Lovers of justice unite! Femida is the first ever judge simulator. It’s up to you to decide the fates of citizens of this fictional world where crime is on the rise. It’s being developed by Roman Loznevoy and his friends and relatives–a collective by the name of Loznevoy’s Studio–and promises a non-linear story with multiple endings to ensure replayability and an exclusive experience.
Just a quick disclaimer from the dev: “Keep in mind the demo version has been made only for a rough demonstration of concept and art style. The demo features 5 endings and it is a little story on its own. It is a fiction. We know that a trial is NOT conducted this way. After the game gets funded, we will totally revise it.”
So let’s get down to it.
Here’s your first case:
Upon entering the doors of the courthouse, it’s straight to work. You sit down, review the case notes, and gather up your wits in order to figure out how to best serve up Justice.
Once you’ve finished reading up on the details of the case, you bang your gavel and get down to questioning.
During the questioning process, the click-clack of the typewriter draws you into the atmosphere a game based on serving the law creates. Femida’s soundtrack is the cool, subdued, jazzy sort of music you’d expect to accompany a detective film from the olden days. It fit perfectly and it was unobtrusive so I could read in peace.
Fortunately, the note pad on the left side of the screen gives you a list of individuals, so those of you with less than stellar memories (like myself) will be able to keep track of who’s who. To the left side of the screen is the name of the person who you are questioning and, below that, the questions that you can ask. You also have the option to jump to the next person in line if need be.
After selecting a question, the person will tell you their bit and you move onto the next question. You only get to ask three questions, so you’ll need to choose wisely to get pertinent information. As soon as you’ve asked three, you’ll only be able to move onto the next person. Once you’ve questioned everyone, it’s time for you to make your verdict.
During my first case, the defendant mentioned that our main witness, Principal Bill Murray, had an affair with Rose, I began to suspect that Mr. Thompson was not to blame—and just in time, too, because it asked me to make my verdict the moment I was done with questioning.
The next case came right after that—no rest for the wicked and all that—and I was surprised to find the true murderer (seen in the bottom left corner).
So I was right about Mr. Thompson’s innocence, but not about the identity of the killer. It was a pleasant surprise.
Alternatively, I went back and selected the wrong answer…
More on that later.
The second case featured the man who got you this position in the first place. He’s your friend and he’s close to your family. Could he possibly be guilty of corruption?
The third case featured a member of the mafia… Unsurprisingly, no one showed up on the day of the court case. When you return to your office, you’re greeted with this:
And are then given an even more difficult decision than “guilty” and “innocent” implies. Will you save your family and let the criminal escape or will you uphold justice and sacrifice them as a result?
I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say that the labored heart beats that accompany this decision are very accurate.
As mentioned on their Kickstarter page,fIf you choose wrongly, the outside world actually reflects that. Citizens become less trusting of justice and you’re to blame. This adds an even thicker layer of morality to the game.
Naturally, the demo was just a taste of the basic gameplay and I must say, I like what I’ve experienced. The dev promises 7 total crime cases (which seems rather bare bones, but they did also mention there would be a longer, more intriguing process to solve them), VN style story telling complete with QTE (quick time events for those who are less savvy), and decisions that will influence the characters and objects in the world around you.
It sounds promising, certainly, and if this demo was anything to go by, the core gameplay is off to a good start. I encourage you to try it for yourself—available like the full game will be on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
What I would like to see personally:
- More legal jargon. This would open up the option of having a glossary that could be linked to a clickable word. I’ve seen this method used in visual novels before and I’m a fan of it.
- Neater entries for the profiles of people involved in the case. As of right now, it’s very bland and sometimes text entries run onto the next page.
- Voice acting. At least during questioning.
- The number seven seems very small despite not knowing how long each case will be. I’d like the option to get more cases at some point.
Loznevoy’s Studio has already hit their goal, but any further funding will be used to make the game even better! Head on over to their Kickstarter now to give them your support.
Femida will be coming to Steam in December 2017.
Stay in the know, gamers ❤