I’m new to the genre of graphic adventure/point-and-click type games, so I agreed to give Knee Deep a try to help round out some of my gaming experience. I have to say that despite my skeptical attitude towards a game that didn’t include killing things, this new release from Prologue Games unexpectedly grabbed my interest.
Set in a run-down, swampy Florida town called Cypress Knee, the story begins with the discovery of an apparent suicide. The body is identified as actor Tag Kern, whose semi-celebrity status stirs up the interest of law enforcement and media. Your job is to play three of these different curious characters and investigate the matter. Romana Teague is a feisty celebrity blogger for Fanrage, out to prove her worth to her boss. Jack Bellet is a down-and-out newspaper reporter who wants to get the facts. K.C. Gaddis is a private investigator summoned to Cypress Knee especially for this case. Each character has a bit of background to their life stories that creates an interesting dimension to the game.
Game mechanics are very simple. The majority of the game is choosing where to take your conversations. These decisions affect the attitudes of the townspeople you meet, as well as the information they divulge. Interesting bits of gathered information are stored and accessible within the menu system for later reference. Occasionally, you will have the opportunity to submit a blog post as Romana, a newspaper article as Jack, or a police report as K.C. based on the information you obtained. Choose the spin you want to take on this information- cautious, edgy, or inflammatory. Your choices will again affect your relationships with your boss and the subject of the story. Occasionally, you’ll be presented with a small puzzle to solve, but generally, this game is about conversation and report decisions.
The graphics are also simple, but the mood they create is perfect. Dark, with mysterious lighting, little extra fluff, and all parts of the games set in what look like theatrical stage sets, this game effectively creates an air of almost creepy mystery. The subtle music adds to this, creating an all-around unique game experience. One aspect I was very grateful for was the lack of voice acting. I think it would have been very distracting to the tone of the game. Like reading a book, it allows you to use a little bit of your own imagination.
So far, Knee Deep has had only one of three total Acts released. The end of Act 1 had a nice plot twist that had me definitely interested in playing through the rest of the game once released. This pleased me, because normally I wouldn’t find much worth in a game that doesn’t include upgrading weapons.
Overall, I am very pleased with a game that was able to win over my skeptical attitude about a very different genre of games. I recommend this for anyone who wants a laid-back, interesting way to dive into a mystery. I’m looking forward to Acts 2 and 3 being released soon.
Tl;dr – Knee Deep is a point-and-click adventure game that allows you to play three different characters investigating the apparent suicide of a washed-up actor. Simple yet unique and interesting, you won’t be able to help getting absorbed into a story with an outcome affected by the decisions you make.
Rating – 8/10, for a higher price-point.
Purchase – Steam £22.99 (£19.54 until July 13th)