• Developers: Variable State
  • Publisher: 505 Games
  • Genre:  Adventure
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
  • Release Date: 22nd September 2016
  • Microtransactions: No

Agent Starling

In Virginia you play as FBI Agent Anne Tarver taking on her first case investigating a missing persons case in the rural town of Kingdom in Virginia. You’re accompanied by the more experienced Maria Halpern who your also asked to keep an eye on as their is an internal investigation going on into her.

The problem is you have no say at all in what happens during either of the main plot points. I’ve never really played any of the visual novel games but from what I understand they usually have choices to be made and branching plot lines from said choices. This is more like an interactive fever dream or an episode of Twin Peaks with all it’s dialogue removed. With no dialogue there is no real explanation to anything going on, some people love coming up with own theories to what is going on. I don’t, at least not when things are THIS obtuse. I kept playing in the vain hope it would reveal it’s secrets and make more sense in the end. It didn’t and I was just left confused. VERY CONFUSED!!!

Thats Some Nice Cherry Pie

It’s not all bad though. The editing and scene transitions are done much like a movie or TV show and you’re moved on when the story calls for it not when your done exploring a location or spoken to everybody 10 times in the hope of new info. At first its very jarring but once you get used to it out starts to really help with the atmosphere. And that’s another thing, while the game makes little sense the atmosphere is really good and that can count for quite a bit with dream sequences, trippy hallucinations and other odd visual sequences. One last thing, the soundtrack is incredible, creating a real sense of dread, hope or the building up of emotion to a major moment.

In the end though the plus points aren’t enough for me to recommend it unless you like the rather unexplained nature of this kind of thing.


  • Great atmosphere
  • Fantastic soundtrack


  • No explanation to anything.
  • Story would be much stronger with the use of dialogue.


User Game Rating


About the author

Chris Broderick

I've been playing these here videogames for over 30 years, and until the time my age addled brain can't keep up with technology I'll continue to play them. I much prefer a good open world adventure or an RPG to other genres as they mirror myself playing them. From clueless idiot not understanding how things work yet to all conquering bad ass............well..........most of the time.