Dépanneur Nocturne

It's a rainy evening in Montréal but you just want to buy your partner a gift. Luckily, one shop is open and road closures ensure that all the owner's attention is yours. Dépanneur Nocturne is a short and somewhat surreal game that excels in writing and atmosphere.

Dépanneur Nocturne

Your little shopping trip is guided by the owner, Eugénie, a witty salamander. You can pick and inspect any of the items of interest and you also gain some context for them by taking them to the counter where you learn how she came to posses them. You can buy one item, everything or nothing. The writing is snappy and there's some good world-building context as well as cute titbits about the items you can find and interactive with in the shop.

If you follow the sole aim of the experience and find a gift and then finish you may be a little perplexed and disappointed. This happened to me on my first play through. I felt I had poked around as much as I could and interacted with every object I could find. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. However, I started it a second time and using the achievement list as a bit of a guide realised just how much I had missed.

Dépanneur Nocturne

Some of the most fun in this game is leaving the beaten track and behaving a little mischievously. Being persistent in one dialogue option leads to a section that is humourous, a little creepy and surprisingly large when compared to the rest of the shop. It really would have been a shame if I had missed it. The game certainly rewards curiosity. There is an element of thinking 'I wonder if doing with will work' and being pleasantly surprised when it does! Although sometimes it doesn't. At one point I put all paper cups in the bin (awful I know, not even the recycling!) but other than amusing myself at my impudence nothing happened. I'm a little saddened that the only thing I couldn't work out was how to get blacklisted from the shop. You should see just how much of the store I trashed though I must say I did feel a little guilty.

There's something very calming about Dépanneur Nocturne. I felt relaxed and at peace while playing and the eighty minutes I spent with it passed very quickly. I find the sound of heavy rain while indoors oddly soothing, especially at night. The aesthetic and atmosphere of the shop is so charming and you can play at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. The bizarre things that can happen are amusing and mysterious. Plus there's a cute cat!

Dépanneur Nocturne

Dépanneur Nocturne definitely isn't for everyone and I believe some players may finish it with it having no impact on them. However, for those that like a slightly different experience and enjoy quirky and silly things with some snappy dialogue in a game with a great atmosphere, this is worth an hour or two of your time. After all you do in the shop, you were there to buy a gift just because you wanted to. More games should be about acts of kindness.

4

In Short

  • + Atmospheric throughout
    + Your curiosity is rewarded
    + Eugénie is a great character with witty dialogue
    + Cat

  • - A large portion of the game can be missed if you don't poke about in the right areas

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