A Visual Novel set in the Deadlands Noir RPG Setting from Savage Worlds. * Now updated to include Episode 1 and 2 * New Orleans, 1935. Whoever called this "The Big Easy" sure got that one wrong. Things are tough all over. Honest work is hard to find, and even dishonest jobs are getting scarce.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (27 reviews) - 70% of the 27 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 3, 2015

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About This Game

A Visual Novel set in the Deadlands Noir RPG Setting from Savage Worlds.
* Now updated to include Episode 1 and 2 *

New Orleans, 1935. Whoever called this "The Big Easy" sure got that one wrong. Things are tough all over. Honest work is hard to find, and even dishonest jobs are getting scarce. The one thing that's not in short supply is trouble. From shady thugs to crooked cops to mafia soldiers, there's plenty of characters out there looking to give an honest Joe a hard time. And that's not the worst of it.

There are stories going round about things that go bump in the night. Things you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley on a darker night. And those stories aren't just coming from rummies or saps who read that epitaph rag.

Still, there are a few heroes left in the concrete jungle. Steely-eyed private dicks, fast-talking grifters, wild-eyed inventors, and shadowy houngans still struggle against the encroaching darkness. With enough moxie--and more than a little luck--they might just be enough to turn the tide.

This is just one story. The story of Harvey Jenkins, Private Investigator.

This story was written by Sean Patrick Fannon, Lead Designer and Brand Manager for Savage Rifts and author of numerous RPG products such as Shaintar: Legends Arise and The Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer's Bible. The story is set in the Deadlands Noir RPG Setting created by John Goff, Shane Hensley, Clint Black and Sean Preston. The soundtrack was produced by Harry Mack for the Deadlands Noir Kickstarter and has been incorporated here as compelling background music. Cheyenne Wright produced all the images and artwork. The original concept was produced by Brendan Quinn and edited by Sara Quinn. Doug Davison converted it and rewrote much of the program to run using the Ren'Py visual novel creation software.

Episode 2 was written by Sean Patrick Fannon, with contributions by Doug Davison. Sound FX were sourced from SoundBible.com and other public domain sources. Credits are included at the end of the story.

If you like this story, please look for more stories featuring Harvey Jenkins in The Big Easy.

Gameplay

  • A visual novel with 1 - 1.5 hrs of play time (at an average pace)
  • 1 hour of background music - classic sleuth music has tons of character - jazzy riffs, slinking symbols. Ambient sections set the mood with dark, surreal backdrops.
  • Branching story-line (somewhat linear)
  • The first of many stories featuring Harvey Jenkins, Private Investigator
  • Set of 5 Trading Cards

Episode 2 Gameplay

  • Adds roughly another 1-2 hours of play time
  • Adds skill checks based in the Savage Worlds and Deadlands Noir RPG using Harvey's stats for shooting
  • New, deadly story branches lead to meaningful results to your choices
  • Expands upon Harvey's relationship with characters from Episode 1
  • New Achievements to unlock

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7x or 8x
    • Processor: 1 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7x or 8x
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+ (x86_64)
    • Processor: 1 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+ (x86_64)
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux (x86, x86_64)
    • Processor: 1 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
    Recommended:
    • OS: Linux (x86, x86_64)
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: a sound card is required for hearing background music
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mostly Positive (27 reviews)
Recently Posted
joan4003
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
Sam Spade [Humphrey Bogart ~ Maltese Falcon (1941)] has nothing on Harvey Jenkins when it comes to being a hard boiled private detective. This is 'Film Noir' without the film.

Stories are set in 1935 New Orleans, Harvey Jenkins is a man about town who has unlikely friends and makes powerful enemies. But that is what happens when one is a private detective that takes on unusual cases, those of the supernatural kind. He and John Constantine (Vertigo comics Hellblazer/2005 movie) are much alike, one foot in Hell and the other in Heaven.

Nearly a kinetic visual novel but reads and plays like Choose Your Own Adventure game. Make your choices and see what happens, just try not to die - again.

Game consists of two stand alone episodes, with options for autoplay or having the story contents read (computer voice, so no voice actors). About 90 minutes an episode, if slow like me (and/or get interrupted).

