Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Serial Cleaner is a 2D stealth action game where you must clean up murder scenes on contract back in the 1970s. And a professional cleaner doesn’t get caught. Every crime scene is a puzzle that changes each time you get caught, so don’t bother memorizing your actions, the items/bodies may not be in the same place after you get caught. The puzzles get harder through the contracts. While you can probably outrun most of the police to a hiding place, in the beginning, the police get faster. Each police officer type as a different look, and you can learn which each does.
It seems besides having to clean up dead bodies, as if that wasn’t a big enough problem, you also have a gambling addiction. You like betting on the fights and cards, and you are terrible at both. You must keep taking the contracts because you have debts to be paid. Oh, did I mention you still live with your mom as a grown man? You are classy all around.
The graphics have this retro vibe to them, and as time goes on, the décor of your house matches the time era.
The music and your mustache have this porn star theme going for it. You can even buy the soundtrack if you want. I cannot help but enjoy the main character as it reminds me so much of Matthew McConaughey as Rustin Cohle in True Detective Season 1 when he is in the cop shop retelling the story of solving the crime years later. It takes a few episodes to get into it, but it is a great show.
Anyways, back to cleaning up after murders. Not only do you have to collect evidence, you get to keep trophies, but you have to clean up blood and bodies. The trophy keeping is kind of serial killer-ish, so I love the touch, but it doesn’t take long before you realize that is probably going to bite you in the rear later as the story progresses. As you complete the different murder contracts, you learn how to use more things in the surroundings. You can move objection, sometimes trapping the pathing cops somewhere. There is also sound to distract for a short period. Shortcuts are also another way to help get you to other areas and getaway.
There are also hidden items in the game that give you new clothes to really max out your vibe while cruising around in your station wagon. There are some video clips to collect that will provide you with movie-inspired contracts to complete. Then there are day and night challenges also to play.
The keyboard controls were odd at first, and I had to adjust mine as I prefer WASD movements. There are only a few setups to choose from. Once I got over the initial awkwardness of the controls, it was easy to get into a rhythm. I no longer had to think about what buttons to push.
While I did get this game for free as a 100% discount on the Humble Store, I would have paid for this game. On sale, of course! It is a fun game that, while it can be frustrating, you can keep trying, and since the layout changes with each try, it doesn’t get stale too quickly. If you like action-stealth puzzle games, you will love this game, and I recommend it.
Game: Serial Cleaner
Developer: Draw Distance
Publisher: Curve Digital
Initial Release Date: July 14, 2017