Emerald City Confidential

She looked like trouble. I could see by the way she cased the room that she'd seen it all, her flint-hard glare working me over like I was some two-bit thug with a Saturday Night Special. She said her name was Petra and she came from the Emerald City. She shot me a stare that said she could handle anything -- anything but this. Then she asked for my help on a case. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a dame decked out in green.

The world of Oz has changed since the war. The war with the Phanfasms left Oz different, corrupted. The carefree land of Munchkins and yellow brick roads has given way to a land where magic is banned and Queen Ozma rules with an ice-cold gaze. The streets of the Emerald City are filled with desperate souls who toil day and night just to survive, laboring under the weight of the filth and crime that surrounds them.

The law doesn't care about them. Whatever crime Ozma can't ignore is left to Oz's greatest lawyer, The Lion, to bury under an avalanche of paperwork and loopholes. Dorothy? There's nothing but royal whims and a purse full of emeralds between her and the gutter. Dorothy just can't manage to keep her nose clean.

Petra stands up for the truth in the sea of lies that surrounds Oz -- at least when she can get paid for it. The private investigation game is the closest this city gets to an honest gig. This time she landed a real troublesome case, but the pay was just too good to pass up. Will she find the truth before she's consumed by the fog of corruption and lies that fill the streets of the Emerald City?

Why You Should Check This Out: Emerald City Confidential has one of the best stories of any Adventure Game I've played in a long time. It's charming, whimsical and still maintains that hard-edged noir sensibility. The puzzles are great and the art is simply beautiful. The dialog is wonderfully written. Never a dull moment, I stayed on the edge of my seat the entire time. It's also got an easy built-in hint system if you get stuck. Emerald City Confidential has already put itself at the top of my list of favorite games for 2009.

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Comments

Oh DAMN! thank you for sharing this. I'll get started on that demo asap. I'm really looking forward to this one!
The screenshots are reminiscent of The Colonel's Bequest, a game I played the pants off of when it came out. Oh, sierra...

(edit) Hooked by the demo - any idea on the approximate length of the game?

Wow, this looks like it's right up my alley. Thanks so much for highlighting it, I can't wait to get home and try the demo.

I'm genuinely excited

Man, I thought Dorothy

Spoilers wrote:

[color=white] goes home at the end of the movie. Am I wrong? Maybe she didn't actually get transported back. Maybe she merely copied her consciousness into another version of herself in the real world, while the one in Oz opened her eyes after clicking her heels together, despair filling her tears with the reality that she had been scammed, fully and utterly scammed.[/color]

Nonetheless, this looks neat!

Yoyoson wrote:
Man, I thought Dorothy
Spoilers wrote:

[color=white] goes home at the end of the movie. Am I wrong? Maybe she didn't actually get transported back. Maybe she merely copied her consciousness into another version of herself in the real world, while the one in Oz opened her eyes after clicking her heels together, despair filling her tears with the reality that she had been scammed, fully and utterly scammed.[/color]

Nonetheless, this looks neat!
Spoiler wrote:
[color=white]In some of the original later Oz books, Dorothy keeps returning to Oz and eventually stays[/color]

(edit) Hooked by the demo - any idea on the approximate length of the game?
I wasn't paying that much attention, maybe 6-8 hours? Maybe longer, the time flew by.

Man, that looks awesome.

I'm all over this when I get home from work.

I keeping this as a reward for finishing a project today. This looks great!

I don't know if you're consciously looking for them or not, but I appreciate that the last two Fringe Busters games have been available for the Mac. I am much, much more likely to purchase and play a game if I don't have to switch operating systems to run it.

adam.greenbrier wrote:
I don't know if you're consciously looking for them or not, but I appreciate that the last two Fringe Busters games have been available for the Mac. I am much, much more likely to purchase and play a game if I don't have to switch operating systems to run it.
Not looking for them specifically but I'm glad there's more Mac game support out there!

PyromanFO wrote:
(edit) Hooked by the demo - any idea on the approximate length of the game?
I wasn't paying that much attention, maybe 6-8 hours? Maybe longer, the time flew by.

Nice - with this kind of quality, it's good to know it's got the staying power to back it up and flesh out the story. Just wanted to be sure that the demo didn't cover half the game.

This was promoted by Ex-Ziff Karen Chu on Geekbox.net's podcast this week. I don't think she worked on this game, she's an artist, but she now works at PlayFirst. After two recommendations in the same day, how can I not check this out?

Mmmh.

It downloads updates without triggering my firewall and the installer tries to haul in an Ask.com toolbar. That's enough to trigger my paranoia button.

I will play this for no other reason than that it has a Mac client. Thanks for writing this up, Allen!

Lucan wrote:
Mmmh.

It downloads updates without triggering my firewall and the installer tries to haul in an Ask.com toolbar. That's enough to trigger my paranoia button.

anything that installs in windows can install exceptions for itself in the firewall. It's by design, no need to be paranoid about that

PyromanFO wrote:
Lucan wrote:
Mmmh.

It downloads updates without triggering my firewall and the installer tries to haul in an Ask.com toolbar. That's enough to trigger my paranoia button.

It's not a bug, it's a feature! :)

Edited.

Hmm, this is the second place I've heard about this. Suppose I should check it out.

(If it only takes two places, I'll probably end up playing every game ever made. Oh well. :P)

PyromanFO wrote:
Lucan wrote:
Mmmh.

It downloads updates without triggering my firewall and the installer tries to haul in an Ask.com toolbar. That's enough to trigger my paranoia button.

anything that installs in windows can install exceptions for itself in the firewall. It's by design, no need to be paranoid about that :)

Why yes thank you! I had re-installed only a few days ago, forgot to tell the firewall not to listen to the windows firewall.

It's a good demo btw.

[quote]Man, I thought Dorothy

Spoilers wrote:

[color=white]... goes home at the end of the movie. Am I wrong? Maybe she didn't actually get transported back. Maybe she merely copied her consciousness into another version of herself in the real world, while the one in Oz opened her eyes after clicking her heels together, despair filling her tears with the reality that she had been scammed, fully and utterly scammed.[/color]

Nonetheless, this looks neat!

This keys off the books more... if Raymond Chandler had written them. Dorothy went back to Oz a ton of times. I read a ton on 'em when I was about eight. I remember 'em too. I reread one a few years ago (when I was in my fifties) and enjoyed it.

I think the game's really good and really fun. I really appreciate the work they did to make the game mistake-proof for you. You can't go back in time and get what you forgot. You can't save games. But you don't need to step back in time, because the game's so carefully put together. I forgot the Oblivion Pills myself and realized it 30% of the game later. Didn't have to replay anything to get them.

There was a cool article about Baum (and why librarians hate him) in the New York Review of Books about 15 years ago. It's very interesting and entertaining.