Most murder mysteries include fresh crime scenes to scour and multiple witnesses and suspects to question. But what if the murder case you're investigating is four years old and occurred in a town that has since been mysteriously abandoned? That challenge is yours if you wish, in EQ Studios' recently-released The Painscreek Killings.
Players control a promising young American journalist named Janet, who's been assigned by her editor to investigate the eerily deserted town of Painscreek. Four years earlier, this was a thriving town until the wife of its mayor was murdered and the culprit never found. Who killed Vivian Roberts? And where did everybody go? Janet arrives with the anticipation of simply finding "an interesting story to publish, only to uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden forever."
A first-person 3D mystery set in the 1990s, The Painscreek Killings allows players to freely roam the fictional town's "semi-open world" in a non-linear fashion. With a primary focus on exploration over puzzles, the gameplay has been described by its indie developer as "similar to Gone Home but bigger in scope." You will need to pay close attention to clues in the environment, collecting important items and making use of both the in-game camera and your own "powers of observation and deduction to piece together the secrets of Painscreek." If you are to ever publish your story, you must first identity the killer.
If you're ready to don your detective's hat, there's no need to wait, as The Painscreek Killings is available now as a download on Steam for Windows PC. You can also learn more about the game through its official website.