As a die-hard fan of Inkle Studios, I was over the moon when they pulled a Beyoncé move and dropped their latest game without any previous announcement or even a whisper of what was coming our way.
Overboard! is a murder mystery that puts the player in the role of the murderer herself, Mrs. Veronica Villensey. You can forget the dark noir aesthetic of many detective games. This game is a colorful splash in the genre where you have to learn how to get away with murder. And hopefully also with insurance money and without any loose ends. A girl can kill but she also has standards of living, you know?
And how fun is to play Veronica! It is impossible not to relish in playing this evil, conniving seductress with loose morals and a penchant for drama. You start the game witnessing the final moments of Malcolm Villensey, your husband, being thrown overboard by your own hands. It is with this callous murder that Overboard! kicks in and your web of lies starts to spin.
It will be through your acting and deception abilities that you will manage how to untangle yourself from this charade of your own doing. Aboard the boat, there are many characters that Veronica will be amused to play as her pawns and several objects she can use to further her schemes. But beware that even though Poirot is not on board, Veronica can still be found guilty and pay the price for her actions.
Overboard! is quite ingenious in the way it weaves an intricate web of stories and characters, something that will not surprise anyone who has played an Inkle game before. Every time you think you are getting a hold of the story and all the players involved, something comes up that shows you a detail that makes you wonder how much is hidden in the surface level of this game.
Each run of Overboard! is a few minutes only but the game has immense replayability. With each run comes subtle hints and a growing list of goals that push you to keep unveiling every secret lurking behind the surface. To make sure you don’t get bored of seeing some scenes play out the same way, there is a fast-forward button to quickly get over with repetitions. This is a very welcome feature that helps with the replayability factor.
Time is of the essence here. You have roughly 8 hours until you reach New York and you have to use them wisely. Each action or conversation you have will take some of that time away and with every new playthrough, you will test theories and attempt new courses of action, trying to unlock new possible paths.
One of the meanings behind the name Veronica is “true image” and it truly fits the character and story so well. As Veronica, you keep running around this boat trying to conjure the perfect image of yourself that will most likely get you off the hook. Not only is the boat itself called SS Hook, but your married name is also Villensey… which reminds me of the words villain and say… Veronica Villensey? The true image of a villain, you say?
Word and naming musings aside, I urge you to get on board this adventure if you love narrative-driven games and murder mysteries.
Overboard! is available on