Take one part Phoenix Wright, One Part Angry Birds, and One Part 19th Century Wood Carving and Book Printing. Combine in a moderately sized crowdfunding campaign. Shake. Serve in a chilled glass and enjoy your Aviary Attorney.
They say that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery. I say that mimicking the format of Phoenix Wright, and making a legal adventure game set in an anthropomorphic version of 19th century Paris, starring a Falcon and a Rooster, is something entirely different. It’s straight up mad genius.
Aviary Attorney is being created by Sketchy Logic, and is currently in Kickstarter. The game looks straight forward, well polished, and I’m a big fan of the antiquated art style, but the mere fact that this team was willing to give this a go makes me happy beyond words.
The year is 1848. Paris is on the brink of yet another revolution, and the prisons are overflowing with guilty and innocent alike.
In the dusty and neglected Aviary Attorney legal offices, Jayjay Falcon and Sparrowson receive a lucrative offer. Bourgeoisie kitten Caterline Demiaou has been accused of murder, and the Demiaou estate are willing to pay a sizable sum for a defense lawyer who can claim a Not Guilty verdict. Falcon will surely take on the case, but is somebody conspiring to stop him?
Monsieur Falcon takes on a total of four cases during the events of Aviary Attorney. Although the circumstances of each case are wholly unique, there is a pattern to the gameplay… After taking on a client, Falcon finds himself outside of court, where he is free to explore the landmarks of Paris. He does not have much opportunity for sight-seeing though, as there is only a small amount of time before each trial! Making smart choices about where to go, who to talk to, and what to say is vital to uncovering the most evidence in the short amount of time.
Inside court, Falcon has to think and act carefully to prove his client’s innocence. By scrutinizing testimonies and by presenting evidence at opportune times, Falcon deals blows the witness’s credibility and gains favor with the jury. But mistakes can add up, tipping the jury’s opinion towards a Guilty verdict.
Even after losing a case, the story continues – albeit, a little darker than before…
The art style is what attracted me to Aviary Attorney, and there is a rather spectacular story behind the artistic direction:
The idea for Aviary Attorney came about after we discovered the beautiful but mostly forgotten artwork of J. J. Grandville. After having to abandon traditional newspaper caricatures due to government censorship, Grandville moved towards creating more whimsical and surreal lithographs for fiction writers. Among other works, he produced the bizarre drawings for “the Public and Private Life of Animals”.
With careful scanning and animation, we were able to give life to Monsieur Falcon, Sparrowson, and all the other characters through Aviary Attorney. In fact, nearly every part of the game is drawn from or inspired by the public domain. The backgrounds and items have been borrowed from a range of 19th century illustrated books. The music takes the form of transcriptions and adaptions of French romantic composers, most notably Camille Saint-Saëns. Even the font is over 100 years old!
Aviary Attorney currently has raised £5,551 of its £7,000 goal, which is quite reasonable in my opinion. They still have 24 days to go, so there is plenty of time to contribute if you are interested. If you are so inclined, head on over to the game’s Kickstarter Page.