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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Shapeshifting Detective is a supernatural-noir murder mystery FMV game. Assume the role of a detective and investigate the murder by shapeshifting into any character… even the next victim.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Nov 6, 2018
    In respect to the murder mystery theme and The Shapeshifting Detective is a shining light in immersive story-telling. It may lack in gameplay variety but the shapeshifting mechanic and how it is integrated into the story really sets it apart.
  2. Nov 19, 2018
    The Shapeshifting Detective will bring you some intrigue and mystery while you try to guess who is the murderer of Dorotha Shaw. A unique FMV adventure.
  3. Nov 6, 2018
    No matter if you’re looking for a goofy FMV good time or an engaging mystery to solve, The Shapeshifting Detective delivers. You can see where the corners were cut if you push too hard in the wrong places, but the story and characters drive the game past those shortcomings.
  4. Nov 7, 2018
    It’s hard not to be charmed by The Shapeshifting Detective. From its presentation – with an eerie local radio station playing spooky stories in the background – to its alluring characters and enthralling narrative that dances with supernatural themes, there’s a lot to love.
  5. Jan 3, 2019
    With multiple endings, you steer your mystery taking uncertain turns in the hope they lead you in the right direction. The unique shapeshifting mechanic is absolutely genius. The flow of the scenes is done quite well, with the only hiccup being the time you felt was wasted from showing up at empty rooms. You may feel content with your ending but may also have that itch to try again to see all of the possible outcomes. I don’t tend to watch movies more than once, but one that changes constantly in a video game format is something I can definitely get on board with.
  6. Nov 7, 2018
    Being an FMV means that much of the game’s weight is resting on both its writing and its acting. Unfortunately, the quality here tends to fluctuate. There’s also some odd design choices that hurt the game’s otherwise decent pacing and structure. That being said and overall, The Shapeshifting Detective is just about entertaining enough and interesting enough to recommend.
  7. Nov 14, 2018
    The Shapeshifting Detective tries so hard to create a game that looks like movies, but it has failed to fulfill its potentials and the final product is a somehow shallow experience without much replayability values.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Nov 11, 2018
    The story had me hooked from start to finish because it was interesting at all times and it made me always want to find out what happenedThe story had me hooked from start to finish because it was interesting at all times and it made me always want to find out what happened next. Each character present in the story had a lot of depth to them and they all felt important which in turn made the story stand out even more. I was very impressed and in some ways surprised with the amount of replaybility the game had. The presentation side of the game ticks all of the right boxes because both the visuals and sound design create a very immersive experience. I really enjoyed being able to choose what dialogue options I wanted because it gave me a great sense of freedom and it made me become more attached to the game. In terms of the gameplay side of things there isn’t too much you can do which may be off-putting for some. If you don’t like these types of game’s then there isn’t anything new present here that will change your mind. The FMV genre seems to split opinions right down the middle and it’s either a genre you love or hate with a passion. I’m a fan of the genre and it’s nice to see that there has been a nice steady amount of game’s released in recent years. Some of them have been good and some of them have lacked in several areas but thankfully the new release called The Shapeshifting Detective is definitely one of the good ones. In fact it may very well be the best FMV I’ve played so far because it features an unforgettable story packed with character’s that are not only interesting but packed with depth as well. When it comes to the gameplay there isn’t a great deal available to you and if you’re not a fan of these types of game’s then there isn’t anything here that will change your mind. This is a shame because if you’re sitting on the fence with this genre then I urge you to make this game your first in this genre because you can tailor how you want the dialogue to go and this does give the game quite a bit of replaybility. At the end of the day then The Shapeshifting Detective is a masterpiece in parts and if you love a good story that hooks you throughout then you owe yourself to get this game. Expand
  2. Nov 21, 2018
    So, I can't help but feel D'Avekki Studios owes quite a lot to Contradiction: Spot the Liar! Why? Well Contradiction was a fantastic FMV gameSo, I can't help but feel D'Avekki Studios owes quite a lot to Contradiction: Spot the Liar! Why? Well Contradiction was a fantastic FMV game and is at least partly responsible for a renewed interest in FMV games. Part of that is the great acting but far more importantly in my opinion are the dialogue mechanics. The interviewing process had a set of standard dialogue options and questions the player character could ask but also an inventory of items that the player character could question the person they're interviewing about. This game is no Contradiction. This suffers from many of the same problems as the Studios earlier title "The Infectious Madness of Dr. Dekker". A little too pretentious an opening with little context given for the player character. The mechanic of shape shifting to get the secrets out of a tightly knit group of suspects is interesting and is the highlight of the game. It's a shame then that it's rather shallow. Often I found interactions between characters that I thought would be interesting and handy to be disappointingly unavailable for no given reason. Contradiction was a great game because in addition to a sense of humor it allowed you to cut through a mystery. It's satisfying figuring out an item to question a suspect about to force them to admit to lies or open up their secrets. The difference is here that mainly you just have to press through the combinations of forms you can take and talk to the relevant characters while not being a complete rube and behaving out of character. It feels a little on rails. The scenes are awful to look at the camera showing a bunch of distorted restless images while choosing dialogue options. Like most dialogue based games the dialogue options felt very limited there were times obvious paths to getting the needed info that are cut off because the player character doesn't think to ask it. The weird disjointed structure of needing to hail a cab and move through hotel rooms often leads to an irritatingly sluggish pace. Thankfully some spooky stories told in the background during the inactive times really are the best part of this game and are ultimately the only major reason to purchase it in my opinion. Another really gets on my nerves are the vague ways the characters speak. Most of the actors play their parts well, but the writing just seems off. I have a theory as to why this is. You see the culprit is randomly chosen in a failed attempt to add replayability. A thing that peeved me playing through Doctor Dekker. A good mystery starts with all the suspects seemingly having a possible motive and then over time you can start piecing together who was where doing what and you get not only a picture of the murder but also of the suspects. Trying to keep all the suspects possible culprits makes the characters stale because they need to be able to not be the culprit and at the same time be able to be the culprit throughout the almost the entire game. The motives behind the murder are barely established outside of a few late game pieces of dialogue and it felt very unsatisfying to me. A far better decision would be to write a murder story and I know this may come as a shock have the player solve some dialogue based puzzles to solve the murder. It's clear the writers didn't phone this in, but the attempt to add replayability feels like it cut the story up and threw the substantial bits out so the remaining bits could be rearranged to squeeze replayability where there was none. If you enjoy some nice atmosphere and games with little in the way of stimulating interactivity things that play a bit more like a movie you may enjoy this. However, I am left wanting a lot more satisfying interactive experiences. Expand