Published by Fellow Traveler and developed by Kaizen Game Works, Paradise Killer is an open world, murder mystery, crime solving, investigation game. Players take control of Lady Love Dies, an investigator who must search for clues and speak with suspects on Paradise Island Sequence 24, gathering enough information to make a solid case before the ‘Judge’ and put the accused murderer behind bars. The inhabitants of the island worship alien gods and offer humans as sacrifice in annual attempts to summon them. They have attempted 24 times on 24 different islands, but have never succeeded and always summon demons by accident.
Beginning the game, Lady Love Dies wakes up in her apartment and can freely explore the environment which also gives players an idea of the controls. The controls are very basic and the gameplay is from a first-person perspective.
After jumping off the edge of the apartment and realising Lady Love Dies lives high up in the clouds, players will get a great view of the island they’ll soon be exploring. After free-falling and somehow not dying from the landing, players begin their investigation by searching the island for evidence and speaking with a variety of interesting, diverse and sometimes bizarre characters.
Even though the gameplay is set in a 3D world, characters that Lady Love Dies encounters are actually just 2D still images that slowly rotate to face you depending where you’re standing. This actually makes them look more like life-sized cardboard cut-outs of themselves which looks very out of place. After playing the game for a while though, it strangely feels part of the norm. It does make this open world game feel quite lifeless since characters aren’t walking around anywhere and doing mundane tasks or activities but it’s the dialogue scenes where the characters truly shine the most.
Paradise Killer is very heavy on reading text on screen, which gives it a retro game feel but may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The text box at the bottom of the screen is the current conversation and the text box on the right side of the screen is the entire conversation from the beginning, which is very handy for players to backtrack and make sure they didn’t miss any vital information.
Occasionally, characters do actually say a few things out loud, but they’re just one liners that don’t match up to the words on screen, however these do illustrate a bit of the character’s personalities. The dialogue scenes are where players must pay close attention to learn as much as they can about each suspect and can even pick how they like to respond to certain questions and statements which can affect the outcome of the game.
Just seeing each character’s personalities is also entertaining, though players don’t actually have to track down the actual murderer. As long as they collect enough clues and evidence to make a convincing case, they can present that to the ‘Judge’ and put someone innocent behind bars instead. This gives the game a lot of replay value for players to see the different possible outcomes.
The graphics may not be the best the Nintendo Switch has seen, but they actually do a really good job illustrating the paradise with all the beautiful architecture and decorations to admire, making it appear like an ideal place to actually live. The only thing that affects the enjoyment of exploring the island, is not being able to set a waypoint to where you want to go and constantly having to check the map to keep track of your route, which is unusual for a modern, open world game. The music has sort of a spy thriller in a tropical setting feel to it and perfectly fits the game’s style and personality.
The game’s main attraction is most definitely its unique story and uncovering each suspects’ backstory and their possible involvement in the murder. Reading the walls of text can be a daunting task but well worth it and rewarding to uncover the mystery of the ‘Paradise Killer’.
- Open world exploration
- Variety of interesting, diverse and bizarre characters
- Music fits the game’s aesthetics
- Different possible outcomes depending of the player’s decisions
- The island can feel lifeless with characters being presented as 2D still images during exploration
- The long walls of text can be daunting
- Not being able to set a waypoint on the map