Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Sep 8, 2020
    Paradise Killer's non-linear focus, cast of intriguing characters, deep investigation mechanics, and vaporwave presentation make it one of the best whodunnits in recent memory.
  2. Sep 21, 2020
    I'm going to go so far as to say that Paradise Killer is a masterpiece. This isn't to say it's perfect. The music is top-tier, the mystery is deep and twisted, the world is exciting and interesting to explore with some lovely visuals. The characters are all well designed and compelling. What's not to like?
  3. Sep 3, 2020
    An incredible world of demons, mystery, and vaporwave, Paradise Killer sets new standards for the detective genre.
  4. Nov 16, 2020
    An investigative adventure that actually makes you feel like a detective, Paradise Killer blends surreal world-building, vibrant art, clever writing, and rock-solid open-world gameplay to create an experience you won’t soon forget.
  5. Oct 29, 2020
    This is by far one of the most creative, most satisfying, and most appealing games I’ve played all year, firmly sitting at the top of my GOTY 2020 list.
  6. Sep 25, 2020
    Paradise Killer marries a beautifully repulsive world with a gratifyingly open-ended approach to detective work, but its real achievement is in how it ties everything you’ve learned together. After a whole game of learning the story, you’re suddenly the one writing the ending. The most important person a detective needs to prove a case to is themselves, to give them the confidence to pass those details along. Paradise Killer treats you in much the same way. By the end of its 15 hours, the only person you really need to convince is yourself: Is that the ending you want to see? OK, prove it.
  7. Sep 11, 2020
    Paradise Killer is a singular, exemplary experience. It's a detective game that feels like real detective work in a way few games do, and it makes its extremely complex worldbuilding feel effortless. I put off the final trial for as long as I can not only because I wanted all the evidence I could find, but because I did not want to leave the island or the game. Paradise might have been killed, but when you're deep into untangling the game's conspiracies, it feels very much alive.
  8. Sep 10, 2020
    Paradise Killer is an exceptionally enjoyable piece of entertainment. I loved the world and characters and I loved solving the mystery. Anyone who enjoys piecing things together and carefully combing over a digital world for goodies will likely be elated by what's on offer.
  9. Oct 13, 2020
    Paradise Killer offers the complexity and freedom we expect from a detective adventure.
  10. Oct 8, 2020
    An extremely distinct investigation game with the rare confidence to let you actually be a detective, and a fun groove to boot.
  11. Oct 9, 2020
    Few games can offer something quite as weirdly creative as Paradise Killer. Exploring the island, talking with the suspects, piecing the mystery together, and holding the final trial is a thoroughly enjoyable ride in this open world crime mystery.
  12. Oct 4, 2020
    There’s nothing so gauche or straightforward as a Miss Marple denouement reveal, where you discover whether or not your conclusions were correct. In Paradise Killer the truth is more complicated and, counterintuitively, all the more satisfying for it.
  13. Oct 2, 2020
    Paradise Killer is a pure, unguided detective mystery that doesn't dare hold your hand. You, and you alone, are in charge of seeking out not only the truth of this locked room murder, but the truth of the wild and cosmically corrupt world that the game takes place in. The open ended nature of the investigation can be daunting at first, and while some clunky platforming and frequent periods of downtime can sour the experience just a bit, Paradise Killer still manages to be one of the most well put together and utterly satisfying mystery games I've ever experienced.
  14. Sep 3, 2020
    A bright and breezy game that unfortunately drags a little at points, Paradise Killer is nevertheless an enjoyable jaunt that does something a little different with a genre that has a reputation for being somewhat dour. Absolutely worth your time – just be prepared to dedicate a little more of it than you might expect in the early stages.
  15. Sep 3, 2020
    There are very few murder mystery games that give you as much agency as Paradise Killer does. Although it takes a little while to get into the swing of things, when you’re deep in your investigation, coming across key pieces of evidence or catching your suspects out in a lie, you feel unstoppable. And having the power to make an accusation, right or wrong, is a very nice touch too. I’d like to see the same gameplay replicated in an experience more grounded in reality, but once you get used to the fact you’re living amongst gods and immortal beings, it’s hard not to love Paradise Killer exactly how it is.
  16. Sep 18, 2020
    For a good while this is a quite motivating, in terms of storytelling quite tense thriller - with a rather disappointing ending.
  17. May 5, 2022
    Paradise Killer offers a highly unique experience with interesting characters and a heavily detailed mystery to follow. However, its needlessly convoluted story and writing may deter some players from diving in.
  18. Nov 16, 2021
    While Paradise Killer seems like a detective adventure game, it’s not impossible to beat the game without solving the main mystery at all. The game’s climax plays out in a court session, which the player can engage in at any given point. But in order to unveil the true story, you will need to collect countless pieces of evidence and talk to many different characters. This means that you will need to work your way through an inconveniently designed open world, and I often found the game’s scenario hard to swallow. That being said, from quirky character design to Japan-inspired locales and a Vaporwave-like soundtrack and UI, the game’s surrealistic atmosphere is well worth a visit.
  19. Oct 4, 2020
    Paradise Killer is a very intriguing detective story with an interesting and deep world and well-developed characters, which suffers from a number of shortcomings.
  20. Oct 2, 2020
    There’s a lot to love with Paradise Killer. From the cool cast of characters, to the open-ended nature of the investigation, players will find it easy to dive in. The vaporwave visual design may not be to everyone’s tastes, but those who enjoy it will love the world on display. The biggest disappointments are that there’s not more to the world exploration aspect. It’s also a shame that the open world nature of the gameplay does not carry over into the anticlimactic trials. Even so, it’s worth taking a vacation on Paradise Island. Paradise Killer is a bold first release from Kaizen Game Works and we’re looking forward to see what they create next.
  21. Sep 4, 2020
    All told, Paradise Killer’s open world nature with a mystery driven narrative just doesn’t work for me. The pacing was all over the place, something that is vital for any mystery. Even with interesting locations and characters, the world itself didn’t feel lived in and was frustrating to navigate. The experimental nature of this game, creative design, vast scope, and rad tone make it worth trying if you are a big mystery fan, but it may be best to skip if they’re not your thing in the first place.
  22. 60
    Paradise Killer is a smart, imaginative tale supported by barebones gameplay and wrapped in a highly subjective presentation.
  23. Sep 3, 2020
    Paradise Killer drips with endearing style and charm, but can't quite make its finale match up to its opening hours. Discovering intrigue and mystery is compelling at the start, but the good gets lost in its collectible busywork. Paradise Killer is a good option for virtual detective fanatics in need of new mysteries, but it lacks the staying power of other modern mystery giants.
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  1. Sep 9, 2020
    A stylish, dreamily wrought open-world detective adventure that dances masterfully on the edge of cosmic nightmare. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. But Paradise Killer also backs the style with substance. The Syndicate’s lifestyle is supported by the mass abduction and eventual murder of normal people from our reality, who become a kind of cattle class. They’re banned from doing basically anything, placated by soft drink mascots, and give their literal blood to a cause they never benefit from.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Sep 29, 2020
    HYPERBOLE reviews aren't from real people.

