The fat lady sung
Game development is not easy and should never be taken lightly. Even in the best of times something can go horribly wrong and absolutely destroy a project. The men and women who choose that profession should be applauded, and it is a tough thing to critique sometimes. Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” is a game built by a new developer, and was funded by investors at Indiegogo.
You play as a detective hired by Prudence Van Dunng CEO of Van Dunng Records. One of her artists, Casey Byngham has gone missing, with an item of great importance to her. Prudence is a cut-throat businesswoman who has eliminated the competition in a suspiciously expedient way. She is upset that her daughter Devon, a high school student was spending so much time with this 23 year old artist, but even more upset that her golden egg laying goose has gone missing.
Dominique is an odd character in himself, or herself, as the case may be. This gender ambiguous character is a detective, but not one by choice. Originally he or she was a robotics engineer until his or her work is stolen right out from under his or her nose. The fact that no one can figure out what the hell you are is played up as a massive punchline, but ends up falling flat. We also have to wonder how the hell someone ends up going to college for robotics then ends up tossing that dream aside only to be turned into a broken man or woman, who sounds like a 12 year old girl. You’d think that Dominique could at least get a job as a patent clerk or something, and not just be stuck in a rat infested tenant building.
Devon comes off as a typical spoiled teenager until you sneak around piecing together her story. She hangs out at the mall, but she has a very good reason for doing so. She can’t stand her mother and she wants to get out of the town she is trapped in for fear of becoming her mother’s slave.
Perhaps the most redeeming character in the game is actually Casey Byngham himself. He shows up at the midpoint of the game and is trapped by his own necktie. The tie is actually an autotune device and his imprisonment or rather enslavement is played off to a hilariously tragic degree. His “gardener” is seemingly suffering from Alzheimer’s and refuses to give you information, this puzzle can be infuriating to solve and involves a lot of backtracking.
The game can’t seem to make up its mind where it wants it’s story to go. Is it about corporate greed? Is it about gender ambiguity? Is it about the sense that something is wrong with the world but absolutely nothing can be done about it? It lacks the focus. Though the end of the game feels like a callback to an old South Park episode. You are granted two choices, each one completely undesirable.
Graphically this game is very interesting, presented in stop motion Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” is reminiscent of the old Electric Company claymation episodes. The game is black and white, possibly in an attempt to harken back to film noire nostalgia. Animations come off as clunky and underdeveloped. As far as audio goes, a few songs are played during the game, often accompanied by singing. You can tell when a song is about to be sung at you, as the game pauses like it’s loading off some 8 track player somewhere, taking a few seconds too long. Sadly the creator of the game couldn’t get a few of his or her friends to help as there is one voice ever present in the game viciously trying to twist and morph itself into something different.
It also should be noted that this is a flash based game. If flash does not work perfectly with your system stay far away. Even a flash friendly computer may experience problems with Dominique Pamplemousse Upon testing the game locked up a few times only to finally return when calling up the Steamworks features of the game.
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” is a very odd but interesting point and click adventure. It is very rough around the edges and perhaps that gives it a quirky charm. The storyline is a bit pedestrian and predictable. Just when the game feels like it’s about to go somewhere it’s over. The programming choices made with the game may severely impact performance even on the best systems. It’s a tough game to recommend but if you dig deep enough you may find something you enjoy.
Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” is available now on Steam.