LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives

Nine Noir Lives Review

Game: Nine Noir Lives
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure
System: Steam (Windows, macOS & Linux)
Developer|Publisher: Silvernode Games
Controller Support: No
Price: UK £16.99 | US $19.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: September 7th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Uber Strategist. 

Cat Gamers

Nine Noir Lives is a point-and-click adventure where you play a detective on a mission to solve a mystery in a crime-riddled city. Also, everybody’s a cat. Cats have featured so prominently in reviews for Ladies Gamers this year that I’m starting to wonder if the name should be changed to Cat Loving Gamers. I don’t hate cats but seriously developers what’s with all the cat lovers in 2022? If you need an animal to make oodles of games about might I suggest the Otter? Anyway… if you’re a fan of point-and-click adventures then Nine Noir Lives is recommended to add to your collection. But there isn’t much difference here from the familiar formula.

LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives
Cats come in all shapes and sizes

Noir Comedy

Private detective Cuddles has taken on the case of his career. A mob boss’s son is dead and he’s the only detective free to take on the case. With the help of your assistant Tabby, who you occasionally take control of, it’s up to the two felines to point and click their way to the truth. The game’s world is set in a dark noir-style city which is populated by warm and fuzzy cats of all shapes and sizes dressed in people’s clothes. Also, there is a Racoon.

I quickly warmed to the setting. The characters are instantly likeable with Cuddles being cunning yet clumsy and Tabby optimistic and intelligent. But it’s not just the main protagonists, almost all of the NPCs in the game are memorable and brought to life with excellent voice acting that outperforms most AAA titles. Graphics are hand drawn with a cartoon-like style that fits well with the point-and-click design. There are some limitations to the character animations which often get repeated and look a bit off in the game’s cutscenes. But these niggles are easily overlooked by the game’s indie charm.      

LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives
It often helps to exhaust all dialogue options

Caution for Parents

The story’s premise is quite serious but the game’s overall tone is one of humour. There will be multiple points where the characters will make some witty jibe. My favourite moment is when Cuddles talks with a Zorro-style accent into his Dictaphone he names Ramon. Some jokes land and some not so much.

The story follows a pretty typical detective noir style plot which I liked for the most part. When the game decides to get all serious with its messaging at the end it just feels a bit out of place next to the comedy. The game presents with a family-friendly feel, but I would caution parents, the game features cat-themed drug references and extremely mild sexual references.         

LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives
Point, click and sometimes lick

Point and Lick

Nine Noir Lives follows the typical design of a point-and-click adventure. Using just the mouse you can move your character and use objects making this a brilliant one-handed game if you need to hold a baby in one arm and game with the other. The gameplay sees you talking to characters and exploring the areas looking for objects to pick up and then either combining these with other items or using them in a correct spot to further the plot.

The unique option in this game is you can choose to also lick things. This is rarely used to actually solve problems and more for comedic effect. It was quite amusing hearing Cuddles or Tabby confidently explain why they won’t lick an object or even a fellow cat. There is no death or failure unless you walk away due to losing patience with the puzzles. 

LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives
Explore various locations around the city

A Little Help

As is the case with point-and-click adventures you will inevitably hit the wall where you’re not sure how to progress. For me, this is quite often. Some of the solutions to the game’s puzzles are quite long-winded, requiring you to backtrack across areas multiple times to figure it out. In the old days, you would have to try clicking everywhere and exhaust every item in your inventory on everything until you finally figured things out or give up, at least that was the case for me.

Here though, the game does offer a story mode which offers more direct hints if you’re in a pickle. If you’re really stuck you still have the internet and could check out the games discord page which is featured in the main menu.

LadiesGamers Nine Noir Lives
What’s in the box?

Conclusion – Case Closed

Nine Noir Lives is a solid point-and-click adventure with excellent voice acting and a well-presented premise. A casual puzzler to play with the mouse in one hand and stroke your cat in the other or sip a coffee. The formula feels very by the book, not really doing anything new for the genre. If you haven’t liked this style of game before this is not going to win you over. But if you are a fan or even if you’re new and just want to test the waters Nine Noir Lives comes highly recommended. You don’t even need to like cats to enjoy it. 

Final Verdict: I Like it  I like it

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