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This is a game for PC that I got a couple of years ago and only got around to playing recently when my internet was down, I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it but I think it was around £5. It is currently just under £6 new or around £2.50 used on Amazon at the moment including delivery. The game is also available to download from bigfishgames for $2.99.
The disc comes in a black plastic dvd box with a cardboard sleeve on the outside and a game manual and disc inside.
The game is for over 16s, I think it would also be suitable for players a bit younger than this.
Installation takes around 5 minutes and you will need the disc inserted when playing the game.
You play the character of Nicole Bonnet in a point and click style of game, controlling her movements in investigating and trying to find clues to track down a murderer.
You start in an office environment where you discover your partner has gone missing and are instructed to proceed without him. You are given some pretty dull tasks to do such as accessing a computer, collecting something from a printer, getting items from an evidence room and talking to other characters.
You cannot wander around from scene to scene as you wish and must complete your task before you can leave the room or building.
There are various tasks which mainly involve searching for clues, this can be quite difficult as your only instruction may be to find clues. In one museum scene I was wandering around for ages trying to find something and it actually involved moving and using xray equipment which I knew nothing about.
Due to the lack of information in your instructions the game is quite difficult and quite frustrating I found myself guessing a lot of things or just trying to move things until finallly something would happen.
The storyline is good, as are the graphics, but your character walks around at snails pace and it seems to take her far too long to walk to the place you have clicked on (especially as she is supposed to be in a hurry to find a murderer).
Any clues or items you may collect along your way will be stored in your inventory, you will also have a PDA to use when your task involves contacting other people.
There are 15 scenes in total, at one stage you travel to Peru which makes a nice change to the office scenes which are incredibly dull.
The game is advertised as having over 100 puzzles, it probably does, but some of them I wouldn't really class as puzzles, it could be something as simple as putting a couple of pieces together to create another piece of equipment.
There are some interesting parts and some good aspects of the game, but these are few and far between in what is otherwise a long and rather boring game. It is annoying having to go back to one scene just to perform one simple action before returning to where you were in the first place.
I eventually finished this game after what seemed like an age, the ending was quite good but it's not a game I would be interested in playing again, due to the length and the fact that any interest that was there first time around wouldn't be there a second time of playing as I'd already know the solutions to any puzzles.
I have brought many games online from a wide range of companies and the most common company I use has to be Big Fish Games. This game is one of those which are not going to sparkle and make people want to purchase it.
~~~ The Game ~~~
This game is about you playing the role of a lady who is an agent. Your mission is to solve the cases given to you by the investigator and the boss. These missions could be basically locating a person by phoning people or it might be more serious where you need to solve a murder.
The concept of the game is very much like a FBI case where you're given a case and need to solve it as soon as possible. You're not timed on this game but what you are going to encounter is boredom.
You get given dialogue by the boss who will instruct you to go and do various things and you then control this lady who is dressed in a suit and looks pretty much the part and you make her walk from one place to another with your mouse clicks.
The mouse clicks are the problem on this game but more on this later. The game requires you to use your own mind to solve the various puzzles or cases your given. You have to look at everything so if you see a desk nearby you need to click on there for either assistance or perhaps to use something.
On this game you can actually store items in an inventory to use at a later time on the game. An example would be when the printer is out of paper you might find some and collect this to use later to print some information off.
The game offers you a chance to act like a detective because you're not given much help from any of the other characters on the game. You see a receptionist throughout the game and meet other people and investigate all sorts of areas.
The game is all done through you and the mouse because you do not need to type anything at all. Your skills are what are vital here so you need to look around all scenes and if you need to find a mobile number you go and look for it. Throughout the game you do get help with your own PDA as well.
This stores numbers and information in as well but because you do not use it that often occasionally you can be watching and looking around and actually forget that you have the PDA open to you at all times so this is one part of the game you have to remember to use often.
~~~ Moving Around and Dialogue ~~~
When you start on this game you're not given any sort of tutorial at all you're just given a story to follow which is the main theme throughout. You begin moving your character towards certain parts of a scene so she can investigate.
