Deducing Death In The Case Of The Golden Idol

I’ve talked about Return of the Obra Dinn before and how it is one of my all-time favorite games. But then an issue arises when you have something so unique in style and substance that there is no way to replicate that feeling. Trust me, I have spent hours checking out lists and games that got kind of close, like games like Unheard, where you have to use auditorial clues to map out what happened and who everyone was in a scenario, but still, nothing quite hit home like Return of the Obra Dinn. Well, until today, that is. So this may be a little bit bigger of a game in scope and eyes on it than I usually like to talk about during my weekly indie finds. But I really want to talk about it.

The Case Of The Golden Idol, what a game. There is sort of an overarching storyline tying the deaths together. You can find this golden idol in each scene, whose significance only grows as the game progresses. But your goal in the game is to gather all the information you can in a scene and basically use your imagination and deductive skills to figure out how the deaths occur and who was responsible for them. The biggest draw for me in Golden Idol was that the cases were just presented to you in one frame. Usually, the frame at which the person you are investigating died or when their cause of death occurs.

Golden Idol Picture

All the pictures and examples I am going to be giving are from the first two scenes. I just don’t want to ruin the fun of it all, and it is a fantastic game, so ill say it right here, if you are a fan of Return of the Obra Dinn, then you should seek this game out. It will hit the same spot. Granted, you won’t be filling out a journal to keep track of anyone, but you will be cross-referencing people in these scenes multiple times as you gather names, possible causes of death, and really just recreating these brutal scenes. 

The art style is very unique. I’m not even sure what to really call it. It reminds me of 1990s adventure games like Quest for Glory. But everything looks great, lots of colors, and things tend to pop out at you. While this isn’t a scary game, there is a lot of disturbing deaths, and when the cult-like mentality comes on full force, it does get very creepy at times. 

Golden Idol Death

Unlike Obra Dinn, you won’t find multiple answers to the puzzles presented to you here. It is as far as I can tell, one solution is correct, and the rest is false. But we are given hits as we move from the exploring phase, which lets you gather evidence, and the thinking phase, which is where you attempt to deduce what happened. Both of which you can freely switch between. But in the thinking phase, you are presented with multiple boxes to fill out that will help you further identify people and what has happened. When each box is complete, you’ll get a nice little green outline to it and a green check mark. This helps, and usually, putting all the little boxes together will help you solve the big-picture mystery.

I am just really excited that another indie game is scratching that Return of the Obra Dinn itch for me. I have not finished the game yet, but you bet ill be playing it all week during my travel to the United States. It is something very unique and special. It is one of those games that I will be telling people to try out for years.

Golden Idol Map

If you want to try it out yourself, there is a demo over on Steam, where you can also pick up the game yourself. And follow the developer ( Two brothers from Latvia) on Twitter.

Golden Idol Murder

For more interviews, reviews and features, stay locked to DreadXP and check out the latest Dreadful Dev Diary for Sucker for Love: Date to Die For!