Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Mar 152023

Last year, we discussed the announcement of a detective game called Process of Elimination.

It looked intriguing, and now a demo is out so you can play through the start of the game (and transfer your save data to the full game once it’s out later this year).

Process of Elimination is an unusual blend of genres. It’s a visual novel about a group of detectives trying to stop a brutal serial killer called the Quartering Duke, and like many detective visual novels, it has gameplay for the investigation sections.

Except here, that gameplay is almost like a strategy game.

When an investigation begins, you’re given an overhead look at the area and have a limited number of turns in which to investigate the scene. The detectives have stats, which you’ll match up against the “mystery points” needed to find pieces of evidence. There are other actions you can do as well, such as analyzing a piece of evidence to find new areas to investigate.

It’s… strange. Since some of the stats/actions use similar terms, I found myself struggling to remember the difference between inferring and inspecting, or assigning two detectives to inspect an area versus having one assist the other. I’m sure those aspects become easier to grasp once you’re more familiar with the game, but it’s still odd to check a detective’s stats to see if they can find evidence. If you don’t assign actions to the detectives, they’ll act on their own, too. Detectives simply can’t be trusted to work together efficiently without guidance.

After completing the investigation in the demo, the characters discussed the case. While they largely figured it out themselves, there were a handful of questions for the player to answer, so those probably will become more central to solving the case later on.

The demo left me interested in the story, but puzzled by the gameplay design. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to playing the full game. Process of Elimination will be out on April 11 (April 14 in Europe and Australia). Are you looking forward to it? Have you tried the demo? What do you think of its investigation style?

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  One Response to “Thoughts on the Process of Elimination Demo”

  1. […] I played the demo, it left me confused about what different terms meant and what actions should be used at different […]

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