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Chicken Police: Paint It RED! is a Film Noir-styled detective game developed by The Wild Gentlemen, published by HandyGames, and released in November 2020.

Detective Santino "Sonny" Featherland is under suspension when he is approached by Deborah Ibanez, personal assistant to famous nightclub singer Natasha Catzenko. Natasha is receiving threatening messages, and she needs someone to look into the matter unofficially. After some convincing in the form of dropping hints that Sonny's wife is somehow involved, Sonny takes the case and persuades his estranged partner Marty McChicken to help him. The case takes them all over the city of Clawville, from high society to the gutters.

And one more thing... everyone is a Little Bit Beastly.

A sequel, Into the Hive is slated for a 2024 release.

Chicken Police: Paint It RED! contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Small-time hoods and neutral underworld figures like Zipp, Mort, and Doctor Bubo can be genuinely charming due to old age softening them somewhat.
  • The Alcoholic: Sonny's drinking problems hit their apex roughly a year before the events of the game, and they got so bad that Bloodboyle put him on furlough to get his act together.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Police receptionist Monica demands that Sonny and Marty repay her many acts of help by buying her shoes. Black, high heels, size 35.
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: Sort of - the co-existence of predators and prey in Clawville necessitated the development a massive artificial meat industry, and it's apparently become popular for normally herbivorous animals to eat it too. Marty is apparently among them, but Sonny finds it all distasteful and only facilitated for profit.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: To get a good score in the interrogation mini-game, you have to pick questions that match the subjects' weaknesses.
  • Brains and Brawn: Sonny and Marty have this dynamic with Sonny performing most of the interrogations and analysis, and Marty doing most of the fighting and intimidating. However, Sonny can put up his dukes in a pinch and Marty is far from stupid.
  • Butter Face: Many attractive characters feature in the game, including a brothel filled with artistic nude paintings, but their human-looking bodies are topped with completely non-anthropomorphic animal heads. Bear in mind this trope is only the case to the human players - in universe, they're considered very beautiful.
  • Cain and Abel: Albert and Ibn Wessler. Shockingly, between the failed painter and the ruthless gangster, it's the former that you should watch out for.
  • Carnivore Confusion: The animal society in this universe has attempted to solve this dilemma using a robust artificial meat industry, and while it has largely worked, criminal predation, both impulsive and premeditated, is still a huge problem.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • At first it's all about snarky dialogue, mysterious dames and glamorous nightclubs, all of it fairly tongue-in-cheek with plenty of meta humor about the noir genre and adventure gaming in general, and then Sonny and Marty find Deborah's body.
    • An observant player will hit this point an hour or so sooner, as taking a quick detour to the Hop-Dog and examining the environment will prompt Sonny and Marty to reveal how utterly horrific the Fantastic Racism in Clawville really is, a sharp turn from the fairly lighthearted representation of it up until that point.
    • An unobservant player will definitely hit this when you wake up in a burning boat..
  • Da Chief: Chief Bloodboyle is a racist and can't stand Sonny. On the other hand, he cannot be bribed, and Sonny worries about what will happen to the city when Bloodboyle retires.
  • Civilized Animal: The society presented in this game is made up of them, with no sign of any non-anthropomorphic species. Deconstructed, in that the game gives a lot of attention to the societal problems that would naturally arise in this sort of civilization.
  • Creepy Good: Professor Quetzal acts just as creepy as you'd expect a Snake Person to be, but in the end, he has nothing to do with the crimes being investigated and legitimately cares about the well-being of his patients.
  • Deceptively Silly Title: While the game does have plenty of humor and is, to some extent, a spoof of the noir genre, a title like "Chicken Police" is likely to disarm you to just how dark the story can get.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The game is almost entirely in black and white, but with the occasional Splash of Colour.
  • Detective Animal: The game stars two chickens who serve as police officers.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Lightly deconstructed with how the cast is confused as to why Control Freak Ibn Wessler would cede so much authority of his criminal empire to Mick, his top lieutenant. It soon transpires that this is because "Ibn" doesn't know how his brother's various rackets operate.
