Conducting a murder investigation isn't exactly the same as conducting a symphony orchestra, but the two will be inextricably linked in Kibou Entertainment's upcoming Blood Opera Crescendo, which is currently raising funds through Kickstarter.
It's 18th century Vienna, at the height of the Baroque period. Bleichburg, renowned worldwide as the "Capital of Music," is the "ultimate destination for aspiring composers, artists and experts in the field." That includes the brilliant Heinrich Steinerm, a "conductor with an innate musical ability." Then tragedy strickes and all seems lost for the man nicknamed "The Lion of Bleichburg" when "he is struck with a violent brain fever and confined to bed for two long years. When he finally recovers, he gets back to his normal life only to realize that everything he cared about was gone."
After yet another night of drinking his problems away at the local tavern, Heinrich "notices a furtive shadow sneaking into Bleichburg's theater from a side door." Drawn by the beautiful sound of music coming from within, he follows the man only to discover a "gruesome yet fascinating scene: a corpse painted in gold lies in the middle of the stage, brutally mutilated and turned into a functioning cello." Clearly the work of both a "psycho murderer" and a "prodigious musical talent," Henrich becomes "obsessed with the killer, and finds a new reason to live: he must look into his or her eyes to understand how an ignoble creature like that could be bestowed with such a transcendent artistic talent."
Presented in lovely bird's eye pixel art and backed by both classical music and original compositions, the keyboard- or gamepad-controlled Blood Opera Crescendo tasks players with uncovering the "terrible truth hidden behind the luxurious curtain that covers the entire city." Inspired by the Ace Attorney and Persona series, this "story-driven investigative adventure" requires thorougly exploring Bleichburg and collecting clues to the identity of the masked man dubbed "Schwarzergeist" who is "killing people to transform their corpses into working musical instruments." Heinrich must be careful, however, as he too is considered a suspect of the "bloody ritual murders that are terrorizing the town." As you proceed, you will have to "avoid being arrested and use lies to mislead the police investigation." Pick the wrong answers from the multiple choice questions posed to you and it's "game over."
Playing detective is not all you'll do in either. There's always time for romance, so players can win the heart of one of many potential love interests if you "give her what she desires and use the right words." A strong relationship may just "save Heinrich's fragile mind" but will you be able to keep her safe in such perilous times? As a composer, at times you'll also get to "test your reflexes and sense of rhythm in a mini-game that will let you play some of the greatest pieces of classical music like Mozart's 'Piano Concerto No. 18', 'La Follia' by Corelli and many more."
All this musical adventuring goodness comes with a price – namely €10,000, which is the amount the developers are seeking through their Kickstarter campaign. If they meet their target by August 22nd, they hope to complete the game for Windows and Linux by June 2020. Not sure if it's the game for you? Not a problem, as a one-hour demo is available now on Steam and itch.io.