By Fabrice Stellaire / April 7th, 2018
|Release Date||December 22nd, 2015|
Imagine an Ace Attorney game that would take place in the 19th century, where the characters are all animals instead of humans. This is exactly how Aviary Attorney is designed. Borrowing the art of French caricaturist J.J Grandville, the story of Aviary Attorney takes place in the 19th century in Paris, during the July Monarchy, a constitutional monarchy that was created after the previous king, Charles X, was forced to abdicate in order to end public riots. The new king, Louis-Philippe I, now rules France. Falcon and Sparrowson are two lawyers defending various cases in Paris. But does the game win the suit?
The most striking element of the game is certainly its unusual use of pictures and art from the 19th century. You play the game while having the feeling you are reading an old book that belonged to your grandparents. It is quite refreshing and unusual enough, and all the screens in the game always look beautiful and well drawn. Our protagonists are two birds whose first case will consist of defending a noble cat lady accused of murder. The gameplay follows the pattern used in Ace Attorney games and comprises two distinct sequences. You first explore the places related to the murder, gathering evidence. Each time you visit a place related to the case, you spend one day, which means you have to make sure that each trip will be useful if you don’t want to lack evidence when the trial happens. You will sometimes have the possibility to spend your money to bribe witnesses in order to get additional information, or to buy specific items related to the case. Money is very useful in the game and spending it too quickly might cost you some opportunities later. A small blackjack game is available at some point in the game, and you can try to win more money if you feel lucky.
Then during the trial, you cross-examine witnesses and find discrepancies in their testimonies. The personality of characters is generally represented by the animal they embody, as cats are generally wealthy people, servants or poor people are often rodents, wolves are suspicious and intimidating characters, and birds work in different areas depending on their species. The story is rather entertaining and rhymed with classic music that fits the atmosphere of the game. The game can also be described as a criticism of the social inequalities that were rather common during the 19th century, where several revolutions happened. Society was trying to find new values but was still unable to completely give up on old social values, which caused a lack of stability that would last until 1870. Falcon, the main protagonist, is a lawyer whose personal story and background reflects those inner conflicts and you will later discover why.
The game only offers four acts which are a bit shorter than what you find in games like Ace Attorney (the game can be completed in 3 hours), but the quality of the art, music and writing compensates it. The fourth act also features several endings which depend on choices previously made. If you are looking for an entertaining adventure with unusual and beautiful art, Aviary Attorney is a good adventure game sold for $14.99 on Steam.
Review copy purchased by the reviewer.
Aviary AttorneyPCSketchy Logic