Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

Last Window offers views onto several forgotten vistas. Immediately, it paints a vivid picture of an American city at the dawn of the 1980s. Gleaming skyscrapers stretch at the clouds, each a pointed testament to the unshakeable wisdom of modern capitalism. Keeping their distance, on the outskirts of the city centre, tower blocks stand, heads down, providing temporary accommodation to the workers who turn the cogs of the sun-baked metropolis and the deadbeats who clog them. Rendered in stylish watercolor and black ink, the city scenes that run throughout the game are drawn in an anachronistic style, a manga-ish take on late seventies Americana that reinforces the historical context through its aesthetic.

It's in one of these tower blocks that your character resides and, at this close distance, CiNG's meticulous attention to period detail is revealed. Every prop is in keeping: the flares of the preceding year have shrunk to skinny-fit jeans, just as the telephones have ballooned to the size of shoeboxes thanks to their new-fangled answering machine additions. Every aside about solar-powered pocket calculators that cost the earth, or pagers that shrink it, speaks of technology's acceleration from a stroll to a jog, and the bulky gadgets are as key to the ambiance as the Miami Vice-style soundtrack and film noir direction.

The story that fills this scenery is a throwback, too. You play as a 34-year-old ex-cop, a stubbly private detective slouching in cars that are three feet wider than they need to be, working jobs several tiers of crime beneath him. Kyle Hyde, familiar to players of CiNG's Hotel Dusk - with which Last Window shares a universe - is an amalgam of many pulp fiction private detectives, from Blade Runner's Rick Deckard to Policenauts' Jonathan Ingram.

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