If I were to tell you that there was a black and white, noir themed point and click adventure game, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye. If I told you that said game was also completely done in claymation, you might be slightly taken aback. If I added that this game was also a musical, you probably would be giving me the same incredulous look that I gave my computer monitor when I read the description of Dominique Pamplemousse. As a fan of everything that makes up this game, I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to try out such a strange title. What would then follow would be one of the most charming hour and a half experiences I have ever had with a video game.
You are taken through the defining case in modern-day detective Dominique Pamplemousse’s career. A tale of corporate greed, incessant auto-tuners, and music– oh, so much music. Along the way, Dominique and the rest of the cast will regale you with song, all performed by the game’s creator, Deirdra ‘Squinky’ Kiai.
Dominique Pamplemousse (PC [Reviewed], OSX)
Developer: Deirdra Kiai Productions
Publisher: Deirdra Kiai Productions
Released: March 11, 2014
Dominique Pamplemousse is yet another beautiful example of why the indie scene is flourishing right now. It’s a project that holds the author’s creative vision at its heart and never strays from it. This is Deirdra Kiai’s vision through and through, and it does nothing but benefit from that. This isn’t just a simple noir tale, there is an interesting bit of gender identification and public perception thrown in for good measure. Through how characters handle it in the narrative, you can tell that its one that the creator cares about and handles it deftly in the writing, never making it the central narrative focus but weaving it throughout at the same time.
As a fan of the various genres and elements combined here, I can say that I was first disappointed and then thoroughly charmed by what is offered here. The biggest detraction is, unfortunately, what I was looking forward to the most: the claymation. That’s not to say that the animation is bad, as it’s especially competent for the budget and time frame, but it’s not up to what you would traditionally consider as claymation. The same can be said about the music, but only at first. As soon as I realized that Deirdra was going to be the voice and singer for all of the actors, I found the performances immensely charming and competent for the range brought to the table.
Dominique Pamplemousse is an interesting game, to say the least. It successfully pulls off its point-and-click gameplay, its modern noir aesthetic, and its musical aspects. Though, if you really want to play one of those genres, don’t expect a full-blown musical or gritty noir story, but you will get a fantastic small experience made by someone who clearly cares about what they’re making. This is a game well worth the asking price. And at $5, you really can’t go wrong. Spend an afternoon experiencing a fascinatingly unique title among the sea of indie titles currently on the market.