This is one of the shortest and weirdest games I have played. The characters and animations are strangely enigmatic despite being not particularly visually attractive but they fit exceptionally well into this somewhat crazy universe.
Find the Nose!
From Cosmo D:
“It’s a hazy Sunday morning on the corner of July Avenue and Yam Street. Caetano Grosso, a former saxophone player and longtime pizza-maker, is just getting his pizza oven warmed up. Orders are trickling in, and he needs someone to help with the deliveries. You sense an opportunity, but unbeknownst to him, what you’re really after is his old saxophone, and you’re going to get it one way or another. Your pursuit will set off a chain of events across the neighborhood, taking you deep into the hidden worlds and private lives of the people living there.”
I read the above note from Cosmo D, then watched the preview video and when it finished I looked at the blank screen and it reminded me of how much I understood of the game; well actually I did get one part hooked into my brain cell - the Saxophone!
The action mainly takes place on the crossroads of, and up and down, Yam Street and July Avenue. Along one side runs a canal where the water looks rather nasty, with motors and rubbish dumped in it, and yet there are people actually swimming in it, thankfully something you are never required to do.
Looks like another Nose is required
On the crossroads there is a Pizza Parlour that requires a helper. When you go inside there is a young girl hoping for the job. Despite the fact that she is better qualified you get the job. Caetano shows you the pizza making system whilst creating an order, and then gives you the boxed pie to deliver. The computer has the address and off you go on your first (of many) delivery. A short time passes in play and Caetano is removed from the scene, leaving you with the Pizza place to run and the orders in need of fulfilling.
The Pizza Station has a dozen containers for ingredients, but currently you only have Sauce, Basil, Cheese, Salami and Mushrooms. So this part of the game has you making pizzas and exploring the Pizza building - quite eye-opening on several accounts. In fact upstairs through a viewing window you can see the Saxophone in a room that you cannot get to. Green bubbles rise from it, meaning that it is an object you can pick up if you are close to it - green bubbles also mean you can buy items from the stores across the canal. Red bubbles generally means you cannot afford it.
You find all manner of weird and wonderful people and items, rooms and doors, cupboards and drawers as you search everywhere you can. You should be able to locate, either by finding, buying or stealing, new ingredients which when taken back to the Pizza Parlour place themselves in the containers on the Pizza Station.
I mentioned that you can buy items, and to do this you need money. You get money by making and delivering Pizzas. The orders for the Pizza, seen on the shops computer monitor, give very vague hints as to how the pizza should be made. The closer you get to the order the more cash in tips you get, for example delivering a Pizza slammed full of Salami to a Vegan will not give your best possible tip. No matter what you do though you should either have or be able to achieve enough cash to purchase all that you need.
You move around the screen using the WASD keys and explore anything that you can open - door and drawer knobs glow golden and, if they are locked, they show a padlock when you try to open them. Eventually you find triggers that allow doors to open, and discover secret compartments and hidden doors. You have short, informative, conversations with people on the street and in buildings plus you get to listen in on conversations (eavesdrop) which may provide you with information that will assist you later on in your Saxophone finding mission.
You carry with you (inventory = TAB) a camera and some basic 35mm film, but on your travels you will also find different reels of film that give your photographs better effects. Remember to use your camera often as you never know when you may have shot a clue. Photos are saved into a picture-wallet that you can view and even transfer photos to your (real-life) computer.
I was merrily enjoying the oddness and weirdness, discovering how to open doors, deliver correct pizzas - you do deliver to some really unusual places and get really unusual results - and exploring place after place, room after room, when suddenly I opened the door to the Saxophone and having claimed my prize the game came to an abrupt end. I knew this was called Volume One and to be fair it didn't end on a cliff hanger, but it was still a surprisingly unexpected ending.
Great fun, although, as stated above, quite short in play time, though I guess you can play it again and maybe do some things differently - I did feel as though there was more for me to explore - but at least I finished it to some degree of satisfaction.