Serial Cleaner: Analysis

Serial Cleaner is an action / indie game released on July 14, 2017, developed by Draw Distance and distributed by Digital Curve where a “janitor” is hired to clean up crime scenes performed by a serial killer extremely dangerous.

Cover up the crime scene

It is up to you to use your “cleaning” gifts to earn extra money, help your mother keep the house and meet your gambling needs.

Serial cleaner game cover
The janitor flaunts his snap during his "escape".

The 70s need a Hero

Available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux and Mac platforms, the game takes place in the 70s and has a very thematic map with cars of the time, clothing and even skins customized.

In the skin of Bob Leaner, the game mixes action with stealth reminiscent of the footprint of others as Ape Out e Hotline Miami (without the part of rampant action) where the player must hide bodies and remove evidence of the crimes without being caught using to hide cabinets, trees and even boxes.

Fun mechanics

Hide, vacuum and collect

In Serial Cleaner we have 3 main objectives within the map: to hide the bodies inside the car or in bonus places according to each map to hide or get rid of the body in a fun way.

We also have to clean a percentage of the blood from the map with our faithful vacuum that makes a lot of noise and we must be careful not to alert the police.

Last but not least, collect the evidence. No job is complete if these 3 things are not completed (unless they have 2 goals or less) and the janitor cannot get away in his car.

Hide that the police are coming!

The enemies have an arch view, we often cannot get past them without drawing any attention and throughout the game you need to hide from the police and agents who discover you using hiding places like boxes and cabinets to ducts and secret passages that lead you to another part of the map

Just be careful because on the other side there is someone waiting for you!

How is the day / night around?

An extra fun feature of the game are the actual data.

But what would be real data?

Depending on the time in your region, the map is day or night, this immerses the game with real life.

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The same map but at different times.

Observing the map

At the beginning of the game the objectives are easy. Hide 2 bodies and remove 1 evidence, but as the game unfolds, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the bodies on the map and the evidence for the crime. But to make things easier, pressing space-bar we can see the whole map with all its properties from where the bodies are and which ducts and passages are connected.

This makes it much easier to find the objectives and devise the best strategy to avoid getting caught.

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It is very easy to trace the best path to the goal.

Renovating the house

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The house gets wallpapers and even a video game!

Bob makes it clear that he only accepts this job because of the money and as there is a lot of money involved he ends up buying things for mom's house.

As the campaign progresses, the janitor earns more money and passively improves and renovates his home.

Check out other unmissable analyzes 😉

gameplay

Stealthy and frantic

Despite the game's stealthy theme, we are never completely safe. Policies have a very large demand area and are walking around all the time. As the player progresses, more policemen are added and make it difficult to memorize the paths they take.

Often the player finds himself running around trying to gather the bodies and evidence as quickly as possible before strips notice your presence.

Frustrating and Formidable

The game becomes very frustrating at times due to the difficulty in which the maps are built. “Take 6 bodies and 4 pieces of evidence”, the map is not only very large, but has at least (in the case of a mission like this) 6 police. They don't look like many, but they take care of much of the map walking and going around.

If you get caught, the map restarts and the bodies and evidence move!

How many times have I lost the map myself in the last body or in the last evidence by pressing a single wrong button. This frustrates the player too much but increases the desire to beat that level and over time it becomes more and more fun to run out excited that you will be able to complete the map.

A beautiful closet

Serial Cleaner has skins for the janitor who have heavy references to games and movies. On the map it is possible to collect them and make them available to equip in the main menu.

Bonus Contracts

The main Serial Cleaner campaign has 20 contracts.

Even before completing it, bonus contracts are available to play. By collecting film rolls hidden by the maps, movie-inspired missions are unlocked to play at any time with moderate to difficult difficulty but which never fade.

The entire map is well designed and themed according to the collected film.

"What song is that ???"

Serial Cleaner has great sound mechanics. Steps, radios, home theater's and even microwaves can be used to distract police to the desired direction. Be aware that your steps and vacuum cleaners make different sounds that increase the officers' detection range.

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The diamond shows the size of the area sound effect.

♫ Tell me where you go I'm going to sweep ♫

Serial Cleaner has a range of very varied songs that match the time of the game leaving the gameplay more fluid and much more fun.

Achievements

Serial Cleaner has 28 achievements.

Pros

  • Extremely fun
  • Well-known references
  • Simple mechanics

Cons

  • Locked drive
  • Very simple AI
  • Frustrating maps

Verdict

Chart: 6/10

Serial Cleaner does not have much details but maps very well set with 70s themes very vivid.

Gameplay mechanics: 9/10

Even though it is built on very basic mechanics, the game can be extremely fun for the niche and type of gameplay it provides us. Hiding and showing up, using ducts and ventilation and getting rid of bodies in the most fun way are one of the best points of this game.

Soundtrack: 7/10

Serial Cleaner has good songs but they end up being repetitive depending on how many times you die and restart the map. Other than that, a soundtrack well done and similar to the time.

Story: 7/10

The story of the game is extremely short. It is told through short textual dialogues that occur during cut-scenes or when Bob answers the phone. But its turnaround is worth seeing as we have not known the identity of the murderer and his assistant until then.

Gameplay: 6/10

The game controls, although simple, could confuse the player if he had several objects in the same place since there are only 2 action buttons. The movement on the map became frustrating when the janitor arrested and deviated on certain walls, throwing himself (almost always) on top of the police and restarting the entire map.

Fun: 8/10

Serial Cleaner has a somewhat fun theme and very nostalgic references. Its gameplay is affected by the simplicity of the buttons but nothing that resetting the map at least 15 times does not solve.

Author comments:

Despite its flaws, Serial Cleaner is a work of art for old guard lovers who want to have fun in an arcade-style, fast-paced game. The game has an incredible game design and extremely well made maps even though we are often forced to restart the map because Bob got into the wrong ventilation or took the body instead of hiding. Frustration aside the game is good, fun and deserves your chance!

Where to buy?

Serial Cleaner is available on the platforms:

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Fun, funny, proud. Eclectic for games and addicted to fun, I have tried to balance life with games for over 15 years. I feel love and hate for Riot Games. Oh and one more thing, just don't make me angry, dwarfs tend to hold a grudge;)

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