  • Dying Clue: Deborah unintentionally gives the protagonists one due to how she was killed with no signs of a struggle, implying that either her murderer was exceptionally stealthy or that she knew them well and thought she was safe around them.
  • Eats Babies: One of the worst crimes to come out of the insect Hive neighborhood involves mothers selling their infant larvae on the black market to be eaten as illegal cuisine for particularly macabre clientele.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ibn truly loved his mother. Albert killing her in a jealous rage is what finally got his brother to have him committed to a mental institution.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In addition to the above, the Wessler brothers genuinely loved each other. Ibn deeply regretted having to lock his brother up after it was clear he was dangerous, and however insane he is, Albert is clearly tortured by the fact that he "needed" to kill Ibn in order to take his place. This actually ends up being one of the flaws in his plan that allows the leads to crack the case - Albert only decided to maim and lock up his brother rather than outright kill him a short time because he still loved him despite everything, and this left enough clues for his scheme to be figured out before he snapped and killed Natasha.
  • The Faceless: While we do see old pictures of Molly and Tessa note , Tessa's only up-to-date appearance is as a faceless, obscured figure in a dream sequence, and, in the secret ending, Tessa shows up as a shadow with her arm briefly visible.
  • Fantastic Racism: A very prominent theme in the game - a culture war is brewing between the Royalists who support and encourage interspecies unity, and the Separatists, who believe in just the opposite. On a smaller scale, the various animal people often refer to each other in insulting ways, usually casually but sometimes in ways that are clearly very offensive. Various lines allude to a vague hierarchy of privilege within the city, with common/popular mammals (canines, felines, etc.) on top and insects coming in dead last - Clawville's insect population have been forcibly confined into a ghetto, there's a fly who is on the receiving end of proper police brutality, a notable "We don't serve bugs here!" sign, and Dr. Bubo makes a distinction between them and "real" animals when joking(?) about his medical experiments.
  • Femme Fatale: Natasha Catzenko is sexy and mysterious, and trouble follows her.
    Sonny: I knew she was trouble the first time I saw her. She wore danger like a perfume. It was simply part of her being, and it attracted me like light attracts the moth people.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Technically, it's regular leather, but since this is a world of animal people it's seen as this trope. While leather and fur clothing isn't outright illegal, yet, it's very looked down on in most circles. This is implied to be a recent social shift - Sonny has a picture in his office of himself and his wife, and he's embarrassed when Marty points out that he's wearing a leather jacket.
  • The Ghost: Many characters are mentioned by name multiple times, but never appear onscreen.
    • Ibn's top goon, Mongrel Mick.
    • Mary's fiance, Laura, who we know is a predator but curiously never learn the species of.
    • Officers Moses & Plato, although the former made an appearance on the game's official Twitter account.
    • Deputy Buffalo Malloy, who was supposed to be in charge during the games events but got blackout drunk.
    • Public Defender Hamtaro.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Meat War, which happened about 100 years ago. It lasted 27 years, 80-90 million animals died, and 27 species were declared extinct after the war. Some people are worried that a second Meat War is brewing.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: While their bromance goes through a lot of serious ups and downs, Sonny and Marty still fit this trope like a glove. There are even a few dialogue prompts where they jokingly banter as if they were lovers, and one easily-missed bit of dialogue reveals that the police department tried to give Marty a new partner after their partnership blew up. While the attempt failed on the first day, the news of it leaves Sonny obviously in denial of how upset that would have made him.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: An optional dialogue option that can be experienced in Act 4 if the player chooses to reenter the Weekend House has Marty reveal that he only tagged along with Sonny after the murder to see him screw up, fail, and potentially die during the case. Working with him over the course of the two days and reconciling helps him gradually overcome this disdain.
  • High-Class Call Girl: The "Sweltering Nile", a legendary brothel only open to the rich and well-connected, becomes an important location for the plot about halfway through the game.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: All the time.
