“It’s a hazy Sunday morning on the corner of July Avenue and Yam Street,” explains the game’s Steam page in the spirit of scene-setting, “Caetano Grosso, a former saxophone player and longtime pizza-maker, is just getting his pizza oven warmed up. Orders are trickling in, and he needs someone to help with the deliveries. You sense an opportunity, but unbeknownst to him, what you’re really after is his old saxophone, and you’re going to get it one way or another.”
What follows is a first-person adventure, structured something like a point-and-click game, in which players are free to explore the lively corner of July Avenue and Yam Street, Off-Peak City, meet its larger-than-life inhabitants and get to the bottom of things – all against a backdrop of woozily unsettling, 90s-CD-ROM-style visuals and a dreamy jazz-infused soundtrack that should be immediately familiar to fans of the variously strange, profound, hilarious, disturbing, and, most importantly, excellent Norwood Suite and its predecessor, Off-Peak.
As its name suggests, Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 (also known as Volume 1: Caetano’s Slice) is intended to be the first in a new anthology series from Cosmo D, with each game planned to feature its own self-contained story – once again set on the corner July Avenue and Yam Street – and an overarching plot that slowly builds to reveal a much larger mystery.
If any of this has piqued your interest, you can get a feel for Cosmo D’s distinctive aesthetic in the free adventure Off-Peak and via Norwood Suite’s demo, ahead of Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1’s 15th May release. It’ll be available on its own for $6.99 USD or as part of the Deluxe Bundle, which adds the soundtrack for $12.99 USD.