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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2022’s best detective game is getting a new case this month

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Every morning I go through my email and find various announcements from game developers, publishers, and PR firms. There’s always lots of news about expansions, season passes, release dates, events, game updates, and betas, and they’re almost always perfectly straightforward: a few paragraphs of text and a link to a trailer, a Steam page, a website, or a presskit.

Almost always. Today I received a rather unusual email, not from a game’s PR but from a game’s character, and it hints at a mystery we’ll get to unravel later this month:

Dear associate,

The Seven Seas Company has reviewed and approved your request to partake in the upcoming Lanka trading expedition. You and two other associates will personally accompany yours truly on this mission.

A partial travel itinerary has been included.

Albert Cloudsley

I recognized the name immediately—Albert Cloudsley is a character from The Case of the Golden Idol, an inventive mystery adventure and 2022’s best detective game. There was no link to a trailer or proper press release, and the “partial travel itinerary” was the image below, where you can see an intimidating figure in a demonic mask holding a lantern. Scrawled on the wall above them is the word April.

Time to do some detective work! I asked my PC Gamer colleagues in Slack if they’d received an email too, and no one had. (In truth they completely ignored my question because they were busy talking about something else.) To Twitter, then, where I searched for recent mentions of Case of the Golden Idol.

I saw that Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier had received the same email and image I had. However, Destructoid’s senior news reporter Eric Van Allen had received a slightly different image in his email. This image shows the same figure, but holding the lamp towards the wall, where the number 27 can be seen.

There’s a bit more. The image in my email was labeled “2023” so we know this is happening this year. Polygon discovered a third image where the figure is holding the lantern up to illuminate a clock on the wall, with the hands showing the time as 10:00, and the name of that file is “Pacific.”

So, on April 27 2023, at 10:00 Pacific (I’ll go ahead and assume it’s am and not pm) we’re getting something new for The Case of the Golden Idol. Neato! That mystery was much easier to solve than any of the ones in the game, but it’s still great news. It looks like we’re getting a new case (or, hopefully, several new cases) later this month. Keep your observant eyes peeled for an official announcement or a new trailer. In the meantime, there’s still a free demo of the game you can try on Steam.

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