Whodunit The Eipix Way*****
BASED ON DEMO
Opening scenes are good, exciting and mysterious, and done in the very best of whodunit film making. But I am tired of the art deco motif. I love the interface, its colours and crisp lines, but it is sooo déjà vu, at first it almost seemed a part of the Final Cut series. Yes, Eipix, it looks beautiful, but it also looks far too familiar.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
As mentioned, lose the art deco, or alter it to some other aspect of the era. Apart from that, the art is splendid. The cut scenes are an improvement of some of Eipix’s recent games, and they have done some fun things with point of view. The lip synching is direct in this game, and well done. The actors are good. The music is fine. Ambient noise & special effects also good.
Famous actress (who happens to work for our favourite film makers) falls/jumps/pushed off a lighthouse on the night of her birthday party. Island sealed off when you, the detective, arrive to investigate. You have a partner you apparently worked with before, sweet voice, very mild. Your boat dies just as you arrive on the island, so he sticks by the boat while we meet the suspects and snoop around. Already, everyone you meet is behaving suspiciously.
Less HOPs and puzzles in this game makes way for a new style of play, almost entirely unseen before. Have a “deduction dialogue” magnifying glass that gives a hint at something you may want to question when you are talking to suspects. For instance, the maid says she has been crying all night. The magnifier has written under it “Crying all night?” A quick look and click at her eyes and handkerchief show she’s lying and she is forced to revise her story. And so on with her jewellery etc. At other times, it may be an object sketched that you should ask about.
This unique puzzler is combined with a suspect list and an ‘evidence’ board. The list gives detailed information on the history and details you bring out on each subject. The evidence board has items that must first be found and put together, like an incriminating photograph. Later, another way of viewing objects as clues and evidence occurs at the murder scene, where successively highlighted objects give you information about what happened.
The HOPs so far include an interactive word list that is followed by a fragmented object that must be put together once you get it into inventory. Then another mini-HOP of silhouettes, uniquely presented, accompanied by a multiples of. Both types can be swapped for a bubble shooter game I had so much fun with I didn’t notice I had finished with the list and was now “finding” fragmented parts!
Puzzles also include odd little differences, all fun and not difficult. There is no journal, only the evidence board. But there is directional hint and an interactive jump map. And the partner – not that he’s been much use so far. Three levels of difficulty plus a custom mode.
Achievements, just listed in a sliding, well, list. Not my preferred way of viewing them. 44 collectible stars, and unknown number of morphing objects in the HOPs. Replayable HOPs and Mini-games, and the Bubble Popper game, all accessed through the Extras. You can get up to 3 medals each in playing the Extras HOPs. There’s also a Souvenir Room, a Making Of video, movies and music. Wallpapers look good (12).
Will I love this game? Of course, it is Eipix, and they seem unable to serve up anything but irresistible fare for me. This is not going to be my favourite, I imagine, however. The whole “detective from the era” thing somehow escapes my interest. But I love what they’ve done with the deduction dialogue and crime scene evidence, it is fresh and new.
I recommend this game!