The Detail – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime Noir
Developer: Rival Games Ltd
Publisher: Rival Games Ltd
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Detail – Review

Site Score
Good: Intriguing branching narrative, choices feel small but results are heavy, crime noir comic visual style
Bad: Lack of voice-overs and special effects
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)

The Detail is a story-driven crime noir adventure set in the modern age in a bustling American city where crime-rates never plummet. Controlled by several types of gangs, the city is dangerous and murders are a common aspect of the daily life of the bitter veteran detective Moore who has seen his fair share. Rival Games Ltd found inspiration in Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead as well as various graphic novels, forming the base of this game.

the detail


Detective Reggie Moore has seen his fair share of murders and other crimes committed by several gangs that lead the city in despair. His experience in the field has made him bitter which in turn causes him to be more aggressive with the criminals he and his team have arrested. His partner, Detective Tyrone, keeps Reggie in check where ever he can but none of them are prepared for the series of murders that are to come.

When the head of the Kuchas is viciously murdered, the police department finds themselves clueless. They have some suspicions which they want confirmed by a former CI from Tyrone but when Joe Miller returns to his previous life of gangland, they find themselves in deep trouble and more murder victims are found throughout the city. The Detectives find themselves always one step behind and this rattles their emotional states as other secrets come to light.

As the player has some saying in the choices of the protagonists, the storyline may differ from the one we personally experienced but the overall concept remains the same.

The Detail EP3 6


Inspired heavily by graphic novels, The Detail is a great interactive comic in terms of visual design. It features several styles but it mostly stays true to the crime noir style that has some “Sin City”-ring to it. Even the animated menu has that same vibe going for it. The scenes are automatic but the pace can be quickened by switching to manual mode or you can up the speed. Several scenes even have different kind of panels, similar to comic books which is somewhat refreshing.


Unlike many other games in the same genre, The Detail does not offer any outstanding audio design. In fact, the game lacks voice-overs to a point where the narrative will become an utter bore. Even special sound effects are missing in the game and while there are few action scenes, the game would have thrived using sound effects to enrich the atmosphere. Even something as silly as the tune in Law & Order: SVU would have made a big difference.

The game isn’t completely without sound however as ambiance sound is present from start to finish but the game relies far too much on the ambiance sound to provide a certain atmosphere. If a player is focused enough, the ambiance sound is not something you’ll pay attention to.

The Detail EP1 8


Although The Detail is a visual novel, there are certain aspects of the game that remind us of the classic point ‘n click games. The same mechanics can be found in many of the Telltale Games, including The Walking Dead Season 1 and 2, which heavily influenced the developers of The Detail. Let’s go back to the topic at hand. The Detail features three episodes: Where the Dead Lie, From the Ashes and Devil in the Detail which make up for the full first season of the game. In each of these episodes, the player is tasked to solve a murder with the help of three protagonists: Detective Reggie Moore, CI Joe Miller and Officer Hayes. Which character you play a certain scene as is already predicted by the developers and thus you won’t have any say in it.

The one thing that you as the player do have a say in are the choices these protagonists make. For example, Detective Moore’s interrogation techniques purely depend on whether you choose to provoke or to pressure the criminal sitting in front of you. Miller can choose to lie to his loving family and other difficult choices in the gang community. Although Officer Hayes’ role is fairly small at the beginning, the choices you let her make can change the course of the narrative in a big way – or at least it feels that way.

The Detail EP2 5

Much of the narrative is animated but once the animations run out, you can explore the scenes in the same way you would do in a point ‘n click game. Several items can reveal clues while others will result in more questions. Either way, exploring the areas is an essential part of the game as without you cannot proceed to the next scene.

As mentioned before, each episode has a murder case that you will need to solve. Due to this, each episodes also comes with the much dreaded cliffhanger. The season final doesn’t feature a cliffhanger but it does leave you wondering what’s to come in the second season. The game also features a board with pictures and details of the law enforcement, the criminals and possible suspects as well as the civilians that you come across. This information can be looked at on any given time but it is not an essential part of the game as you can play through the full game without glancing at the board.


Featuring a branching narrative packed with seemingly endless possibilities and conspiracies, The Detail is certainly a good game in its genre. Its combination of interactive comics-styled visuals, the emotional impact of the choices you make and the realistic crime drama only improve the storyline but the lack of voice-overs and special effects in the audio department puts a damper on the general crime noir atmosphere.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Detail – Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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