Call it serendipity, but Dépanneur Nocturne came to me while browsing Itch.io on an unseasonably cold and rainy May evening, which was not unlike the opening sequence from Dépanneur Nocturne‘s launch trailer. Indeed, a game with the word “Dépanneur ” in the title would certainly require further investigation as this would be the first clue that this was a game of Québecois origine.
In Dépanneur Nocturne (or Nighttime Convenience Store), you are tasked with finding a certain special something for your partner who will be home from work later that evening. Finding yourself in a dark alley under a light rain, you make your way to the warmth of Le Dépanneur in question and enter something of a hybrid dépanneur/curio shop. Behind the counter is Eugénie, the store’s salamander-esque proprietor, who is there to guide you on your quest and answer (most of) your questions in either english or Québecois french. This is no ordinary Dep and it is full of all kinds of items, some of them strange, many of them familiar and some of which you can interact with or purchase to bring to your partner back home. But what will you choose as a gift? Should you try the coffee? Isn’t it late? Can you eat a tart? Hmm….all these choices…and will you find what you’re looking for…or will it find you?
I really like the vibe of Dépanneur Nocturne. The dialogue is smart, intriguing and sometimes funny, which helps to flesh out this strange world as you learn more about this mysterious dépanneur and what it has to offer. The mood itself is very atmospheric, from the music to the smooth pastels, to Eugénie herself who exudes a certain bohemian Montréal attitude. And speaking of Montréal, what is more Montréal than orange cones and a stolen bike where all that remains is the bent and locked front wheel, which sadly waits for no one? These are some of the quirky little details that make Dépanneur Nocturne a lot of fun to look at and to explore:
There are plenty of little things to uncover in the Dépanneur and while you may not find everything on the first try (I didn’t) you don’t need to find everything in order to finish the game. Dépanneur Nocturne can be played multiple times and each time, you may question the choices that you make on a journey that’s more about the experience than it is about winning.
So without giving anything away, we’ll let you experience the magic of Dépanneur Nocturne for yourself because sometimes you find a game, and sometimes a game finds you.