Keep Clicking to Help This Private Dick Dig Up Dirt
'Unbeknownst' is an endless clicker set in a noir detective story, and it’s kind of brilliant.
Unbeknownst, by ShadeJackrabbit, is a sort of mash-up of the endless clicker genre (think Cow Clicker or Cookie Clicker) and a stylish, pulpy noir detective story. You play as a PI who gets a case—a dog has been pup-napped!—and to solve the crime, you need to click on your notepad. A lot.
Clicking gets you leads, and leads sometimes bring you to new scenes, furthering the narrative as it descends into a wonderfully unhinged horror story. The game's description is poetic in its simplicity:
"Unbeknownst is a 1-bit (black and white, monochrome, noir) game set in the recent past, about investigating endless leads and unrelated clues that spiral down an eldritch rabbit hole."
And what a rabbit hole it is, my friends.
There's something wonderful about the way Unbeknownst comments on gameplay mechanics that obscure the hell out of their real-world analogue. "Detective work" is often represented in games as finding clues in a 3D or 2D space, or ordering objects or photographs like a puzzle. They appear to have some real-world connection to the real thing, but honestly, you might as well be clicking on a notepad hundreds of times, as leads and "clues" stack up on your quest tracker.
Wonderful and at least a little bit hilarious. Unbeknownst has a sly sense of humor that hooked me right away with its dopey dog-nap storyline and goes to wonderful places by the end. It's surely worth all of the clicks.