BASED ON BETA & DEMO
It’s been a while since we had a truly exclusively Hidden Object game. It’s been worth the wait. This is a marvelous whodunit with all the flavour and quality of a HOPA without the added stress and confusion associated with complex stories and quests. Here we follow the investigation from HOP to HOP with a smooth and easy transition that will delight true HOG players.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Sadly, this game is not made for wide-screen, but it does have an aspect correction option, and in any case looks quite good stretched. Good quality ‘painted’ graphics make items easy to see – once you look at them the right way, of course!
They are accompanied by fun ambient sounds and an excellent voiceover who keeps us up to date without too much waffling and stating of the obvious (yeah, sure, there is a little of that of course). The bad guy is fun, clear voiceover, and the way he hides his identity is a giggle. I love how subtle the music can be – for instance, the ‘Asia lover’s’ apartment has ‘Asian’ music that is for once not overdone.
One feature I first found in the beta (done eons ago, I thought this game was doomed), that really tickled me, I found the overhead fan’s steady whup, whup, whup, annoying. Out of pique I clicked on it as if that would shut it up, and it did!! Though in the demo, we aren’t tortured by that noise, we can turn the fan on, if we want or need to (full realism here, it’s hot so we need to). What a wonderful touch! We are also expected to take a little care of that office of ours, so click around. *wink*
A serial killer calling himself the “Toymaker” is playing games with us. He leaves clues and video recordings at the scenes of his crimes, taunting us. As the detective in charge of the case, we must follow his clues to various locations and find what he has left for us, solve his cryptic puzzles and track him down.
This is suitably simple. We work in our office. And travel from there to the locations on the map.
Each location has something the Toymaker has left us, which forms part of a puzzle we need to solve. Or sometimes the clues are brought to us from other sources, such as emergency phone calls. Either way, we always find more and more locations to investigate. So each chapter consists of us receiving an initial clue, pointing in the direction of one or more locations. In each we conduct a HOP to find another piece of the puzzle. Once all locations have been cleared, we must solve the puzzle to move on.
There is a hnt button, that works in your office, but it has very little it can tell you there. It is sometimes useful in the HOP scenes, which contain objects that are cleverly disguised, although obvious once you see them. The game has a notebook, where details of the puzzles are kept, but not the dossier information on suspects that I would have liked to see recorded after they are displayed to us. While most HOG players aren’t much interested in story, this game has a great one, and a dossier on suspects or similar would have added to the fun.
My one serious criticism is that the cursor is way too big.
This is a neat game, both in design and production standards. I would absolutely have to own it were I a primarily HOG player. As it is, despite preferring HOPAs, it goes straight on to my wish list.
I recommend this game!