Illustration for article titled If You Like iPhoenix Wright/i And Animal Puns, Dont Skip iAviary Attorney/i

Do you like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney? Do you like animals? Do you enjoy laughing? You seem like the perfect audience for Aviary Attorney, then.

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Perhaps you remember when this game debuted on Steam a few years back. Maybe, like me, you noticed it but didn’t end up playing it. Well, now it’s on Switch, which was enough of a nudge for me to finally start it up. And I’m here to tell you that Aviary Attorney is even better than I thought it would be.

The gameplay is pretty much Phoenix Wright through and through. Investigate cases, scrub crime scenes for clues, then cross-examine witnesses at trial, blowing through their lies with evidence. This part is okay, but it’s the story that really shines. What begins as a silly tale of bird puns and casual murder ends up as a fairly serious meditation on the idea of justice, all set against the backdrop of the second French revolution in the 1840s.

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Illustration for article titled If You Like iPhoenix Wright/i And Animal Puns, Dont Skip iAviary Attorney/i

At some point while playing, the jokes... stopped? Things got very serious? And yet, even in its short runtime, Aviary Attorney had already endeared me to its cast of characters so much that I found myself utterly drawn in to the increasingly tense and dramatic denouement. I played scenes over and over to find all three endings, which were wildly different. I might even go replay more scenes just to get achievements, so I can wring every bit of fun out of it.

Aviary Attorney is a short game and fairly simple to complete, but I was genuinely surprised at just how much I got out of those few hours. Don’t miss it (again).

Features Editor, Kotaku. Japanese curry aficionado. Author of the books Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life and Final Fantasy V from Boss Fight Books.

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