Aviary Attorney (Review)

Aviary Attorney is a criminally short romp through 1840’s France, as you take on the role of defence attorney Jayjay Falcon. Clearly influenced by the Phoenix Wright games of the past, you spend your time exploring different locales, collecting evidence and taking statements to defend your client in the court. Aviary Attorney was developed by Sketchy Logic following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and eventually found its way into my Steam library this year through a Humble Monthly bundle. It is currently available on PC and Mac.

This year I’m trying (and mostly failing) to make a more of an effort to play a larger variety of games, as opposed to 6 hours of World of Warcraft a day. Aviary Attorney immediately piqued my interest because… well, look at it! From the outset it looks ridiculous, but it absolutely scratched an itch I didn’t know I had – I’d missed the Ace Attorney series growing up, but I’m tempted to dust off my DS and grab a copy from CeX to carry on my clearly prosperous lawyerial career!

The whole Aviary Attorney experience is fantastic from start to finish – I really loved the art style and accompanying music, it quickly and easily sets the tone and cements you the game. The art is taken from caricatures by J. J. Grandeville and they are quickly given character and personality, so you’ll connect with Falcon and your pun-loving sidekick Sparrowson quickly and delve deep into dark mysteries of Paris.

The gameplay is what you’d expect of Ace Attorney – you travel to various locations across Paris, talk to different people and collect evidence, through investigation or a keen ear. You will see the same faces and locations a lot in Aviary Attorney, but everything and everyone is woven in to the story so you won’t feel hard done by.

The game is split into 4 ‘Cases’, although the last section branches through into 3 separate endings depending on the outcome of Case 3. You are taught the ropes quickly and get involved with a couple of simple cases to help find your footing, before you’re thrown in to the middle of a revolution – don’t ask me which one though, French History is absolutely not my forté!

Despite my thorough enjoyment of Aviary Attorney, enough to actively backtrack and unlock the multiple endings, it is a short and sweet experience. No sooner have you learnt how to collect evidence and handle yourself in court before you’re rapidly coming up on the end of the game! I would have loved a few more cases to really cement my place as J. J. Falcon, but the compactstory and the shake-up of gameplay through the last cases helps capture your focus.

Aviary Attorney was a welcome surprise in March’s Humble Monthly bundle and highly recommended if you’re a fan of Ace Attorney – which I might well be now!

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