Studio Pillow Fight Games, headed by developers who previously worked on classic indie title We Know the Devil are here to make you feel the rhythm with their new Phoenix Wright-inspired investigative visual novel Ghosts of Miami. The game stars Chelo Martínez, a newly budding private eye in the heart of Miami in 1986. She’s determined to find the missing people that the cops have turned a blind eye to, and sets out across Dade County to jump right into her investigations- which leads her to five diverse romantic characters that may help or hurt her case.

Ghosts of Miami boasts an absolutely decadent 80’s aesthetic, from their 80’s-themed album composed by Casey Yates, to their vibrant neons and pastel patterns reminiscent of an 80’s art deco Miami, down to the incredibly well designed characters who stylistically seem pulled from retro anime themselves. Playing through their available demo, you really do get the feeling that you’ve been dropped into a hyper-stylized and glorious Miami of just a few decades ago, and the irony behind a crime drama being so vibrant and exciting to look at is one of the things that really draws me into the game. The trailer below ties this all together masterfully.

As previously stated, the game features five different romantic routes alongside five full length cases, and has a total of seven endings as well. During gameplay, you can choose to have Chelo stay on the cases as much as possible, or spend your time pursuing romantic interests as well. The game allows you to choose exactly what you do each day, whether it’s investigating or chatting, which is a nice change of pace from the games it was inspired by. Romantic interests are diverse in race, gender, and sexuality, allowing plenty of options for the player.

The depth of diversity in this game, its development team, and their dedication to accessibility is quite alluring as well. In the demo alone I met Cuban, Iranian, and Korean characters, and they’re not token characters, they’re your community. The accessibility options being included in the final product are exciting as well, with hi-contrast viewing available, text-to-speech options for the visually impaired, and controller and button remapping support as well. If that wasn’t enough for you, upon release, the game will also be available to play in English, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.

As a journalist, I tend to prioritize games that highlight diversity- but Ghosts of Miami really goes above and beyond. A gorgeous and interesting looking game that’s fun to play, has a diverse cast and was created by a diverse forward-thinking development team is a powerful combo. Pillow Fight Games is truly poising themselves as a studio to be reckoned with. The game releases on August 17, and you can bet my hands are going to be all over this one.

About The Author

Social Media Editor

Carolyn is a bit multifaceted as not just a games journalist but also as a video editor, streamer, and artist. She's been gaming since she was a toddler, starting with classics like the Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis titles and Chrono Trigger. Carolyn is a big supporter of games with vibrant aesthetics, diverse casts, and unique storytelling, and doesn't shy away from an opportunity to scream about how much she loves video games.

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