Game Recs

Don’t Miss Your Chance To Unravel All of Paradise Killer’s Secrets

Wild idyll.

Paradise Killer key art
Fellow Traveler

There is no such thing as paradise. The definition of a utopia is contradictory, and it acknowledges its inevitable fall. So it goes for Paradise Island 24, where on the eve of an evacuation the entire ruling council is discovered murdered. The world's end has to be put on hold and a detective is called in to solve this impossible problem. This is Paradise Killer, a stylish and secretive murder mystery that you shouldn’t miss before it leaves Game Pass on March 15th.

The core mystery of Paradise Killer centers around the death of the council, the leading body of an immortal group that resides on Paradise Island. It is a textbook locked-door mystery, where at first glance it is impossible for these murders to have happened. Taking the role of Lady Love Dies, a Syndicate detective recalled from her three-million-day exile, the player is given the case with guidance to solve it as quickly as possible.

Paradise Killer is steeped in vaporwave style.

Fellow Traveler

Paradise Island 24 is not long for this world, you see, as the Syndicate continues to destroy and remake it in hopes of reaching the true perfect society. At this point, the Syndicates pantheon of ancient cosmic gods would return to the world. If this all sounds like a lot of things stuffed into one story, then just wait because there is always more in Paradise Killer but it all gets wrapped up into the most stunning vaporwave city pop aesthetic. There will be few times you truly know what is going on while you work to solve the case, but it will always look amazing.

The landscape of Paradise Island 24 contains skyscrapers, mountains, hidden temples, and giant pyramids with dead gods inside. All of this is immediately open to the player from the jump to explore and turn over every rock for clues. While the majority of the island’s inhabitants have already moved to Paradise Island 25, there are a few stills scattered around for you to interrogate.

Taking large cues from the Danganronpa series, detective work in Paradise Killer occurs by talking to people in visual novel conversations. Pulling on dating sims you can also discover gifts in the world that will ingratiate Lady Love Dies with the suspects and lead to new secrets being revealed to you. You collect alibis, holes in stories, physical evidence, and other testimony through your connections to these strange immortal beings with names equally bizarre and enjoyable as Lady Love Dies.

Prying information out of suspects occurs in visual novel form.

Fellow Traveler

Just like the openness of the island itself, Paradise Killer’s main mystery is entirely open-ended in how you are to conclude it. The Syndicate just wants someone to point the finger at so they can all move on from Paradise Island 24. To that end, the game allows you to name a suspect at any point in your playthrough. If you have enough satisfactory evidence then the judge will execute the suspect and the trial will be done.

In theory, you could wrap up the case in an hour if you wanted to just wash your hands of it all, but the death of the council reveals itself to be a Russian doll that is filled with more and more mysteries that entice you to fall down the rabbit hole in search for answers.

Fellow Traveler

Despite pulling your attention in numerous directions with its mish-mash of influences and gameplay loops, it is all enjoyable. Paradise Killer shouldn’t work, but it totally does. Giving a character the right gift and unlocking a new vital piece of information, platforming around a skyscraper and weaseling into a previously inaccessible apartment building, and even sitting staring at the collection of clues trying to piece together the puzzle is all immensely engaging and in service of the larger mystery that set it all in motion, to begin with.

Even if Paradise Island can’t reach the potential of a perfect society, Paradise Killer manages to be an ideal murder mystery game that is worth playing before it goes the way of Paradise Island 24 in less than a week.

Paradise Killer is available for purchase on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox consoles.

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