Something intoxicating happened during this Dark Nights With Poe and Munro review that was either the flow of memories of life studying Video Production or the mild fascination with Leah Cunard – the actress who plays Munro. Why not start with a creepy opener?
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FMV games deserve more attention, not just for the sake of it, but because it won’t be long until Skynet fulfils its objective by replacing all our protagonists with pixel-based characters. Let’s make the most of fellow meat bags while we have the chance.
Perhaps Night Trap or Command & Conquer Red Alert ballsed it up a bit by employing hammy acting (Dark Nights With Poe and Munro has more a majority share) and poisoning the well for others. But Not For Broadcast paved the way for salvation – easily one of the best games I’ve played.
Dark Nights With Poe and Munro Review
With Paul Baverstock and Andrea Valls stealing the show, in Dark Nights With Poe and Munro, Munro is the object of my affection with her magnetic appeal. My god, are these two a couple IRL? The chemistry between them is nuts. Not a Ross and Rachel type thing, but it’s almost as if they are mirroring each other. But enough with the hyperbole, what’s Dark Nights With Poe and Munro all about?
Dark Nights With Poe and Munro is a pseudo-public access/X Files radio show – or live podcast if you will, of two characters using the pseudonyms Poe and Munro. They embrace the quirky and absurd, taking calls from their fanbase, and finding themselves in situations that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Darkside Detective case.
Think of it as a choose your own adventure if you will, and that’s pretty much what the game element is. It’s important to pay attention to what is being said as quite often, you’ll have a somewhat QTE where you decide upon the duo’s actions.
A lot of the time, the options are ambiguous. An image will show, or perhaps one of the two protagonists will show up in a 24-like split-screen, and selecting a panel will determine the outcome. What they do isn’t clear until you choose it, as unless you’re Barthes and have a penchant for semiotics, you have to experiment.
Believe Nothing You Hear, And Only One Half That You See
As each of the six episodes can be something like 20 minutes each, the replay value is very high, and you want to repeat play. Forget achievements, Dark Nights With Poe and Munro encourages the player to act out every possible path. Even for completionist sake, this doesn’t take long to do, but so moreish.
Let’s jump to the scathing criticism. Well, not scathing, but anytime something negative crops up in a review, I feel like I’m personally kicking a puppy in the teeth. Poe, Klemens Koehring, is the epitome of chewing the scenery. His enunciation and constant movement rubbed me up the wrong way for the first two adventures. It’s was pretty distracting, but it was my immediate love for Munro that made me endure his quirkiness.
But she’s not entirely safe. Her accent felt as authentic as an Ikea pot plant. Was she American? Scottish? I couldn’t work it out until a quick search on the internet to see she’s British and has a very charming voice. I’m married. Still, her presence dominated the screen for me – her intense eye contact with Poe, without being invasive, was mesmerising, and her enthusiasm made me appreciate Poe more.
The lighting in the game was textbook, and the key light on Munro was overwhelming, while Poe’s profile was in the shadows. But give the gentleman a clap, as he carried his scenes well, even if the content was often absurd and the themes such as threat, murder and what-not are very nonchalant. Just killed a man? Meh.
I Wish I Could Write As Mysterious As A Cat
There’s that expression of ‘so bad that it’s good’, but Dark Nights With Poe and Munro isn’t bad, in fact, I really enjoyed it. The title sequences, while not remotely interactive, are stunning and the vibe that the story gives out is brilliant. I want to interject that it’s a Lynchian type production, but it’s not in the same ballpark. Dark Nights With Poe and Munro is like a B-movie material, but so much better because it’s so well-polished.
Dismissing my thoughts on the lighting, which works unusually well in, the camera angles, editing and again, chemistry in this game are so moreish. Yes, Poe overdoes it, and Munro’s accent is up and down like a rollercoaster, but I’m rooting for them. A spin-off on Netflix, or even a dedicated podcast would do these two wonders.
While you can’t make either one pull off a Hadouken or type in commands like ‘give Munro goldfish’, the action paths make you feel part of the production, and if you don’t like the outcome, go back and play it again.
Quite frankly, I couldn’t get enough of these two and will be seeking out The Shapeshifting Detective, their previous outing. D’Avekki Studios are onto a winning formula without being formulaic (erm…), and Dark Nights With Poe and Munro should encourage more developers to experiment in this genre.
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In short, an excellent FMV experience, and if you’re a fan of the genre and want something engaging, seek it out. I’m off to stalk Leah Cunard and use some fake tan on the mark my swiftly removed wedding ring has left.
- Fantastic chemistry between the two leads.
- Mental scenarios make this an instant cult classic.
- Lots of paths, and plenty of replay options.
- Quick-fire episodes if you’re short on time.
- Unlimited time option when making decisions.
- Lots of scenery-chewing.
- Not always clear what the option will do.
- A bit limited on locations, but not really a con.