Indie games are truly starting to take over the gaming world, if they haven’t already. The beauty of these games is that sometimes you never really know what you’re going to get. I had the gracious opportunity to check out a little gem called, Serial Cleaner. This is a story driven game where you play as a cleaner. Your job is to go into a crime scene and clean it up. Yes I know, it sounds pretty basic, but trust me when I say that it gets pretty complicated and difficult. Serial Cleaner gives off an awesome 1970s vibe in terms of the graphics and sound. This aesthetic works amazingly with he backdrop of the game.
Like I said earlier you play as a cleaner who lives at home with his mother. Before and after you do a level, you get to interact with different objects at your house. Back to the job at hand, you play as a cleaner, your job is to get into a crime scene and make it look like nothing happened. At its core Serial Cleaner is a top down, 2D puzzle game. I use the word puzzle loosely because you’re not really solving traditional, “puzzles,” per say, but you are using stealth and critical thinking to solve the levels.
Once a level starts you are allowed to check the layout. Points of interest are highlighted on the map, these would include bodies that you need to recover, evidence that you need to collect, etc. The main point is to collect all the bodies, along with anything else on the crime scene. There are cops spread throughout each level. They are only equipped with flashlights, which if you are caught in their light, the cop comes running after you. Don’t count yourself out if this happens, there are areas of the level where you can hide until the cop loses wind of you. The only problem I have with this is that even if a cop chases you right up until you hide in the spot you chose, they are still oblivious to your position. I feel like if they chase you and watch you enter a hiding spot, they should be able to figure out that you’re in there.
If you do get caught by the five-o the level resets. I do appreciate that the objects also change places so you can’t do the same route every time the level resets. This makes it so you approach the levels differently every time you play. When you are finished with a level, the cleaner returns home for a hard earned rest. The next sequence you start is in your house and it is here that the story progresses. I won’t get into the story too much but I can say that this is the first indie game like this that actually made me feel something during the story. There wasn’t a lot that Serial Cleaner did badly. For what they were trying to accomplish, they really hit it out of the park.
I would suggest Serial Cleaner to any gamer, casual or hardcore. If you are into puzzle games, or top down games like Hotline Miami I would HIGHLY suggest picking this one up on either Steam or Xbox One on July 14th, or on the Playstation 4 on July 11th.
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Review statement: The copy of this game was provided by the developer for the sake of this review and was played on the Xbox One.