Fans of procedurals or the popular Phoenix Wright series of interactive courtroom adventures will have no objection to the newly announced Bohemian Killing, a first-person murder case with a steampunk twist that’s currently raising funds through Indiegogo.
Created by Polish developer The Moonwalls, Bohemian Killing places you in the role of Alfred Ethon, an inventor of some renown in post-Revolution Paris who is placed on trial for the brutal murder of a young woman. With the deck already stacked against you due to your ethnicity and the public’s lingering racism (Alfred is of Gypsy descent), you will have to endure razor-sharp questioning and witness statements in the courtroom. Your only option: Defend yourself by providing your own testimony.
This is where Bohemian Killing switches to its secondary game mode: first-person flashbacks to the night of the murder allowing you to freely explore and interact with environments via non-linear gameplay. Actions performed during the flashback segments all play a part in how well or how poorly your defense comes across to the Court, and the developers are promising complete freedom for your imagination to run wild. Who you talk to, how you behave, where you go… it all becomes a part of the storyline. Even the most trivial of actions like jumping up and down may have unforeseen consequences in your testimony. You can disguise yourself, get drunk, even attack others. Lie, tell the truth, plead insanity – it’s all up to you.
Set in a fictional 19th century steampunk Paris, the developers are calling Bohemian Killing equal parts Phoenix Wright and Gone Home, with options to choose between a mode where your legal counsel steers you in the right direction and one where you’re simply cut loose to see how far you can get on your own. Thirteen different endings promise replay value, with none of them being the proverbial “bad” ending.
Interested parties can head to the game’s Indiegogo campaign, where the developers are seeking to raise $13,000 by January 5th (though as a flexible funding campaign, all pledges are collected regardless of the final tally). A downloadable version of the game begins at $10, and could be delivered as early as May of next year to PC, Mac, and Linux users.