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This New Game Is Like Hitman For Relationships

A surprise new release from Inkle, "Overboard!" asks players to use all the devious skills Agent 47 would normally need to cover up a successful hit in "Hitman," but gives them a very intimate target: their wealthy husband.

"Overboard!" takes place entirely on a steamer crossing the Atlantic in the 1930s. Players assume the role of Veronica, a former starlet who doesn't particularly care for the rich man she has married, Malcolm Villensey. As the game begins, Veronica decides to take matters into her own hands and sends Malcolm over the ship's edge. When the ship's crew and its passengers awake the next morning, Veronica takes the lead in "finding" the murderer, attempting to pin the deed on another passenger and earn the fortune she feels entitled to.

To accomplish this, players must move about the ship, meet the NPCs along for the ride, and navigate extensive dialogue trees, all while figuring out various relationships. By uncovering details about debts her husband owed other passengers or even finding his secret lover, Veronica can build a stronger case both for her innocence and the guilt of another party.

If all of that sounds somewhat sinister, well, it kind of is, but the entire experience is packaged in an Agatha Christie-style aesthetic that helps it come across as a sort of slow-paced "Among Us" meets "Knives Out." Thanks to the way these seemingly disparate elements have come together, "Overboard!" is poised to become a surprise hit.

Overboard! is a solid offering from Inkle that is almost on par with 80 Days

For anyone not familiar with Inkle, the studio is best known for its 2014 release "80 Days. Like "Overboard!," "80 Days" is a text-heavy adventure game, and its excellent writing, infinite replayability, and freedom of action helped it land on multiple best-of lists from IGN, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Android Authority. It looks like "Overboard!" has a lot to love for fans of "80 Days," but may not quite reach those heights.

In their review of "Overboard!," Rock Paper Shotgun praised the puzzle-solving, writing, and look of the game. However, the review noted, "At its best this is reminiscent of '80 Days,' though it doesn't have quite the sense of wonder." Likewise, Eurogamer published a thoroughly positive assessment, but remarked that the game tends to feel a bit thin after the multiple playthroughs required to learn the game's secrets and unlock the best endings.

Even so, Eurogamer also noted that the game was produced exceptionally fast, having first been conceived in January 2021 as a way for the team to focus on something besides its upcoming release of "Highland." Eurogamer even contacted Inkle founder Jon Ingold, who said, "The core thing about this surprise launch is it's about joy ... No marketing, no wishlists, just a game you can enjoy right now. And I hope you do. 'Overboard!' may be just the plunge you're looking for."

"Overboard!" is currently available for iOS, PC, and Nintendo Switch.