Worth the read, and asking price, for a nice blend of a visual novel that has choose your own adventure choices.
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Helena
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
A really short VN, but enjoyable. I liked the noir style and I’d definitely read another VN like this one. Get it on a sale tho, since it’s really short and not so worth paying the full price.

5/10.
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AccidentlyOnPurpose
( 4.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 25
8.0/10 - Times Were Rough... Especially for Detective Harvey Jenkins

This visual novel takes place in New Orleans, 1935. You are Harvey Jenkins, a private investigator who if compelled to take the next job since times are so rough. Things aren't always as they seem in this noir detective novel, beware of the supernatural! You will be surprised.

This game comes with 2 episodes and took be about 3 hours to complete. The rest of the game time was to achieve the card drops since I typically don't replay these games for multiple endings. If you still want to get the achievements though, you can save prior to any decision and quickly get them by reloading the game from that point. Most achievements happen after a major decision.

Nearly all of the negative comments are from people that don't know what to expect from a visual novel or people that only gave a few minutes of their time. I was pretty happy with this offering. The price is good at $4, and you get a fair amount of content and a decent detective story.

Worth the $4; usually on sale for much less! If you see this cheap and like VN's try it out!

Accidently Reviewed
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Steam Group: AccidentlyReviewed
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•Goregasm•
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 9
This has a decent story, With likable characters and some old 1930's Noir visuals and actions. Seems I've been getting away from my normal otome games that i love so much, To see what other genres have to offer. This came at a cheap price with a free 2nd episode/chapter with unlockable achievements. Its good all around.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Punio The Punisher
( 10.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 6
Art noir in optima forma.
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cioran
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 11
Fun Horror/Crime Noir Visual Novel in a Sorcery/Choose Your Own Adventure vein, based on the somewhat obscure Deadlands Noir tabletop RPG.

I have no idea what all the negative reviews are about. I really liked it. The game is constantly on sale, so it's @$2 for a fun visual novel. If you don't like visual novels, it's not changing your mind, but if you like this sort of thing, it's a hoot.

Recommended buy when on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lametrie
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 24
This visual novel has got a really nice mix of characters I got a liking for. It has a good amount of irony and wit and together with the music and pictures it creates a enjoyable atmosphere.
It was fun to replay and try out other paths and decisions and that not only to get all the achievements :D
Steering worked ok for me and would have been even more easy if I had bothered to take a closer look to the tip and pref section ;)
Two stories are out already and as I said, I would like to get some more of those likable charakters!

Over all a fine and round piece of work warming you up some hours with a good time. For :me: it is 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dawnfalle
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 18
The story is too short with no substantial gameplay. If you're expecting a virtual novel which you can get into and play for hours as a complex story unravels, this is not what you're looking for. My advice is go to the Telltale Games page.
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luckz
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
Decent enough VN of 2-3 hours. Two episodes. Cheevos!
Taught me jolly words like beignet and po-boy.

If you are strongly opposed to any mention of religious themes, or on the contrary have peculiarly bizarre beliefs and are offended by anything contrary to them, this might not be for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CryoG
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: December 25, 2015
I tried to like this game, I loved the premise for the story, New Orleans noir. Unfortunately, it just has way too much text and not enough happening. The atmopshere is not really there either.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
119 of 163 people (73%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 3, 2015
Dreadful. That's how I would sum this up in one word. I suspect other negative reviews of the game may focus on the fact that it looks like a two-bit Newgrounds game, but the weaknesses of a visual novel can be forgiven as long as there is a compelling story, strong writing, and an enjoyable atmosphere that go along with the game. This has none of that. I bought the game because it had all the things I enjoy--New Orleans, Deadlands, film noir, religious undertones--but I couldn't get past the awful writing, generic "jazz" music, and terrible static art that start this game out. There's nothing here for anyone to enjoy. It should have been torn apart by several editors before it made its way to Steam.
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53 of 68 people (78%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 4, 2015
Edit: Episode 2 has been added since this review was written. Episode 1 has had "minor updates," so some of the information in this review might be outdated.

I don't want to pile on here, and I wouldn't go so far as "dreadful," but yeah, this isn't very good. It feels really rushed, character development is largely tell not show, and things mostly happen one after the other for no apparent reason. If you choose poorly, you just get rescued. Nothing really matters. There's one random choice that will lead to an explanation of a major plot point and give you an important item. If you don't make that choice you still get the item; it comes out of nowhere.

