Quick Review: Dirty Split
It’s rare for me to whole-heartedly recommend a point-and-click title to the masses. As a genre that’s often stewed in puzzle-solving, sleep inducing paces, and lukewarm gameplay, it is arguably that one cup of tea that isn’t for everyone. But things are about to change. On a night where I frantically scoured for a good detective adventure fix, I happened upon Uwe Sittig’s Dirty Split – a most fortunate find that unfortunately continues existing in obscurity even after 3 years.
Dirty Split has you playing as mild mannered, LA based P.I. Al Baxter, who is summoned to the home of the renowned Vanderbuilt family. The late fiancée of Denise Vanderbuilt has been recently slain, and amidst the chaos her brother, Walter, has been framed and locked up. As Baxter, it is up to you to follow the clues and prove Walter’s innocence.
Thankfully, Dirty Split’s puzzles aren’t the most brain teasing, point-and-click veterans may say they’re too simple. And the story itself isn’t exactly something that exists in the uncharted waters of mystery narratives. What’s really going to reel you in is Dirty Split’s gorgeous retro aesthetics. Inspired by the lively artwork of the ‘60s, everything in the game is tastefully treated to this lavish style – from the background and character models, down to the speech, hand, and eye icons. This stylish imagery simply leaps at you, in a literal sense, as it removes any need for pixel hunting.
However, a big concern among eclectic indie games is how quickly things crash and burn when quality sound is ignored. Not Dirty Split. Aside from an appropriately smooth and flavorful period soundtrack, Dreamagination clearly chose its voice actors well – with no instances of over dramatics or misuse of tone, and a modest-wit script to boot. Taking this into account, as well as its attractive visuals, it’s clear that Dirty Split knows exactly what it’s doing. Like a ravishing catwalk model that never misses a strut, from beginning to end, it’s damn near impossible to identify any flaws, any that would gnaw on your attention.
Even if you’re not into point-and-clicks, and you’re just looking for something to pass the time relaxing on a rainy day – in a coffee house sort of way – Dirty Split is definitely worth your time. And the best part is it’s on the house.