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Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Former commercial
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 1991
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This is a converted game book or "solo adventure", turned into Z-code, so I wasn't expecting exactly the same things I might have expected from a different piece of IF. I was looking for something I could compare to other choose-your-own-adventure style offerings in the IF world, such as One Week, Desert Heat, and When Help Collides, The Geisha Section.
The game has an RPG element, which is to say that you're allowed to adjust some basic skills up or down for your character. Later, these affect the success or failure of your attempts; the calculations are done automatically by the game and you are told whether you succeeded or failed and what the outcome was. (I presume that in the paper version of these game books, the reader/player would have had to perform some dice-rolling at these points.)
What this left was a handful of decision points with a lot of intervening text (in which there would occasionally be a bold-faced You attempted a Communication roll, and failed. [I paraphrase.]) This was, frankly, more reading than I really wanted to do. Then, the writing was nothing terribly stand-out, and most of it consisted of pointed plot exposition, rather than action. Many of the decision points consisted of the choice:
(a) Do [interesting action]
On the whole, a lot of binary choices like this, especially when one of them is "do nothing," doesn't seem to present even the basic level of challenge and interest I expect out of a choose-your-own-adventure scenario. I gave up before the actual mystery really got off the ground.
In this game, you play the role of Watson's cousin and Sherlock enlists your help with two cases that come up, which he can't help with (train to catch in the first, and the second he is a witness to the crime). Most of the game consists of you asking questions in the right way, using your observation skills, and other skills that are based on the points you give yourself at the start of the game. The part I enjoyed with this game was the writing. The puzzles are lacking a bit and seem to require trial and error, more than anything else. But the description, dialogue, and details of the crimes are very impressive and worth playing the game for. I would definitely play the next in the series. It does show a lot of potential and I would suggest it for the newbie.