Overboard, a new game from Inkle Studios, is a classic whodunnit, where you dunnit, but you have to convince everyone you didn’t.
It’s a murder, mystery, interactive visual novel game set in the 1930s aboard a ship going from England to America.
And it really does feel like a classic film noir from Hollywood’s golden era. It’s like a “Double Indemnity,” where the main character is the bad guy and the villains are all the good people who might find you out. So you’re rooting for the bad guy.
You play a woman who, in the opening animation, kills her husband by pushing him off the boat late at night while on the top deck of the ship. Then you wake up the next morning, and you have something like 6-8 hours to interact with the other passengers and throw them off the scent by either incriminating someone else for the murder or convincing them it was a suicide.
So it comes down to making the right dialogue choices and interacting with the right people.
It’s also a bit of a rogue-like, because it doesn’t take very long to get through the trip to America. And you’ll know whether you’ve succeeded or failed by the time you arrive.
Each time you start over, you have a better idea of where you need to go on the ship and who you need to interact with. And the more people you talk to, the more you get to know each character and what they may or may not know about the previous night.
I have failed a number of times, and I’ve succeeded in putting enough doubt in their minds that I’ve gotten away with it a few times. However, I have yet to successfully incriminate one of the other passengers. According to the trailer, getting someone else to take the fall appears to be the ultimate goal.
I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of all the options at my disposal. There’s a surprising amount of possible ways each interaction can play out. And you definitely can’t go to every room and interact with every character in every run. So there is a sense of trial and error for each run as well.
The game has a simple, sorta cartooney art style, that I actually quite like.
It’s a cool little game that’s well written, and has an intriguing premise. I definitely recommend checking this one out!
The game is out for PC and Nintendo Switch.