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Video Game / Blues and Bullets

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Blues and Bullets is an Episodic Game developed by A Crowd of Monsters. It takes place in an alternate version of the 1950s, where cop Eliot Ness has retired and now works in his own diner, until an old enemy requires his services as a detective. One remarkable feature of the game is the use of only the colors black, white and red.

Blues and Bullets contains examples of:

  • Alternate Universe, specifically Alternate History. The Hindenburg, for example, is still entirely functional.
  • The Alcoholic: Eliot turned to alcohol after learning of Dockers's death. He was completely plastered the night he shot up Capone's house. However, Eliot can chose not to touch the stuff in the present day, sticking to juice instead.
  • Arch-Enemy: Capone was this to Ness. Whether he still sees him as such is partially determined by the player.
  • Bandage Mummy: Oskar in Episode 1.
  • Bread and Circuses: Ivankov the human trafficker does this by arranging Gladiator Games between the rejected kidnap victims and letting his men make bets on the outcome. Ness even notes the similarity to this trope.
  • Cult: The people holding the children captive appear to be this. They wear black robes and skull masks, and have a number of esoteric rules that the children are punished for breaking.
  • The Cynic: Ness can be this, if you choose ironic and pessimistic dialogue options. So can the little girl in the prison, the other playable character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Depending on your choices, Ness can be this.
    Ness: You’re so old, I don’t know if you’re joking or if you’re senile.
  • Defective Detective: Ness is long since retired, working in a greasy spoon and still struggling with the ghosts of his past. He gets very little respect from the current crop of police officers, and depending on player choice he may turn to drink to get through the day. However, he's still an excellent detective.
  • Detective Drama: Ness is hired as a private detective to find out what happened to Capone’s granddaughter.
  • Eye Scream: The dead forger in the first episode had his eyes scooped out with a spoon – probably while he was still alive. The eyes show up as a present on Ness's doorstep at the end of Episode 2.
  • Film Noir: Borrows heavily from the genre in terms of atmosphere, setting, and even characters.
  • Finger in the Mail: At the end of Episode 2, Ness finds a box has been left on the step of his diner. Inside is a jar containing the eyes of the murdered forger from Episode 1.
  • First-Name Basis: Milton always refers to Capone by his full first name, Alphonse.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: During the investigation of the murder victim.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Ness has one during Episode 2, including an abandoned hospital, burning corpses, and all his friends dying.
  • Never My Fault: Bruno blames the Jail Girl for having his hand cut up. However, the cult leader makes it expressly clear that it was because Bruno tried to rat her out.
  • Retired Monster: Capone doesn't seem interested in rebuilding his criminal empire, but he also doesn't seem to have any regrets about the many horrible things he's done.
  • Running Gag: In the first episode there are three occasions where Ness can try and fail to get a soda out of a vending machine. He gets frustrated enough to hit the third machine.
    • Additionally, there's a running gag with Milton asking what the secret ingredient in Ness' blueberry pie is, preferably in dangerous and inappropriate situations. becomes Harsher in Hindsight if this is the last thing you say to him before he gets killed.
  • Scary Black Man: Milton's actually pretty friendly, but his size and intimidation factor are presumably part of the reason Capone employs him.
  • Shout-Out: The entrepreneur who restored the Hindenburg is named A. Ryan.
  • Splash of Color: The game is entirely monochrome except for things that are colored red, like Ness' tie or pools of blood.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Children are locked in a mysterious dungeon, and the usual punishment for escape attempts is apparently execution.