    i got this when i read its polygon article. how this is such an amazing game, and ohmagwad dat
    HYPERBOLE reviews aren't from real people.

    i got this when i read its polygon article. how this is such an amazing game, and ohmagwad dat setting and exploration and game of the year ohmagaaaawd 3 page essay ohmaGAAAAWD

    but of course, real people don't react like that or write essays on how good something is and why u shuld buy it init.

    game's vibe and brightness = psychosmatic symptoms and nausea

    *-*8_8*88**8--just so u were warned B4HAND*-*8_8*88**8--

    10/10 would rather sloppily make out with pewdiepie ok??
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 2, 2020
    This title truly sets a new standard for detective games. Using an open-world with hidden rooms and passages to find clues in order to solveThis title truly sets a new standard for detective games. Using an open-world with hidden rooms and passages to find clues in order to solve an excellent mystery (even just on its own) was a fantastic idea and executed almost flawlessly.

    Creativity and worldbuilding oozes from this game's story, characters, and (of course) world to explore. So much so, in fact, that I fear it may be too overwhelming for the first couple of hours of a blind playthrough. I would recommend someone who has beaten this game give you, or you yourself look up, a quick backstory to the world of Paradise Killer first so that you can focus on the mystery without being busy wondering what the heck you're even playing first.

    I very much appreciated this game not holding your hand when finding clues and solving each mystery, not to mention giving the player the ability to essentially end the game anytime they wish once they are satisfied with their investigation. This really helps the journey feel like your own, since you basically choose what ending you get as well as the fates of everyone left on the island. The journey is definitely where the game's strength is, however, as the epilogue to this mystery is overall a bit underwhelming considering its grande finale.

    Absolutely worth every cent of your $20 and I can't wait for more adventures with the Investigator.

    Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2023
    I'm going to admit to several things that may make enemies for me, but I have to say it: An amazing premise and soundtrack have beenI'm going to admit to several things that may make enemies for me, but I have to say it: An amazing premise and soundtrack have been tragically placed into one of the most mechanically barren and offputtingly designed game i've ever played. This game almost certainly appeals to someone, but that someone is a very specific someone. Someone whos favorite music is vaporwave, disliked the action segments in LA Noire, and loves JoJos Bizarre Adventure. Full Review »