Adventure gamers are used to solving mysteries from afar, but in two-man indie developer Miga Games' upcoming Forest Grove, we'll be doing so in the role of a detective who is also investigating a case exclusively through a digital creation.
It's 2072, and "crime scene contamination and privacy is a very serious issue when solving cases." To minimize these risks, the Remote Forensics Bureau has developed a "Nanodeck" that is able to reconstruct crime scenes remotely. Players control the inaugural Remote Forensic Investigator, and your first assignment is the disappearance of Zooey Kunstimatigaard, the "teenage heiress to a billion-dollar tech fortune." Zooey's parents are dead and their "vast fortune is now controlled by Mary," the girl's stepmother, who reported Zooey missing. Using all the features of the Bureau's latest technology to its fullest, it's up to you to "investigate the scene ... and unmask the truths behind her disappearance."
Presented in free-roaming, first-person 3D with physics-based mouse gestures, Forest Grove takes place in – or more accurately, reproduces the likeness of – the Kunstimatigaard family's Victorian-era home. In a nonlinear fashion, you'll set about gathering forensic evidence, solving puzzles, encountering a variety of characters with their own hidden secrets, and reconstructing the missing pieces of the picture – literally. Once you've gathered enough clues, you'll turn to the Evidence Board (or "crazy wall" as it's euphemistically known) to examine the information you've acquired to see prefiltered, icon-driven connections and similarities between them, which can result in new leads to pursue. Conclusions are your own to draw, and the game allows you the "freedom to fail" if you're not careful.
Forest Grove is currently on pace to be launched on Steam sometime in August for Windows PC. To follow its progress in the intervening months, you can subscribe to the developer's newsletter on the official website.