Dark Nights with Poe and Munro
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Dark Nights With Poe and Munro is a great standalone spin-off featuring the radio hosts first introduced in The Shapeshifting Detective. There’s a lot of variety on offer here with six different episodes that feature all kinds of weird and wonderful situations for Poe and Munro. Although the game is not very long, there are hundreds of branches to explore via the hotspot driven interface and each episode also has an alternate ending to keep you coming back for more. Whether you are a fan of previous D’Avekki Studios titles or simply want to experience an FMV game done right you won’t be disappointed with Dark Nights With Poe and Munro.

Gameplay: You are limited to clicking hotspots, but these lead to different story branches and even alternate endings.

Graphics. From the beautiful credit scenes to the excellent use of lighting and camera angles, this is a great looking game.

Sound: Every aspect of the audio is top-notch

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Dark Nights with Poe and Munro

Developer: D’Avekki Studios Ltd | Publisher: D’Avekki Studios Ltd | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: FMV / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Poe and Munro, the local radio hosts in the small town of August, should be familiar to everyone who played The Shapeshifting Detective by D’Avekki Studios. Their show provided some spooky background noise for uncovering the mysteries of August and the two even became embroiled in your investigation at some point. However, in Dark Nights with Poe and Munro, the titular duo gets their own chance to shine in six unique mysteries of their own. It would appear that they are not just talented at running what sounds like the weirdest show on radio, but also getting caught up in more paranormal happenings than even Mulder and Scully from the X-Files.

Although fans of The Shapeshifting Detective will relish a return to August there is no need to have played any prior D’Avekki Studios titles before digging into Dark Nights with Poe and Munro. For one, it’s set before the events of The Shapeshifting Detective, and it also features very different gameplay. Having said that, we definitely recommend playing both The Infectious Madness of Dr. Dekker as well as The Shapeshifting Detective as they are both brilliant games and well worth your time.

Fans of D’Avekki Studios should already know what to expect, but for those who don’t know them, they are one of the developers responsible for bringing back FMV games. For anyone around during the genre’s heyday during the ’90s, this might not sound like a good thing. Fortunately, D’Avekki Studios have managed what a lot of companies back then couldn’t and actually made games that are not just FMV, but also entertaining and engrossing. Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is no exception and proves that D’Avekki Studios knows their stuff when it comes to creating interesting characters and even more interesting scenarios.

Instead of one big story, Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is split up into six, standalone episodic “adventures” for the two radio hosts. The game is a bit more linear than TSD in terms of how the stories play out, but numerous branches within each story can lead to different events and even different endings. This Is pretty neat as it gives the game a lot of replay value, which is something that the FMV genre is not exactly known for. The stories range from a possible stalker in the first episode all the way to paranormal threats such as vengeful ghosts, and even a dash of science fiction in the form of time travel. We can’t elaborate much more on the stories as they are the heart and soul of the game, but we enjoyed every single one of them. Fans of Dr. Dekker, in particular, will love the episode that involves Munro volunteering to experience a past life live on radio.

As DNWPaM is an FMV title the visuals are unsurprisingly very good. The developers have shown that they have a knack making even the most ordinary scenes look extra creepy with their previous titles, which is something that they pull off again here as well. It’s even more impressive considering the game doesn’t make use of over the top special effects or elaborate backdrops. Instead, most of the action takes place at the Radio August studio or around town. The moody lighting and good use of camera angles keep things suspenseful and credit should also go to Klemens Koehring and Leah Cunard for the marvelous job they do with their characters. Every scene with the two of them is a delight to watch as they really pull out all stops when it comes to their characters. While it may sound like the game is all doom and gloom there’s a surprising amount of humor as well, which is mostly thanks to the banter between Poe and Munro. Of course, each episode also features a selection of guest stars with our favorite being Aislinn De’Ath who returns as Violet, the character she played in The Shapeshifting Detective. The scenes with her and Munro are brilliant and it’s a pity that she only makes an appearance in one episode. Even David Homb, who starred in 1995’s Phantasmagoria appears in one of the episodes, which was really cool to see.

Each of the previous titles by D’Avekki Studios featured different gameplay styles, so it’s no surprise that they changed things up again for DNWPaM. In this game, the FMV scenes play out until certain hotspots appear on the screen to indicate a choice that players can make. These hotspots are timed, so you really need to react fast sometimes, but there is also an option to freeze time during these scenes for players who want a more laid-back experience. We recommend playing the game as intended for your first playthrough and then enabling the freeze time for subsequent playthrough if you want to explore other branches. Some of the hotspots just lead to slightly different scenes, but there are a few that can change the story and ending of the episode quite dramatically. We were still discovering new scenes during our third playthrough of the game, so replay value is definitely not an issue. Unfortunately, there’s still going to be a lot of times where you are watching the same scenes, but in total there are almost five hours of video to uncover. The game also keeps track of your choices, so at the end of each episode, you can see how you compared with other players.

As is usual for a D’Avekki Studios title the audio in DNWPaM is also really good. Every line of dialog is crisp and clear while the soundtrack features some brilliantly moody tunes. The two leads even get to break into song with one of the tracks, depending on the choices made by players. Finally, since Poe and Munro operate a radio station there are also a few familiar voices who call in during some of the episodes. The game uses a completely mouse-driven interface, so interaction is limited to pointing and clicking whenever hotspots appear. It is also possible to pause the game at any time should you need a quick bathroom break. Depending on the choices you make and the story branch you end up in most episodes can be completed in less than 30 minutes, but as we mentioned earlier, the game has plenty of replay value to make up for this.

Apart from being somewhat short, which is only really an issue because we wanted more of Poe and Munro, there’s not much else to fault about the game. The FMV genre obviously has a lot of limitations compared to other games, but D’Avekki Studios have worked well within those limitations to create a compelling title. Some of the stories can be a little camp, but that’s part of the charm that the game has. DNWPaM also manages to inject enough humor into its stories that it’s impossible not to have a grin on your face by the time each episode ends.

It’s clear that the game was designed so that players only play one episode at a time and then get a small trailer for the next episode to whet their appetites. However, the stories are just so much fun that it’s impossible to just play one at a time, which means most players are simply going to complete the game in one sitting as we did. Fortunately, it’s possible to then pick whatever episode you want to replay in order to make different choices and see different outcomes. Overall, DNWPaM is another great title from D’Avekki Studios, and fans of their previous games should add it to their collections immediately. Even those who have avoided the genre because of all the shortcomings should check out DNWPaM to see how much fun FMV games can be if done properly. We certainly enjoyed our time with Poe and Munro and hopefully, this is not the last time we get to see them in action.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 / AMD Radeon HD 5750. OpenGL 3.3
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: OS X 10.9 64-bit
  • Processor: Core i3 2.4Ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 / AMD Radeon HD 5750. OpenGL 3.3
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

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