To put it simply it’s a whodunit game with added puzzles. Recommended only if you like the genre.
The game consists of 6 episodes, and each episode contains around 12 puzzles to solve before you reach the end of the episode and have to guess the criminal of the current episode. Each episode has a structure like this:
- Episode intro
- Go talk to several (3-5) eyewitnesses, and each eyewitness will present you with a puzzle to solve before they would give you a piece of information.
- Repeat number 2
- Repeat number 2
- Repeat number 2
- Guess the episode’s culprit
When I said Quiz… the game will check whether you’ve been paying attention by asking you questions related to what have been happening in the episode so far. The question ranged from “What did A was planning to do?” to “How many tea cups were in the room?” or something… answering them wrongly would not affect the storyline.
Actually, failing to solve the puzzles themselves would not affect the storyline. When you failed to solve a puzzle, you’d be given the option to try again or to quit, and quitting will show you the solution to the puzzle. Solving the puzzle, depending on how many attempts you made and how fast you solved it, will reward you with gold/silver/bronze medals. Again, they don’t affect the storyline… the game will rate how well you did in an episode based on the number of medals you acquired. I think this is for the multi-player component of the game, to judge which of the player won the episode.
With regards to choosing the criminal, again, it doesn’t affect the storyline. The story will continue along even if you picked the wrong criminal. But can I just say this… it’s not easy, unless you’ve been paying attention to *everything*. From 6 episodes, I guessed the criminal for 3 episodes wrongly…
Story was well-structured, although sadly it still left me with some unanswered questions… mostly minor ones. And the ending was a pitch that screamed “Expect a sequel!” No cliffhanger though, and it answered all the major questions. Although to be honest, the story is nowhere near as excellent as the Professor Layton series, when it comes to puzzle-mystery games…
The game allows you to choose from 4 different detectives to play the game as, all of which are employed by the Blue Toad Detective Agency. Apart from slight changes in the cutscenes, nothing else in the story changed (the player character doesn’t have any spoken dialogue, all of his/her action/speech narrated by the Narrator instead). I think this character-select capability is there only for the multi-player component of the game, which I’m yet to try…
Strangely, the most enjoyable part of the game, to me, was the Narrator. The game’s Narrator is really *The* Narrator, because he narrates *everything*. …this includes all of the characters’ dialogues, so you have 1 guy voicing male and female, young and old. And actually doing a pretty good job. There’s also the slight British accent, since the game was set in a “quaint and picturesque small English village”. While the dialogues themselves were pretty amusing from time to time, it’s the commentaries that were pure gold… Whenever you finish a puzzle, the narrator will comment on how well you did, with sentences like:
- “You solved it so fast! Just a little too fast, maybe. You made one mistake. That is all right. Let us patronize you.”
- “Oh? Have you finished? What were you doing? Devising many ways to get it wrong?”
- “Why, here’s a bronze medal, the very embodiment of our contempt for you.”
- “Not only are you slow, you’re incompetent, too! Bronze! The medal that celebrates your deficiency!”
- “Are you marvelous or moronic! Ah, spot on!”
…not sure about the rest of you, but I thought solving the puzzles were worth it just to hear the commentaries. …but then again, sometimes I wonder if I’m developing masochistic tendencies…
So… recommended only if you like a whodunit game with puzzles. Not at the full price though…