Last Window: The Secret of Cape West
Kyle Hyde may not be such a famous character in the land of games, as long as he keeps appearing in quality titles like his first adventure (Hotel Dusk: Room 215) he can grow his popularity without any problem. Last Window: The Secret of Cape West may be the next step to that eternal fame.
We’re one year after the events in Hotel Dusk. Hyde is back home in Cape West, an appartment complex in Los Angeles. The building used to be a hotel and still carries the secrets of various dramatic events in the past. Kyle gets completely sucked in when he discovers that the solution to solving his dad’s murder can be found here. Discovering the truth is of course not easy as the other inhabitants have their own secret and hidden agendas. From start to finish the different storylines manage to drag you along and everything is very well built up and deep. Not unimportant for this genre.
Most of the game consists of interaction with the other people of Cape West. Lots of dialogue but the idea is of course to read between the lines. You can often choose to go deeper in on what someone says and you often get to determine what Kyle will answer. It’s important to think about what you’ll have him say as wrong choices lead to angry people and game over. Contrary to many other games, the different choices of dialogue do not always lead to the same answers.
As the events and conversations throughout the game are important, it’s difficult to pick up when you’ve left the game aside for a while. Luckily the makers knew this would happen so they’ve implemented a notebook where you can write down the most important thing and, once a chapter has finished, reread it in a novel that gives an overview of what happened. The precise content of that book gets determined by the choices you made while playing. Now and then we managed to find an inconsistency in the system when it comes down to chronology, but overall this works pretty well.
Kyle Hyde’s detective instinct often takes the upper hand. You don’t only notice this in the dialogues but also in the searching through (hidden) hallways and rooms. Those that want to keep secrets in Cape West of course has them protected by riddles and puzzles so start training those brains. For solving puzzles you’ll also have to use the touchscreen in rather unusual ways which is quite nice as well.
Kyle’s adventures remind somewhat of an oldfashioned film noir and the graphics style nicely plays into this: the characters are beautifully hand-drawn in black&white, contrary to the environment which is displayed in oclor and animated “normally”. In the background you hear music which supports the game by giving it an additional movie-like effect and when reading the novel you can even choose which tune you like. Also while playing you can make this choice by means of a jukebox that’s present.
The only downpoint we could find is that this sequel looks an awful lot like the previous game. Luckily the overall quality, which is again excellent, makes that we don’t mind this at all. It’s of course a danger that keeps lurking around the corner when new games in the series arrive. We can handle the same twice, but not three times.
As final judgment we can say that this sequel scores very well on all accounts. The devs may have taken very few risks and didn’t add anything new, but you do get spoiled as gamer. If you appreciated the previous game, then you’ll probably like Last Window: The Secret of Cape West as well