The most delightful detective game on Steam gets a sequel

Chicken Police: Into the Hive is a sequel to fantastic Steam game Paint it Red, and sees titular detectives Sonny and Marty return to uncover a new conspiracy.

Chicken Police Into the Hive - Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken, two chicken detectives in shirts, ties, and jackets.

Chicken Police is a series that caught me completely by surprise. I went into debut game Paint it Red expecting a silly noir mystery, one where every character lining its rain-soaked streets happens to be an animal. I got just that, but I also found one of the most compelling and well-written detective games in years, with excellent voice acting and delightful humor to match. Now, buddy-cop duo Sonny and Marty return to Steam in Chicken Police: Into the Hive, tackling an all-new conspiracy that delves into the insect underbelly of Clawville.

Much like its predecessor, Into the Hive will see you exploring the city of Clawville gathering clues, questioning suspects and bystanders, and solving plenty of side quests along the way. PCGamesN spoke to Balint Bank Varga, co-founder of The Wild Gentlemen and game director on Into the Hive, about what we can expect from this follow-on.

Into the Hive “is set three years after the events of the first part,” Varga explains, “but in many ways, it can feel like more, because the city has changed a lot in that time and our heroes have also aged a bit.” The city has changed following the events of Paint it Red, and Varga remarks that “those who played the first game will be faced with striking differences” in some instances.

Chicken Police Into the Hive - a noir-style movie poster featuring animals in suits backed by a golden moon.

As for the cast, while the main mystery and the reveal trailer appears to focus on a new set of suspects, there will definitely be some familiar faces returning from the first game. Alongside titular chicken police Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken, you can expect to see their bloodhound boss, Chief Bloodboyle, in action. Sly raccoon Zipp also returns, as do Dr. Bubo and receptionist Monica, but Varga wants to keep some as surprises for now.

Varga says players can expect Into the Hive’s main storyline to be “roughly the same length” as that of Paint it Red, but says, “this time players will have much more freedom to follow their own path, and we’ve also increased the replayability quite a bit.” With more than thirty fully voiced characters to meet and “a myriad of side quests, pathways, and opportunities to explore,” it sounds like there’ll be even more to uncover. I can’t wait.

I absolutely adored the first Chicken Police, far beyond any expectations I could have had going in, so I asked whether the team had always planned to come back to Clawville. “There was no question for us about whether we wanted to return to this world or not,” Varga says, “We planned from the beginning that if we could do it, we would. We just needed to find the right partner – which we have in Joystick Ventures.”

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Chicken Police: Into the Hive is set to release in 2024 on PC. You can wishlist it now on Steam, if you want to keep track of its progress. In the meantime, if you’ve yet to play the original, let me reaffirm my heartiest of recommendations for Paint it Red as well.

Otherwise, take a look through more of the best adventure games if you’re a fan of point-and-clicks, or browse the best crime games to uncover – or cause – plenty of havoc on the wrong side of the law.