Song of Farca – Review
Follow Genre: Visual novel, Puzzling
Developer: Wooden Monkeys
Publisher: Alawar Entertainment, East2West Games
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

Song of Farca – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Good stories and visuals that make you feel a bit like a P.I.
Bad: Conversation options that make sense are not accepted
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Certain stories have always enticed people to wonder about a ‘what if’ scenario. Many see themselves solving murder cases and playing the perfect detective, while others rather embark on an adventure to (and through) strange lands. This is often a way of escaping the daily drag of everyday life, and a risk-free way of dreaming about kicking in doors, fighting strange beasts, solving murder mysteries, and just experience the world around you. Song of Farca could technically be seen as one of those stories, though the protagonist isn’t going anywhere soon.

Story

Placed under house arrest after being incarcerated for a while, Isabella Song is back at her own crib and ready to start working again. As a Private Investigator, the law decided she wouldn’t be able to do her job without being able to go outside, so a mere ankle bracelet was deemed sufficient. Little did they know that miss Song is an excellent hacker and knows her way around the web; and in this time and age, the web is all she needs to get around…

Song of Farca gives you a story where you get to take on cases one at a time. From a missing dog to murders, people calling Isabella are in desperate need of something. She caters to their demands by researching areas, hacking cameras, and calling up people to interrogate them. While there is some gameplay that allows you to do these actions, most of it is automated and it’s essentially about discovering more of the story by adding up clues. In that perspective, Song of Farca could be seen more as a visual novel than a game with elaborate gameplay.

Graphics

Song of Farca is a beautiful graphic novel/mystery game. At all times, the game screen is basically split into two parts. A small horizontal top part shows Isabella’s apartment and is mainly used as a small peak in her day-to-day life while also providing extra entertainment and things to see as you are investigating. She has a dog who is in an adapted wheelchair and a cozy interior where she spends her days. On the rest of the game screen, you get to call with people who all have beautiful (animated) portraits as you call them, view a map with locations of interest, and sometimes go to a location digitally to investigate. This is done with loads of immersive filters and animations, really making Song of Farca feel like it went the extra mile to provide you with a good-looking game.

Sound

Song of Farca does not have any voice acting, but it makes up for this with good futuristic sound effects; such as bleeps, scanning sounds, static, ringtones, and more. Combined with a variety of background songs that you can choose from “your” PC, there’s plenty of music to enjoy while diving deep into a case. That being said, nice voice acting could have enhanced the experience even more.

Gameplay

This is a game that’s one part visual novel and one part passive gaming. The game consists mostly of a variety of puzzles or showing different actions, such as hacking or analyzing something. Most of this even happens automatically with a single click. This one-click-mechanic seems like a missed chance to get a bit more action in the mix, which is also why the game leans more towards the visual novel genre than anything else. While a lot of action might not be a requirement for all games, it would have made Song of Farca less predictable in gameplay and more interesting.

When you are investigating a case, one of the things you will do is call somebody (your employer or somebody linked to the case) to interrogate them or ask for information. When they are annoying, you can shove some evidence you previously found in their face. If the evidence doesn’t seem like enough, you can try to link together the information you found about the person you are talking to; and the correct links will get you further. The annoying thing about this mechanic is that sometimes, evidence or links seem very viable when presenting them to somebody, yet they are brushed off like they are nothing. This is perhaps the weakest part of the gameplay in Song of Farca: There is only one right way, even if other ways should be correct as well. Once you get the hang of this one-way system, the interrogation starts to make slightly more sense. Sadly, in most scenarios, it still doesn’t feel totally right.

When not talking to somebody, you are overviewing a scene where you hack cameras, drones, and i.e. computers or phones. These are like small simple puzzles that simply require you to find the right cameras and angles to hack something you need. Sometimes, when not doing anything of the aforementioned things, you will be communicating with specialized Artificial Intelligence you sometimes contact, analyze footage, or do something else less common. These actions are still easily done though, and it won’t cost you much effort as most, once again, run automatically. That Song of Farca seems a bit low on gameplay might be a weak point, though we can also see these things making the game more accessible for an audience that prefers a more casual gaming experience. That’s why the poor consideration of not making viable evidence work to coerce people to work with you, is way more frustrating and the biggest flaw of this game.

Conclusion

Song of Farca is a great-looking game that’s mostly reminiscent of a visual novel, as it’s a bit low on actual gameplay. While it’s fun to pretend to be a Private Investigator and mess around in a town via your digital influence, the most frustrating aspect of the game is that it doesn’t always follow its own logic when looking for evidence to confront people with. This doesn’t break the game per se, but it does hold the game back mostly by making conversations too linear or making personalities you interact with less human.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Song of Farca - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Pimp Without The Pee


Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.