's pretty good." In spite of the claims of the developer, to say that each playthrough of Noir Syndrome generates a new and unique procedurally generated Murder Mystery story is a bit of a stretch. That being said, it's still a fun puzzler that mixes in enough demand for quick reflexes, gut instincts, and the ability to bluff with confidence to make it a very worthwhile experience.

In Noir Syndrome, you play an anonymous flatfoot who wakes up one day to a city under siege from the mysterious murderer Anubis. You are given 14 days to explore the city, interviewing citizens for tips and suspects, searching through garbage cans and police desks for clues, and avoiding the bullets of the police and the mob (assuming you were rude enough to tick off either party somehow). Over time, Anubis will strike again and again, reducing your score but also helping weed out suspects. Visiting crime scenes burns through your valuable time, but searching for clues and chatting with citizens burns calories, so between the actual detective work you'll need to scrounge up funds and get a bite to eat. You can also spend cash on tips from the mob, lockpicks to aid in your more "thorough" investigations, and bullets for taking out those who take offense at your methods.

Once you have enough clues and suspects, you'll be able to narrow down the names and know for certain who your man is. Of course, if time's running short, you might be forced to make an educated guess and hope for the best; given the choice between walking into a nest of furious gunmen and placing your faith in a coinflip, sometimes half-baked detective work is really your best bet. Each game takes about 20 minutes to complete, so it's not like you aren't committed to success, but at the same time losing isn't exactly the end of the world.

Eventually, the game will get a touch dull; there's only one city layout, and the number of variables they can flip around really isn't that huge. Fortunately, there are three difficulty settings which drastically affect the experience, 30 in-game Achievements to acquire that provide you with bonuses for future cases, and an alternate Dinner Party play mode that forces you to find your man in a fraction of the time of a normal game, and which unlocks a variety of goofy costumes (always a solid selling point).

Noir Syndrome accomplishes all this with a presentation better suited for an NES than a radio serial broadcast. It might not scratch any authentic murder-mystery itches, but it's a clever little puzzler that's well worth the price of admission.
Posted: June 5
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Well isn't this a nice little game, a creative idea executed fairly well.

The idea behind it is you're a private investigator in a violent town, trying to arrest an assassin. As a result, you investigate this filthy town while trying to stay alive.
The clues are randomly placed in the environment and you have to investigate every nook and cranny to get the clues that will reveal who the true culprit is. Some clues are more decisive than others, for example, a bullet casing may indicate the culprit is a Mobster or a member of the Police, while a Police ID precisely tells you the culprit affiliation.
You have to figure out 3 things : Affiliation (Civilian, Mobster, Policeman), Job (Driver, Chef, etc.) and Sex (Male or Female).
Of course you can just guess and try an arrest but if you get it wrong you fail.
As to how gather suspects, you have to talk to the people in various places, crime scenes don't have people lingering about but have generally more clues and some events make people amass in a place, particularly if they're from one affiliation.
Anyway, this becomes quite important when playing a higher difficulty than normal, because either the police or the mob want you dead, so the investigation becomes much harder with shootouts, especially since bullets are limited and costly, that's why it's wise to avoid places where the affiliation that wants you dead hangs out.
Bullets aren't the only thing that can kill you however, hunger can as well, you have to manage your money to buy the right resources like lockpicks, bullets or food to survive, everytime you investigate or talk with someone you get hungrier until you die.
Some places need lockpicks to explore fully and you can even rob some places where hopefully you don't get spotted or you make another faction your enemy.
Everytime you start a new game, the culprit and the clues are randomized, as is the faction that hunts you down, the events of course are randomized too, as is the place you can find clues.
The gameplay is free and you can go whenever you want mostly, but you have a time limit in days to catch the culprit... or you might just go on a murder spree.
All in all this is a repeatable noir detective story with a great soundtrack and a great feel to it. Recommended, but might get old pretty fast.
Posted: June 25
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42 of 68 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
One dimensional, lacking in interest and overall disappointing game.

There's no real substance to the 'clues' or game mechanics, and there's nothing really detective-y about it. There are murders which produce crime scenes; this could have been cool - it could have featured a chalked out body with higher probability of clues, and witnesses to question. Instead, you get the same area, and gameplay simply boils down to pressing Z all over a few locations until you have enough clues to blame-by-logic.

Feels like an iPhone game, plays like a free flash tite.
Posted: June 25
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24 of 37 people (65%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Incredibly simple but rather entertaining. Controls consist of but a few buttons and the gameplay really just consists of matching up clues with suspects. Not very deep or challenging at all but still fun.
Posted: June 4
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
You have two weeks before the mysterious killer known as Anubis assassinates the mayor. Ask around to find suspects, and narrow down your list by finding clues to the muderer's identity. Try to avoid the wrath of the police and the mob, because they'll kill you on sight. Or play the dinner party mode, where you're locked in with the killer, and the other guests occasionally go mad and kill you. Collect badges to level up your subsequent characters, and play on three difficulty modes, all of them challenging. Noir Syndrome is great fun with procedurally generated mysteries that usually don't last longer than ten minutes, but there are some obvious flaws.

Controls are fully rebindable, as they always should be in a PC game. There are only five action keys, but a couple would have been helpful. The "investigate" key handles all actions except shooting, which is quite annoying when someone is standing in front of an object you want to investigate or a door you want to enter, but the game insists on making you talk instead.

The interface is a bit clunky as well. Using multiple screens to try to manage a very small amount of information on the suspects is rather ridiculous. The game doesn't let you cross off suspects who don't match the clues you've gathered, and you can't un-designate a culprit once you've selected one (though you can change which one you'll arrest if you talk to him or her).

The tutorial is bare-bones; some will appreciate learning the mechanics on their own, but it would have been nice to learn more before being thrown into the game. On the whole, though, there's a lot of pixelly fun to be had here.
Posted: June 7
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