Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a taxi driver in Paris? Have you also wondered what it would be like to be a taxi driver in Paris that survives an attack from a serial killer? And have you also wondered what it would be like to be a taxi driver in Paris who survived an attack by a serial killer and who is also being forced to investigate and find the killer by a corrupt police officer? Well, if you have those extremely specific wishes, they have come true as Night Call has made its way onto the Nintendo Switch.
In Night Call you play as a taxi driver in France’s historic capital city. A few weeks before the events of Night Call, you barely escaped with your life after a serial killer tried to add you to their ever-growing list of victims. After waking up from a medically induced coma, you are back in your taxi ready to get on with life. That is until a corrupt detective jumps in the back of your cab and tells you that you need to find out who this killer is, or the police will just arrest you (thanks to a shady past) and make you spend the rest of your life in prison. It’s a setup to a story that is both ludicrous and intriguing. There are five different scenarios to choose from, each with a slightly different killer. Each scenario lasts six nights, so you don’t have much time to try and find the true killer and stay out of the big house.
The primary activity you’ll be doing throughout your investigation is talking to your customers. You’ll meet a whole bunch of crazy characters, a bit like a real-life night shift. You’ll need to read their dialogue carefully and also read the scene description between the dialogue to make sure you get the passenger to trust you enough so they can reveal important bits of information. You will also be able to collect clues or places of interest from newspapers, listening to the radio and visiting special areas. Now there are (on paper, anyway) a lot of different characters you’ll be interacting with, around 70, actually, but even though that seems like a huge cast of characters, it’s not.
One of the issues with Night Call is that there are simply not enough characters as you will find yourself repeating the same conversations with the same people. Also, some of the dialogue can be, well, a bit dull, and there is no option to skip the dialogue. Most of the time, though, the conversations are extremely interesting and keep you hooked. A bit like being in a coffee shop and hearing the table next you talking about something juicy.
Managing your time and resources in Night Call is just as important as your mission to find the true killer. A big part of why you are tasked with this investigation is your job. So, you need to make sure that you are still picking up enough fairs to keep your boss happy. You also need to make sure there is enough fuel in the car and also make sure you have enough money to live on and carry out your investigation. Night Call is part detective and part taxi life sim.
The other part of your investigation takes place back at your studio apartment after your shift. This is where you have your suspect board with all the clues you’ve found while being on shift. Here you try and match a clue to one of the suspects and build up enough evidence that you’re happy to declare that person as the deranged serial killer who tried to kill you all those weeks ago. Some of the time, the person you pick will be down to guessing rather than being sure thanks to your investigation and evidence. But a bit of guessing is how some of the greatest detectives get their perps, isn’t it?
Developer: Raw Fury
Publisher: Raw Fury
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 24th June 2020
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Night Call was provided by the publisher.