It’s not hard to rope me into a good noir tale. I love the mystery, the way things simmer under the surface, the danger and drama of it all. So when I heard about Hauma, a “detective noir interactive graphic novel” I was intrigued, and glad to get my hands on the demo to get a sneak peek.
Hauma drops you into the world of Judith, a detective who’s rough around the edges and hot on the trail of the people who assaulted her at a strange gathering at a contemporary art museum turned nightclub 2 years ago.
When I say drop you in, I mean it. A lot of exposition is dumped on you at the very beginning, and as progress on the game continues, it’d be nice to see pacing altered a little bit. Voice acting in Hauma is great, and the whole cast does a good job of bringing a sense of mystery and at times a sense of humor to the proceedings. That said, writing falters a little and leans a bit too hard on cliche for my tastes.
Hauma bills itself as a sort of interactive graphic novel but shares some DNA with point and click adventures, too, and it’s a good combination. As Judith, you’ll have a chance to work through dialogue trees and to search rooms for things you can interact with, and while not super complex, gameplay was also never boring.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Hauma so far is its art style. Hauma is gorgeous, with a vibrant palette and a refined sort of hand-drawn feel, and what soundtrack Hauma possesses is similarly stylish. Puzzles feel a little simple but as it’s a demo, it’s early on in the game and we expect there could be a building difficulty that would be very engaging.
Overall, as is, Hauma is a mixed bag. Its story seems a little bit weak in the state it’s currently in, but gameplay is fun and visually, it’s stunning. We’re curious what becomes of Judith as she continues to get closer to unravelling the mysteries contained in her unusual night at the museum cum nightclub, and will be excited to get our hands on the full version when it releases.
Hauma’s demo is available now on Steam during the Game Festival.
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