GamingReview: Pecaminosa

Review: Pecaminosa


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Pecaminosa takes on the story of John Souza, a former detective with a dark past. Upon beginning the game you are visited by the spirit of the last detective you killed. Thus the story of Pecaminosa falls into place. When meeting new characters, more story is unveiled. The pixel theme 2D approach to a challenging 90’s style game makes Pecaminosa an enjoyable experience all round. 

Not so fun for the family

The controls are simple to pick up and explained in the first few missions for the game, but I wouldn’t suggest it is fun for all the family. Pecaminosa holds the characteristics of a classic noir. It’s graphic and sleazy and all things wonderful about an underground detective game. Characters swear and speak fouly towards one another, there’s guns and fights and clubs where characters don’t want to be seen. You have to speak to people to find the truth and location of your enemies, but they definitely don’t sugarcoat their experiences.
Although the controls are simple, they aren’t customisable. Aim is occasionally challenging and sometimes the dash function doesn’t run as smoothly as you’d like – but regardless, it is still fun. 

The story typically follows the expected cliches of a detective seeking redemption. Despite it being fun and engaging, there aren’t really any twists and turns to make you stand out of your seat. It’s fun to play handheld, on the go or in between tasks as you tend to know exactly where to go and what to do without being told. The graphics are smooth and the characters and places look great. Everything is unique to location, creating a perfect noir immersive experience. On occasion, this can make it seem somewhat empty though. A lot of tasks require walking from point A to B and then back again. Pick up this item, take it here, then return with something else. It feels repetitive what it’s about the sixth time you’ve explored this area. 

Stunning sound

One of the best features arguably is the sound design. A smooth jazz soundtrack accompanies exploration, fitting perfectly with the feel of Pecaminosa. Sound effects used in the city are traditional and familiar, so the music really stands out. Half the time, you’ll probably sit back and feel like you become John Souza due to how engaging the music makes the game. It’s sleek and perfect, mimicking the locations you’re in perfectly. Even boss fights have their own themes to be intimidating, and fights have different patterns so you never feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. 

Life points

Each time you level up, you’re asked to use your skill points to buff skills. Luck, intelligence, force and endurance are the four skills you can use when interacting with characters. Obviously buffing different things makes certain encounters easier, so use your points wisely. Interactions with characters are definitely made more interesting when these skill points are utilised. 

Final thoughts

As a whole, Pecaminosa is a very enjoyable game. It definitely proved me wrong when I didn’t think it would be so excellent upon picking it up. I’ve been playing bits of the story here and there when I can, and would definitely recommend. If you want a little bit of jazz filled, detective redemption, this is most certainly for you.


Welcome to Pecaminosa, a border city between the United States and Mexico where gambling, corruption and crime reign in its dusty streets. A home for all those who live outside the law... and for our protagonist, John Souza, a former detective, a man who lived through better times before finding comfort at the bottom of the bottle.

+ Stunning soundtrack
+ Engaging characters
+ Unique pixel style
- Tasks seem repetitive
- Occasionally town seems very empty and lackluster

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch but also available on Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Kara Phillips
Hi I'm Kara and I am forever spending my days diving into realities far from my own.

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