Paradise Killer is a good ole murder mystery, who dun it visual novel. You follow around Lady Love Dies (that is actually her name and one of the least strange names in the game), the top investigative agent on Paradise Island, where things are obviously not a paradise.
The game has a lot of background lore and the setting is both unique and very outlandish. It’s hard to sum up in a short paragraph but basically the island is a physical manifestation of psychic energy created for the sole purpose of resurrecting giant alien space gods by sacrificing a countless number of innocent people. It’s pretty wild, and the world is an interesting amalgamation of Miami Vice, cyber punk, anime, and the occult.
The characters are pretty straight forward and one dimensional but you do get to know them and develop some sort of bond, even with the characters you dislike. This is due to Paradise Killer’s gameplay loop where the main focus is primarily on the investigative section of the game. The trial merely serves as the conclusion to all of the plot threads developed mostly during the investigations itself.
Since the game is basically a visual novel, you do talk to a lot of people and read a lot of text. To break up the tedium, you can travel across the entirety of the island and find collectables, and boy are there a lot of collectables. This part of the game handles more like a 3D platformer, since you physically control how you navigate to locations. The island is rather large and it can get rather tedious having to walk back and forth across locations so the game includes fast travel. Some of the investigations require some light puzzle solving as well.
Overall, Paradise Killer is a great murder mystery visual novel. One can’t help but draw comparisons to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, one of my favorite games of all time. Paradise Killer does have some flaws compared to Phoenix Wright but it’s an entirely different game focusing on different things. Paradise Killer’s strength (and weakness) is that it focuses on the characters and lore so you get to develop a much stronger bond to both the people and the world itself. People who aren’t looking for that may find this game a bit lacking but I would still recommend trying it out because the game does grow on you as you continue to play it.