By Chris Picone, 28 September 2022
I’m not sure why there’s been an influx of point and click adventures featuring anthropomorphised animals lately but I’m totally down for it. And I’m a noir lover so I figured Nine Noir Lives would be right up my alley.
Nine Noir Lives is gorgeous with it’s Deponia-esque art style, and as a comedic game about cats it’s perfect but as a supposed noir game the aesthetic misses the mark most of the time. The voice acting’s similar; it’s good quality, but probably better suited for a kids’ game. That’s been my single biggest finding so far – and for the sake of clarity, I’m only about 1/4 to 1/3 through the game – is that it’s inconsistent. It’s like the game isn’t quite sure whether it wants to be a gritty noir or a cute game about cats or a detective parody and I’m finding the dissonance a little jarring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a decent point and click; it looks good, the puzzles are decent, the story’s been engaging so far, it’s just that I went in expecting a noir game and instead found a light-hearted detective parody full of cat puns and the odd noir flash sequence. The one thought that keeps coming back to me is that Nine Noir Lives would be a perfect point and click game for young players to dig their claws into – except that it’s about a murder and frequently references drugs and alcohol.
So, my first impression? In terms of meeting my expectations for noir, it’s a bit of a swing and a miss – there are certainly elements that are done well but it’s too inconsistent. As a point and click, however, it’s decent. If a point and click game about an anthropomorphic cat detective sounds interesting to you, go for it!