    • Oaths are often given to the "Wild Ones", the animal-god pantheon of this universe's dominant religion. "By the Wild Ones", "Wild Gods," etc.
    • Probably in reference to the above, "furry" seems to be the stand-in for "holy", prompting "By all that's furry" and "Furry hell."
    • The two leads frequently use "cluck" as a stand-in for a swear word that happens to rhyme with it. Now and then, they'll also throw in the real deal.
    • "Sheepshit" seems to be a more popular figure of speech than "bullshit". Maybe it's considered offensive?
    • Characters will often substitute their animal-specific anatomy in figures of speech that reference parts of the body, for example, "On the beak".
  • I Call It "Vera": Marty gives all of his guns women's names, and apparently collectively refers to them as his "harem". Whether it was also his idea to name Sonny's gun and their station wagon, or if the habit simply rubbed off, is unclear.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Bubo muses that he had a bright medical career ahead of him. It's not enough for him to feel sorry for all his black market dealings and experiments that got his license revoked, however.
  • I Have Many Names: "Filmar Low" is one of Filmar's many aliases, all of which are just basic permutations of his actual name (Marlowe) since that makes them easier to remember and keep track of.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Now that the animals are civilized, they view predation like cannibalism, but that doesn't stop it from still being a huge problem. This is especially true in the insect ghetto, where starving parents will sometimes sell their children to be eaten by the elite, and apparently a reliable way to dispose of bodies is to simply leave them there to be eaten to nothing. A Great Off Screen War was waged over meat, and there's fears another one may happen again.
    Sonny: A long time ago, when an animal was starving, they bit someone. Worst case, they killed or ate them. That's being a predator, isn't it? And that was our job... well, it's not the case anymore. Animals are eating each other out of pleasure. It's a poison. They're losing their minds.
  • Informed Attractiveness: With human bodies but photo-realistic animal heads, we have to take the characters' word for it to greater or lesser extent when they're described as good-looking by this universe's standards.
  • Insistent Terminology: A Running Gag in the game is a character (usually Marty) describing the Chicken Police as having worked together for ten years, and Sonny correcting it to nine.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Natasha Catzenko and her gangster lover Ibn Wessler: cat woman and rat man.
    • Doctor Bubo and Ursula Fragaria: owl man and bear woman.
    • Marty and Laura: chicken man and wolf woman.
    • Sonny and Molly: chicken man and lovebird woman.
    • Broadly speaking, this is apparently a controversial subject matter in the story's universe. Some political groups oppose it, believing animals of different species should be segregated. Their most notable and outspoken opponent is Madame Zaiwass, who embraces the fact that her brothel is seen as a symbol of unity.
  • Ironic Nickname: "Sonny" would make you think of either a sunny personality or a youthful disposition, but neither could be further from the truth. It's possible it was appropriate once upon a time and simply stuck.
  • Karma Houdini: Marty faced no consequences for shooting Sonny roughly a year before the events of the game since his partner, despite his injury, didn't want his relatively spotless record tarnished by an impulsive act he himself provoked.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After solving a puzzle to open a hidden door in Madam Zaiwass' office, Marty says "It's something I've never understood. Why isn't a key good enough? You can take that with you, but riddles can be solved by anyone."
  • Left Hanging: There are a number of lingering questions left unanswered by the end which prevent Sonny and Marty from experiencing full closure. To wit, who hired Filmar to tail the heroes, who broke the maimed Ibn Wessler out of the asylum, was Natasha actually royalty in her home country, and how, if at all, was Molly involved in all of this?
  • Limited Animation: All of the game's art assets was made by combining real pictures of people and animals, putting obvious limits on the characters' range of motion. The game works around this by making the game heavily dialogue-focused, with the occasional complex action stylistically obscured in some way.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Everyone has a human body, with an animal head and maybe tail. Humans are mythical creatures.
