“Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz” has a promising premise and a very long title. The game works like a detective story, and you play the character Saburo. After an opening sequence with your grandfather that introduces the player to the mechanics of the game, Saburo Jinguji (now an adult) finds that his grandfather was murdered.
“Alternate Jake Hunter” picks up its jazz tones in its paint-like design and musical notes that sound whenever the player selects something on-screen. It places you firmly in a world that sounds like a classic detective story and feels like you’re investigating different pieces of the puzzle. But the atmospheric tones still left something to be desired.
When the game first began, I was quite taken with the artistry of the game. You had these anime-styled cell-shaded characters amidst a painted background. With it, you were also provided the chance to use a 360 camera which took this relatively two-dimensional world and gave it a third-dimensional perspective shift.
Allowing your character to pivot around the room in one spot to find objects to inspect was different from the ordinary, static point-and-click investigative games I’ve played in the past. However, the more I explored the world around me, the less engaged I felt with the artwork.
“Alternate Jake Hunter” has a way of making the world look painted in a very beautiful way at first glance – it’s even illustrated as such on its cover art. However, the more you’re in the world the more it just feels like real-life background images with a “posterize” filter placed over top (a filter that gives a poster/illustrated effect to images). It felt less polished than before and took away from the experience of the world around me once I realized this. Though I do understand artistically where they were going – the landscapes and backgrounds complimented the 360 camera, to open the world up a little more. It just wasn’t quite my preference.
Still, I enjoyed the mystery behind the game even if it came with heavy loads of dialogue and rhythmic choices in the story that makes it feel longer than it should in places.
The choices you made in the game had an impact on conversations and which ending you received, but I never got the feeling that negative choices would absolutely inhibit your progress. This is certainly different from the high-stakes “choose your adventure” games on other platforms where the wrong choice could end up in a game over.
“Alternate Jake Hunter” is actually one of many installments in the Jake Hunter Detective Series of games from Japan, going back as far as the ’80s. There, Saburo, also known as Jake Hunter primarily in the West, solves multiple mysteries from missing persons to unsuspecting deaths. Since I was playing with a pro, I felt more secure in how the game was leading me to one of the eventual endings, again never giving me the feeling that I was heading down a “wrong path”.
Overall, solving the case in “Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz” was entertaining enough, though this game didn’t manage to hold my attention very well during various parts of the story. If you are a fan of the Jake Hunter Detective Series, you will probably enjoy this new installment.
Review: Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz (Nintendo Switch)
While the mystery in “Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz” is entertaining, the rhythm felt off with multiple lulls and heavy dialogue that hampered the experience of the story overall.