In addition to the plot issues, as a visual novel it's technically pretty sloppy. There are weird things like narration in character dialog windows and single choice decisions. There's no CG gallery with percent completion, even after playing through once.

Considering that the whole thing ends with an ad for the Deadlands Noir tabletop RPG, it probably just should have been free. There are trading cards (set of 5), though, which isn't currently listed on the store page (oh, it's in the description, but not the sidebar), so if it's on sale for fourteen cents it might be worth buying.
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36 of 50 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 11, 2015
Edit: Please note that this review concerns the initial release of this game (episode one).

Games made to advertise other games aren’t particularly uncommon, and for choice-based games, you only have to look as far as Love In Space’s Sunrider Academy or (as a more relevant example) Epiphany Games’ Majestic Nights series to see that it’s very much a thing. But while most tie-ins put in the effort, That Old Time Religion doesn’t.

The crux of it is that That Old Time Religion wasn’t made to be a visual novel. Everything about it points to being an illustrated short story shoved into Ren’py, given a rolling music track from the main product and a few choice points. The game really shows a lack of understanding of what visual novels are, what they can be, or at the very least shows the lack of thought that went into this whole endeavour.

While I can empathise that making a visual novel isn’t easy – even if you’ve made plenty of other games before – there’s just too much thoughtlessness here to ignore. The options that ultimately don’t lead to consequence, the art being a handful of stills, the narration sometimes not matching the art, the narration intruding on the dialogue, the music not entirely suiting the action, the default Ren’py UI, the default resolution, the lack of sound effects, and a bunch of things that come down to taste just gets in the way of any experience you could have.

Future content is promised, but I doubt any additions would change this without giving the whole thing an overhaul. As a visual novel it’s lazy, as an introduction to the RPG it lacks flair; the only thing it suits is publication in a place targeting existing fans. It’s honestly disappointing to see established developers create this and think it’s remotely good enough. Play it if you’re desperate.
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43 of 67 people (64%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 4, 2015
While I briefly played the Deadlands tabletop RPG back in the 90s - yup, I'm THAT old! - I'll confess to having never so much as HEARD of this Deadlands Noir phenomenon. Now, considering that Deadlands was more-or-less a transposing of Call of Cthulhu-style antics into a Western (read: cowboy) setting, I'm not quite sure what the purpose of transposing Call of Cthulhu-style antics into a 1930s setting is, considering that that's precisely when the original Call of Cthulhu RPG was set anyway! BUT...I'm not here to query the existence of a tabletop RPG, I'm here to review a video game/"visual novel" set in that universe. So get awn wit' it, already!

Now, while I played plenty of Fighting Fantasy-style gamebooks when I was young, and read the occasional "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style book as well, I'm not going to pretend that I'm especially well-versed in the world of the "visual novel". I've played a couple, and that's about it. And in all honesty, they're not a medium terribly well-suited to yours truly, considering that I speed-read too fast to become truly immersed in whatever it is that I'm reading, and, well, basically, that's the main thing which these kinds of "games" are comprised of: Reading! I'll further add that I'm a little ambivalent about the VALUE of text-based adventure games in an era where video games are capable of graphics arguably more convincing than a lot of the CGI you see in BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES these days (♥♥♥♥ you all, I'll take the visual aesthetic of Bioshock Infinite or Outlast over a frigging MARVEL or recent PETER JACKSON movie, any day)! But again I digress, as I'm here to attempt to objectively review this game for what it is, rather than query the very validity of its existence at all.

So how does this stack up as a "visual novel", given my understanding of what this genre aims to achieve? Well, the visuals themselves are...well...they're okay. A bit sub-standard considering the whole nature of the project, but certainly nowhere near "bad" enough to significantly diminish the experience...though there's precious few images actually on offer (perhaps mercifully), and they don't always illustrate what is being described in the text 100% accurately (invisible fedoras, anyone?)! So what about...the writing? Well, being a "noir" (read: detective) piece, the writing is certainly appropriate and on the whole, pretty good...sure it's not Raymond Chandler, but whad'ya expect? It's fine, it really is, and even served me up the occasional chuckle. Try this one on for size: "He looked as nervous as a rabbit at a coyote convention." Now, if that don't float ya boat, then you're probably not gonna have a very good time here. It certainly does "the job" it's meant to do, in my humble opinion. As does the music, which is nice enough without being anything to write home about. Unless your mother is especially into a mix of moody jazz and pseudo-orchestral horror movie soundtracks (in which case she'll probably appreciate your letter).

