Not all detective mysteries need to be long, complex investigations. Sometimes it’s nice to jump in, solve a case in one sitting, and then sit back and do other things until the next client walks through your proverbial door. Indie Hungarian studio RVL Games thinks so too, and to that end is currently finishing up development on the debut installment of a series of occult-themed “micro-adventures” called Classified Stories.
Once upon a time, Jim Morrison was a rock star private investigator, the “source of cocktail-party pride” in Boston, Massachusetts. But his career has dwindled since, and in the late seventies he is wallowing in the doldrums when one day a letter from a “long-forgotten friend” lands on his desk. The young woman is living on a farm on the outskirts of the bustling city, and has sought the help of ”the great detective Morrison” to investigate a series of strange disappearances. The local police are unable to make any headway in the case, and she fears that she might be next. The note (and proffered money) intrigues Morrison, but by the time he arrives at the “seemingly normal farm,” the young lady is also missing. On his own now, Morrison must explore the well-furnished but gloomy farmstead and piece together clues to unravel the secrets of its residents and discover what has transpired. Little does he know, though, that the lines between reality and fantasy have been forever blurred, and that his past has “thrust him into the machinations of something far beyond the scope of criminals and madmen.”
This first case in a planned series of standalone stories, The Tome of Myrkah, is billed as a “first-person micro-adventure puzzle game that focuses … on exploration and discovery.” The aim of the game is to “gather information and solve puzzles” within its short playtime of an hour or two. You will play as the trenchcoated, fedora-wearing, noirish gumshoe Morrison, freely exploring the 3D world “beyond the realm of modern belief” without venturing too deep down “the rabbit hole.” Along with the more leisurely investigative gameplay, the developer hopes to instill a pervasive sense of horror throughout, and to that end has added some aggressive, bizarre enemies to fight on occasion, inspired by Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
Classified Stories is intended to be a collection of short- to medium-length episodic cases all loosely connected and set in the same universe, sometimes starring an all-new protagonist. Case 1: The Tome of Myrkah is currently scheduled to materialise on Steam for PC in the second quarter of 2021.