Excuse me for being a tad behind on app games. You see, I owned a Windows phone for the past year (I know, I know–it was those yellow Lumias that hypnotized me at the store) and couldn’t do anything on it. But recently I finally chucked the phone for an iPhone and have been getting caught up again on app games. I already played popular hits like Fallout Shelter and The Silent Age, and now my latest obsession is Framed.
Released late last year, Framed has won tons of awards and has been a critically acclaimed darling amongst reviewers, so going in I already had high expectations. And since I like noir, jazz, and puzzles, I figured this was a formula that would be hard to screw up.
In Framed you’re in control of various thieves who are running away from cops. The game is presented like a comic book with animated panels for each scene. At the beginning of each page we see the events unfold panel by panel, with scenarios that usually end with you, the thief, getting caught by police. To avoid this, you must rearrange the panels to recreate the pattern of events to trigger the correct ending. It starts off easy, but like most puzzles, gets incredibly hard.
The only disappointing thing about Framed is that it’s a tad short, but if you’re a lover of puzzles and stylized silhouettes, Framed will be your new commuting companion.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, September 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
Hardboiled private eye Detective Chirpums is tough, but even the city’s best avian investigator needs to drown the horrors of everyday life with a bottle of Grackle’s Finest. Too bad he doesn’t have the time–rent is due and the detective needs to solve a case, get paid, and make sure he doesn’t get evicted. The city is filled with thieving magpies and orderly wrens, many of whom are none too impressed at Chirpums’ tan trenchcoat and fedora.
Detective Chirpums, Private Investigator is more comedy than noir, as the premise suggests, but the trappings are there for those who don’t mind seeing the genre’s conventions carried out by rotund birds. The gameplay is minimal but the art is gorgeous. Light-hearted (well, for a murder investigation) and irreverent, and entertaining for those who enjoy seeing a cross between Sin City and Animal Crossing, Detective Chirpums is brimming with style, femme fatales, and puns.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, April 29th, 2015||No Comments »|
Marvel Noir is old news by now, having gone from 2009 and 2010, but I was wandering the comic book store and came across a smaller print copy of Luke Cage: Noir and, having not seen it before, picked it up and purchased it. Of all the Marvel Noir I have read, Luke Cage might be my favorite. It’s a short run, only four issues with a set rather than open ending, but in its four issues it tells a story that needs to be told: that a hero is not what a person does but what a person means to those he represents, whether they need a banner to rally behind or simply the peace of mind that all is well. The ending is a bit of a surprise (and very Noir indeed) but elevates Luke Cage in this Noir universe to more than just a man with influence. He becomes, in his actions, the patron saint of Harlem.
The art is, as to be expected, fantastic, and the full collection also comes with character sketches in the back. It runs cheaper than the other Noir issues because it’s in a smaller format, and it’s definitely work checking out if you haven’t read it already.
|Recommended by Meera N.||Tuesday, August 6th, 2013||No Comments »|
Maybe half a year ago, while scrolling on Tumblr, I came across a great thread about how amazing it would be for there to be a black Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. There was artwork that went with this communal brainstorming and a summary that everyone seemed to be able to get behind. It seemed like a pipe-dream though, because who would really have the balls to race-bend Sherlock Holmes when the idea of John Watson being an Asian woman had already caused a mass panic. I thought at the time that it was a great idea, smiled to myself and moved on, because it would be a long time coming indeed.
Fast forward to today and I am more than happy to recommend Watson and Holmes by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi, published by New Paradigm Studios. The idea took root, inspired a Kickstarter and three years after the idea was born (according to the publisher note on the back, though I had only heard the idea myself a few months ago), a comic book was produced. Not only is this a landmark in Sherlock Holmes adaptations, but it’s also pretty damn good. While I’ve only read the first issue so far, Sherlock Holmes is just the right amount of interesting to keep us (and John Watson, who Conan Doyle had us see Holmes through from the very beginning) interested. Doctor John Watson was the one who impressed me though and has the potential to be one of the most sympathetic interpretations of the good Doctor to date.
My only issue so far is the art. It’s good, but it looks unfinished and unpracticed. The style is sketchy, which would seem more polished and/or intentional without soft focus black outlines to go along with them. To me, the art seems a bit rushed, or like it should have been colored more or not colored at all. If you like the art though, more power to you, we all know how subjective art styles can be.
|Recommended by Meera N.||Friday, August 2nd, 2013||No Comments »|