What about...story? Hoo boy. Here's the kicker. IT'S REALLY FRICKING SHORT. How short?! Well, under an hour, if you read as quickly as me...maybe an hour-and-a-half if you're a super-slow reader. And "gameplay"? Well...again, I'm not sure I made much more than about eight to ten "decisions" during the course of the entire game! Sure, none of those led to me DYING, so maybe you get a bit more bang for your buck if you DO manage to snuff yourself at some point; and perhaps there's even a teeny, tiny bit of replayability* if you start all over again, and make a few different choices here and there. But there's no surely no justification for the four-dollar asking price. Oh, and it ends with an ADVERTISEMENT for the tabletop game, so if its main purpose is to be a shameless advertisement for an altogether different product...maybe it's worth a BUCK, if that?! (FREE also occurs to me as a reasonable price-tag, but let's not quibble.)

If I haven't managed to talk you out of it yet, at least wait until a significant sale. Consider this a very WEAK recommendation at best, and only at a bargain-basement price.

Verdict: 5/10.

(* Google tells me that "replayability" isn't a real word. Google can go ♥♥♥♥ itself. I'M OLDER THAN IT IS, SO IT CAN LEARN TO RESPECT ITS ♥♥♥♥ING ELDERS, SO IT CAN.)
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
8.0/10 - Times Were Rough... Especially for Detective Harvey Jenkins

This visual novel takes place in New Orleans, 1935. You are Harvey Jenkins, a private investigator who if compelled to take the next job since times are so rough. Things aren't always as they seem in this noir detective novel, beware of the supernatural! You will be surprised.

This game comes with 2 episodes and took be about 3 hours to complete. The rest of the game time was to achieve the card drops since I typically don't replay these games for multiple endings. If you still want to get the achievements though, you can save prior to any decision and quickly get them by reloading the game from that point. Most achievements happen after a major decision.

Nearly all of the negative comments are from people that don't know what to expect from a visual novel or people that only gave a few minutes of their time. I was pretty happy with this offering. The price is good at $4, and you get a fair amount of content and a decent detective story.

Worth the $4; usually on sale for much less! If you see this cheap and like VN's try it out!

Accidently Reviewed
Was this review helpful or maybe even not helpful? Either way join this group for more. Free Keys and Reviews weekly!
Steam Group: AccidentlyReviewed
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22 of 33 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2015
Although I'm appalled by the fact that some people don't really understand what this game is all about, especially from the reviews that I've read, I respect their opinions regardless.

Having had the experience of playing through episodes 1 and 2, I found the dialog to be somewhat fascinating. If only a considerable amount of time was sacrificed by others in order to understand what the game truly depicts, knowing it reflects a 1930's dark noir and supernatural setting, then the outcome will be splendid.

But I have enjoyed it nevertheless, and of course will be looking forward to the upcoming episodes.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2015
Visual novel.
An enjoyable short noir visual novel. Devs have promised an episode 2 as a free addition, will be waiting for that.

Pros:
- Nice noir style story.

Cons:
- Quite short and very few choices provided.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
This has a decent story, With likable characters and some old 1930's Noir visuals and actions. Seems I've been getting away from my normal otome games that i love so much, To see what other genres have to offer. This came at a cheap price with a free 2nd episode/chapter with unlockable achievements. Its good all around.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 11, 2015
While simple, this visual novel captures the 1930's noir setting perfectly. I would have preferred more decisions to change the plot, but I enjoyed the story and especially the music. What people need to realize is this is an introduction to the Deadlands Noir world, so the story is relatively basic to ease people in. If you're a fan of the setting or want to check out Deadlands Noir for the first time, this is worth the coin.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
An enjoyable short noir visual novel similar to The Detail but with magical/voodoo elements. This game would have been better priced at half of what it costs now.
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