Indie developer The Wandering Ben has released the launch trailer for the new narrative mystery game A Case of Distrust, and the influences are obvious and effective.
The game uses a gorgeous 2D art style, created using a technique called rotoscoping, and projects vibes of Alfred Hitchcock’s film and the poster design of Saul Bass, the latter being cited as a particular influence of the game.
The narrative—inspired by the detective fiction novels of Raymond Chandler (The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye) and Dashiell Hammett (The Thin Man, Red Harvest)—follows private investigator Phyllis Cadence Malone as she explores 1924 San Francisco to uncover the truth behind a mysterious crime. Gameplay has been described as a blend of the board game Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and adventure games 80 Days and Phoenix Wright, utilising old-school point-and-click mechanics to advance the narrative.
Ben Wander (BioWare, Visceral Games) left AAA development and founded The Wandering Ben in 2015 to create A Case of Distrust. He sought to create dramatic stories in unfamiliar settings, focusing on individual characters. While Wander is responsible for the game’s art, coding, design, and narrative, the audio was created by Mark “Marowi” Wilson (Team Bondi, Riot Games). A Case of Distrust was released earlier this week on PC and Mac via Steam, published by Serenity Force.