You see a door you click the mouse towards this area and your character will walk directly to the door and usually go through it unless it is unlocked. The walking speed is so slow that you will fall asleep because it is that poor.
However, little did I know double clicking actually made my character run so that was one problem solved but even then the running was unrealistic. The character lacks proper movement she seems to swivel her bottom around and her feet move slowly even when running.
You click around various locations such as an empty desk and yet nothing happens yet if you click the desk about five or six times amazingly you're then allowed to explore this area more closely which is just very random and annoying.
You can click on almost anything and if something can be stored or used to go through the mouse logo tends to create a circular icon which demonstrates you can walk through or use this item in some way.
If you click on characters you open up a dialogue and sometimes it can be very useful to your investigation but other times it is so poor that you're left wondering why you bothered.
The biggest issue on the game is when you pick up an inventory item by mistake because you thought you could use it. However, when you try to place it back inside the inventory area the game tends to stop this action. Unless you put the item back you cannot do anything else on the game so you have to spend a few minutes clicking around for the item to return back to the inventory.
The dialogue though is perhaps the most annoying and frustrating part to the game. You click on a character and they open up a dialogue which is usually important to start with but tends to go in a different direction halfway through.
You're never really told about what your investigation will entail or if you will get any help with your investigation through another agent. Some scenes where you speak to people you can end up spending 3-4 minutes reading through the dialogue which in my view would be better if they produced a long speech with what is happening to read through.
The dialogue also tends to be coloured sometimes for no apparent reason. Some of the words begin to show up in red writing and then green so I am suspecting this is due to perhaps a shouting situation is when the red writing is used and green for a more calmer nature but no idea overall.
~~~ My Experience ~~~
I got this game purely because I wanted to see what this game could offer me in terms of fun but also because it was a mystery type game which I do enjoy.
The problems began for me the moment I began my first investigation. You need to find a way to contact a fellow colleague and have to go and seek out his mobile number if you can. You will find it eventually within a few minutes in fact.
You then use your PDA to ring his number yet nothing happens and then a few moments later you find his number listed on your contacts on your PDA but it was not there early on so the game already creates problems because it makes stuff happen you do not even see happening.
The next issue came when I wanted to locate and search various areas. I kept trying to find help maybe a hint button or some sort of list of things I needed to do but nothing was around. I found two places to seek information and this was Ruth the receptionist who chats idle nonsense all the time and the second was just trying to seek out information.
There is little there to impress me after the first investigation and to be honest the game is long winded and very boring and after my fifth mission I got so bored I gave up for a few days and later returned.
I never found anything to make me want to keep on playing which is the biggest problem in a game like this. My character lacked any real movement and the mouse movements are at best weak.
~~~ Graphics and Game Play ~~~
The graphics on this game are fantastic in my view they have really done well to make the office look like an office with plenty of colour, depth of colour and have gone all out to make this look good.
The main character you play has good features and everyone looks impressive and all items you need to investigate are easy to identify which is the main purpose of the graphics.
If there is one fault with the graphics it would be that at times when you swap one room to another the new room you enter can be very bright and hurt your eyes but a few moments later the colour dies down and your able to view it better.
The game play though is a different matter because that is poor. The speed of the game is slow and you're left very bored very quickly. If you try and make the character run around to speed up the process of the investigation it still does nothing to help the overall impression of the game.
The game has got problems with game play with the speed of the mouse clicks and how you use various features. When you do click on one room to enter another you're left bemused as to why it takes so long to get through one room to the other so there is major issues with the game play.
~~~ Final Thoughts ~~~
The game offered plenty with the appeal of the main screenshots I saw online and impressed with the story it had but after a few moments of playing this game you realise it is not what it is cracked up to be.
I think the game needs quicker speed for a start so you're not left bored all the time. In terms of what the game also could offer to increase your own personal enjoyment I think the best thing the game could have offered was some assistance with the investigations.
Overall this game has a rating off 4 out of 10.