When I got invited by 505 Games to check out a slew of new offerings, I knew I’d be getting free beer, free lunch, and the chance to play some games I’d never tried. I didn’t know that one of those games would give me the greatest gift a game can give: getting to feel smart. The game was Serial Cleaners, the follow up to 2017’s stylish crime scene clean-up game, Serial Cleaner. My brain felt enormous and my joy knew no bounds every time I succeeded at the game’s core task: outsmarting cops.

The game looks a bit like Disco Elysium, but charged with radical 90’s drenched swag. The soundtrack kicked ass, the graphics were artful, combining to hit me with a powerful wave of nostalgia for the decade everyone seems like they want to re-visit; the halcyon, low tech days of the last years of the last century. In the game, you take on the role of four cleaners, the folks big crime hires when they need a crime scene to disappear. The characters each have their own skills and styles they use to navigate the top down maps while cleaning up crime scenes. Hide evidence, stash bodies, vacuum up blood trails, and outwit those stupid f*cking cops. I loved this game. My heart pounded as I ducked into a closet to hide from a cop sniffing at my trail. My breath caught as I dragged a body, slipping around a corner just in time to avoid detection. The only part of the game which didn’t feel awesome was the cringey dialogue from the “millennial hacker” character Vip3r. But playing as her, using your computer jacking skills to unlock doors and turn off lights while working your way toward hiding the evidence, was a blast. The developers at Draw Distance have made something that captures the 90’s vibe perfectly while still feeling like a game from 2022. The game is out now on Switch, PC, PS4 and 5, and Xbox One, X & S. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty and clean up every level.

Check out the other 505 Games I got my grubby hands on: Stray Blade, Miasma Chronicles, and Gunfire Reborn.

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