Tales of the Neon Sea – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle Side Scroller, Adventure
Developer: Palm Pioneer
Publisher: Zodiac Interactive
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Tales of the Neon Sea – Review

Site Score
Good: The game looks awesome and the puzzles can be very challenging
Bad: The amount of puzzles may hinder the progression of the story
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)

The best years of a detective are during his/her early years. You catch bad guys and you will get the credit for it. After those years, you keep on doing your best to solve cases but a fact is that you won’t always catch the bad guys, which will result in even more people dying. The life of a detective isn’t as easy as it sounds and some cases will place a heavy burden on you. Tales of the Neon Sea tells the story of a retired detective in a world filled with flashy neon signs and bright colors with a tad of steampunk with the many modified humans being around.


Tales of the Neon Sea features the story of a retired police detective who spends his days intoxicated after a harsh life, while doing random jobs as a private investigator to make ends meet. The story starts with a pretty awkward scene while you are trying to escape from what seems to be the grim reaper himself. After retrieving your hat and completing some small tasks, you wake up in your own apartment as Rex, the retired police detective mentioned earlier. After fixing your robot assistant you will go outside, and immediately find yourself in the midst of a murder mystery. finding clues and doing favors for others to get further in your research, will lead to doing even more favors to get where you need to be. Aside of playing as Rex, you will also play as William, a street cat that seems to be friendly with Rex and traverse through the streets, as there is a whole cat society that will also have its own story. Helping others will lead to you solving more problems and lets you progress into the story.


Tales of the Neon Sea is a 2D side scroller with highly detailed retro graphics. Yes, you can count the pixels, but the environments, objects and characters all look detailed for this specific style. The game has a bit of a cyberpunk feel to it as your own character is some kind of a cyborg with mechanical parts implanted in himself. When you are researching a case, you’ll get a closer look on the victim, and this offers enough detail for you to spot the things you need to uncover. When characters are speaking, a bar with a close-up of the person speaking will show, and this will have a lot more detail than when you look at the character in-game.


The game is filled with different types of music that all fit the type of place you are at that moment. When you’re at a bar, joyful music will play, while being at a dark crime scene, ominous music will play. There aren’t that many audible sound effects when playing, but you won’t really miss them during your gaming session(s). When investigating a crime scene, sounds will play when you click, indicating you can investigate it. If you hear nothing, then you can’t investigate that area on-screen. Basically, for each area, there’s a fitting background music and it sounds good.


Tales of the Neon Sea is a 2D side scrolling adventure puzzle game in which you play as Rex, a retired police detective that has turned to alcohol and spends his days working as a private investigator to make ends meet. This game is filled with a lot of different puzzles that need to be solved to progress into the story.

Basically at first, this game is a 2D side scroller in which you move around from left to right and you can interact with almost anything in the area. You can talk with characters around the city, interact with furniture and items in this world. You’ll find yourself in the middle of a murder mystery from the start, to learn the ropes of the game. After this, it gets clear that this game will have plenty of puzzles to keep you busy. From connecting wires to fix the electricity to finding clues at a crime scene. Solving these puzzles will be key to let you progress in the story.

The crime scenes are a fun way of investigating. You will get an overview of the crime scene, with the body of the victim on the screen. You will have to find clues on the victim’s body and clothes to determine the time and cause of death. You will have two vision modes, one will let you check normal signs on bodies and items while the other mode will focus on internal wounds. When you have found all the available clues, you can combine them in a more coherent conclusion.

Combining those clues will produce gears. These gears will form the clockwork of a pocket watch that will be visible on screen when you want to solve a case to a certain point. Then you must place all the gears collected from the clues to make the pocket watch run. This means connecting all the gears from the starting point to the middle of the watch. You can set these gears at certain points that will be visible in this pocket watch. If you’ve placed all the gears correctly and you start the sequence, all gears will start to turn and the puzzle is complete. This completion will result in an estimated flashback of what has happened to the victim at this area of investigation. This flashback is visualized in the form of phantoms moving and doing things according to the clues you have collected. completing these puzzles will always lead to the right conclusion so you will always continue in the story when you have completed the story.

You also play as William, the friendly street cat. As William you also need to complete tasks to progress into the story as William’s actions will sometimes be key to solving parts of cases. William can help you get parts needed for repairs or find items critical to the investigation of mysteries. The switching between playing as Rex and William is rather fun and offers some diversity to the gameplay.


Tales of the Neon Sea is a great 2D side scrolling adventure with a lot of puzzle aspects that will keep you busy for hours. Some puzzles will be easy to solve while others require a bit more of your time. Overall the game looks nice for the graphical style that has been used. The story of this game is good as it features mysteries, humor and more. Finding out more about Rex’s past while solving mysteries can be really enjoyable. If you like solving puzzles and this type of gameplay, then this game is definitely worth a try as it will keep you entertained for hours.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Tales of the Neon Sea - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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