  • Lore Codex: Featured in the notebook. Whenever a character alludes to a noteworthy historical, cultural, or geopolitical concept for the first time, a short paragraph explaining it will become available for the player to read.
  • Mad Doctor: Bubo might have propped up his father's skeleton in his office for anatomical reference, and he might have experimented with grafting insect appendages on animals. He might be joking about both, but the Chicken Police would rather not investigate the possibilities.
  • Man Bites Man: The primary focus of the Predatory Division of the police department. They not only investigate cases of direct murder and cannibalism, but also black market trafficking that facilitates the same. Due to the force being so understaffed, they are sometimes called to assist in more conventional major crimes like basic murder and theft.
  • Meaningful Name: When a character doesn't have a Species Surname, there's a good chance they'll have this.
    • Sonny Featherland is a chicken.
    • Chief Bloodboyle is a bloodhound.
    • Timothy Saltwater is a seagull.
    • Captain Marsh is a capybara.
    • Dr. Sesuuous Quetzalcoatl is a snake. note 
  • Metaphorical Marriage: Bubo and Ursula live together and are implied to have been together for a very long time, but aren't married. If you talk with Bubo long enough, he reveals that it's because he sides with the Separatists, political opponents of all things interspecies, and claims that it isn't hypocritical as long as he doesn't marry Ursula.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Pretty much all of the cops encountered in the game. They're even mildly racist towards each other. Marty at least tries to be more politically correct, but he has his lapses.
  • Noodle Incident: The two leads frequently reference old cases, some of them in more detail than others. Most notably, the Chicken Police broke up after Marty shot Sonny. The scene which reveals why Marty shot Sonny, and why Sonny thinks he deserved it, is well hidden.
  • The Nose Knows: Marty's sniffer is good enough to not only smell Deborah's perfume among all of the filth in Sonny's apartment, but even identify that she's an impala. Sonny jokes that the reason Chief Bloodboyle hates him must be that his sense of smell is even better than his own.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten Sonny getting shot in the hip by Marty. Notably, almost everyone who knows about it puts the blame firmly on Sonny, including Sonny himself.
  • The One That Got Away: Sonny's wife Molly left with their daughter some years before the start of the game, and while he doesn't like talking about it, he clearly misses them terribly.
  • Painting the Medium: The Deliberately Monochrome interface is in fact merely a reflection of how Sonny's depression seems to make everything miserable. When he's particularly struck by something, or feeling better in general, there's more color.
  • The Pollyanna: Marty, to an extent. He's far from blind to the harsh realities of Clawville or the character flaws of the people who live in it, but unlike Sonny, he adamantly holds out hope that things can get better, and still finds happiness in life's simple pleasures. From Sonny's point of view, that's enough to make him a proper Pollyanna.
    Sonny: You're too good for this world, Marty.
    Marty: Aw, thanks, boss.
  • Preppy Name: Before Deborah introduces herself to Sonny, he thinks "Elizabeth or Charlotte? I was sure she'd have a sophisticated sounding name."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marty properly tears Sonny a new one when the investigation leads to them getting tied up in a boat that's about to burn down, accusing him of being a careless, selfish coward who brings misery and death to everybody around him. Near the end of the game, an optional conversation will reveal that the speech had been silently brewing ever since he and Marty first found Deborah's body, but finally letting it out alongside that near-death experience had given him the catharsis he needed to let it go.
  • Red Herring: Many of the people you wind up investigating have ties to the royal family and espionage, but in the end, the actual threats and murder have nothing to do with the government or any sort of larger conspiracy; Sonny even refers to the whole subject by this trope name when Marty entertains the idea of looking into it further after their near-death experience with the burning ship. But again, it could be part of the Sequel Hook...
  • Sequel Hook: The Hive situation is starting to get out of control, Sonny may or may not get together with Natasha eventually, and numerous loose ends regarding backstory are left unresolved. In the hidden true ending, it's strongly implied that Molly was hovering around this case to some extent and is about to reconnect with Sonny, for unknown reasons.
