[REVIEW] Aviary Attorney
By Dan Spence on January 12th 2016
Aviary Attorney is a game developed by Sketchy Logic in which you play as an anthropomorphic falcon criminal-defence lawyer in 19th century Paris. (Which may be the most niche description of a game I’ve ever written…)
Aviary Attorney sees you take on the role of Jayjay Falcon as he investigates crimes across Paris so that he may better defend his clients in their upcoming criminal trials. With his quick-witted assistant Sparrowson at his side, it’s up to Falcon to ensure that justice is served so that the truly innocent may walk free once more.
One of the game’s greatest strengths lies in its presentation. All of the character designs in Aviary Attorney are directly taken from the artwork of 19th century French caricaturist J. J. Grandville, an artist whose work is primarily comprised of lithographs. Grandville’s art gives the game a sense of authenticity which is mainly due to the fact that his work would have been very much in vogue around the time that events of the game are set.
The soundtrack too, embraces the game’s 19th century aesthetic perfectly. The majority of the game’s music consists of covers of the work of Romantic era composer Camille Saint-Saëns whose work would have also been prominent in the 1840s.
It’s these two things that give Aviary Attorney its very distinctive style, the combination of Grandville’s lithographic artwork and Saint-Saëns’ musical compositions are both wonderful additions to an already solid game.
One of the game’s other strengths lies in its great writing, with one case even featuring multiple branching paths depending on the outcome. The story of Aviary Attorney is an enjoyable one with a number of genuinely funny moments and some wonderfully memorable characters; personal favourites include: Baron Rorgueil the cigar-smoking lion businessman and Juan Querido, an incredibly dramatic fox who just also happens to be the Prince of Spain. Aviary Attorney has a brand of irreverent humour that helps to keep things light-hearted, especially when the story deals with heavier subjects like murder, corruption and revolution. The game also features some shockingly bad puns, if you’re into that sort of thing.
At its core the game consists of interviewing witnesses and investigating crime scenes in search of evidence that the police may have missed. Interviewing witnesses is akin to playing a visual novel while crime scene investigation is represented like a basic point and click game. This all takes place within a fixed time limit in the days leading up to the trial. During the trial the witnesses all present their testimony which the player is then given the opportunity to cross-examine and disprove using their collected evidence.
It’s immediately obvious that Aviary Attorney draws a lot of its inspiration from Capcom’s Phoenix Wright series and it’s somewhat difficult not to compare the two. Both the point and click investigation and courtroom sections of both games are very similar, both games also deal with serious subject-matter in relatively light-hearted ways. The two games are similar, but Aviary Attorney does enough things differently that it should still provide plenty of enjoyment to even a seasoned veteran of the Phoenix Wright series.
Aviary Attorney is not a game without its faults, however. My main gripe with the game regards the surprising number of typos that I encountered whilst playing. It’s a fundamental error that unfortunately mars an otherwise great experience and frankly I’m shocked that it wasn’t rectified before launch. Hopefully these mistakes will be corrected in a future update.
Overall, Aviary Attorney provides a fun new take on the already established Phoenix Wright formula. While it may not be as long or as deep as some of the game’s in Capcom’s popular series, it more than makes up for these supposed shortcomings with its phenomenal presentation and charming writing. I’m eager to continue my adventures with Jayjay Falcon and I’d be over the moon to see the announcement of either a sequel or paid DLC.
Aviary Attorney is RECOMMENDED
Aviary Attorney is available for £10.99 on Steam.
Posted on January 12, 2016, in Indie Games, PC Games, Reviews and tagged Aviary Attorney, Game Reviews, games, gaming, indie games, PC Games, point-and-click, Sketchy Logic, video games. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.