Game: Sergeant Squidley: Space Cop
Genre: Mystery, Detective, Story Rich, Choices Matter
System: Steam (Windows)
Publisher | Developer: Ninjaconor
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £12.79 | US $14.99 | EU € 14,79
Release Date: July 5th, 2023
Review code used with many thanks to Game If You Are
Sergeant Squidley: Space Cop is a detective game that is very reminiscent of the old dos text-based adventure games and point-and-click adventures from the 80s and early 90s. Even within the title screen I was making comparisons to titles like Monkey Island 2 and Grim Fandango.
Story and Gameplay
The game starts with you meeting the titular character: Sergeant Squid. He had a swift promotion to detective following the death of the previous celebrity detective of Moontropolis City. You are given exactly a week of in-game time to solve the case of his death. I really liked the dialogue options and the quirky presentation of some characters; they are not quite as eccentric or weird as characters seen in the Ace Attorney games, but peaking into some of the melodramatic qualities that those characters have.
You’ll need to rely on your abilities, strength, investigation and handiness to solve the case. When starting a save for the game, you can allocate up to 6 points in each of these stats, with the catch that you only have 6 points to allocate at the game’s introduction. Certain items and interactions will require you to perform a stat check against your abilities. There are three types of stat checks, green, orange and red. Green stat checks are low ability checks ranging from 1 – 3, Orange 3 – 5 are intermediate checks, and Red 4 – 6 are difficult checks. Squidley also has a hunger and tiredness mechanic that, when neglected, will affect the probability of success against stat checks, so it’s important to get enough sleep and eat often.
You can do other additional things within your week of investigation, such as going on dates on the in-game app of Flintr or taking your child out on days out following your recent divorce. You can follow the path of being a committed police officer or being tempted by the crime syndicate within the game.
Art and Sound
As a tribute to the old adventure choice games, Sergeant Squidley uses all pixel art with an 80s stylisation within elements such as the dialogue box and discovered items menu. Colours are all vibrant, with a focus on high saturation of colour within the pixel art. In terms of presentation, no element didn’t match this 80s-pixel art homage.
The title screen also makes the title known with catchy chiptune 80s-styled music. Sergeant Squidley doesn’t feature too much music; however, with each passing in-game day, a new 8-bit track is played, which is a nice touch as you continue your adventure to solve the murder mystery.
Sergeant Squidley: Space Cop is a game I can recommend to anyone who likes visual novels or detective games. Whilst not a long game, about 3 hours of playtime, many in-game options offer replayability. Not to mention a likeable cast of characters with plenty of charm. Pick up Sergeant Squidley: Space Cop here on Steam.
Final Verdict: I Like it.