  • Shout-Out: Enough to fill a zoo.
  • Smart Animal, Inconvenient Instincts: The animals in this world are sentient and civilized, but their old habits are still dying hard. An overt example is when Sonny has to talk with Dr. Quetzalcoatl - he can't help but feel deeply uncomfortable in his presence even though he hasn't done anything to really earn it simply because he's a bird and the doctor is a snake.
  • Species Surname: Most people have plain surnames, but there are a few exceptions.
    • Marty McChicken and Natasha Catzenko play it straight.
    • Doctor Bubo is an owl man, and Bubo is the scientific name for the eagle owl.
    • Ursula Fragaria has a species given name: she is a bear woman, and Ursula means "little she-bear."
  • Spotting the Thread: The nature of the clue that Natasha found, as she recognized that the handwriting of the threatening notes and graffiti matched that of Albert Wessler's monogram from the paintings he did of her.
  • Taking the Kids: Molly took her and Sonny's daughter when she left, and he hasn't seen either of them since.
  • Title Drop: The game's full title is Chicken Police: Paint it RED!. Towards the end of the game, Sonny has a dream in which a murderous Natasha repeatedly tells him to "Paint it red."
  • Twin Switch: It turns out that we never met Ibn Wessler; he's been replaced by his identical twin for quite some time, and mid-way through the game he is murdered to try and cover it up for good.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: It is a leisurely point-and-click game, with the following exceptions:
    • A puzzle where you have to save the heroes from burning by undoing the ropes binding them. This is simulated by tracing the tangled, knotted rope. With a controller. Against the clock.
    • Two sections where you shoot up a car that is chasing you, taking cover every time the passenger with a machine gun lets rip. At least there's an Achievement for shooting out its headlights.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: At the start of the game, Sonny has Lewis personally drive Deborah to wherever she needs be dropped off at since the hotel they're staying at is in a rough neighborhood. Unfortunately, this results in her being at the Wessler Weekend House just in time to catch Albert vandalizing the place, and she's subsequently killed by him to cover up his crime. Sonny is horrified at learning this, and to make it worse, the resulting clues from her death don't really provide much vital information.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Mort is an old, blind, petty criminal, who is thrown out by his much younger boyfriend mid-way through the game. You can call in a favor to get him a place to stay until he gets back on his feet, earning the achievement "Heart of Gold".
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Sonny's coat is buttoned suffocatingly taut to show how uptight and guarded he is. In the game's final cinematic, he finally unbuttons it as he has a more relaxed and emotionally open conversation with Natasha.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Marty goes through the trouble of lugging around his shotgun under his coat for a majority of the game, but outside of brandishing it to threaten information out of persons of interest, he never gets to fire it.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Apparently, Sonny named his daughter Tessa after his and Marty's old station wagon.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The reveal of Deborah's body.
    • The close-up of the Sweltering Nile's work history list, revealing Molly's name.
    • In the hidden true ending, we see a shadow approach Sonny's door that looks an awful lot like Molly.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: During the final confrontation with Albert Wessler, you can ask him outright why he made the incredibly risky move to maim and lock up his brother instead of simply killing him once he made up his mind to take his place. His answer is simple: Despite his madness, he still loved his brother, and didn't want to kill him until he felt like he absolutely had to.
  • A World Half Full: Clawville isn't wonderful, but it isn't terrible either. The people that we don't meet are probably mostly doing alright, and there are people in Clawville and nations in the wider world who are doing very well. However, you also don't have to look far to find poverty and oppression.
  • Yandere: Albert Wessler, who is a broiling and unstable kudzu of emotions that's always on the cusp of lethally bludgeoning those around him with the thin line between love and hate.
  • You Owe Me: Lacking much in the way of money, the Chicken Police trades mostly in favors. They have an outstanding balance against Bubo and Zipp, are heavily indebted to Lewis, and Monica actually cashes them out to have them just buy her shoes when she gets fed up with covering for their not strictly legal activities.