As a fan of the old Point and Click genre, I really wanted to like this game. First impressions were really good. The environment graphics are very well painted and the town of Bidderford has an appealing quaintness. There are some effective weather changes, which alter the mood of the game and create a very immersive atmosphere. Personally, I couldn’t wait to explore.
Unfortunately, within an hour you have seen everything there is to see of Biddeford. No new areas open up to the player and existing areas are very limited. One simply jumps from one area of significance to the next, leaving no room to explore or take in the surroundings. As a result, we don’t get the sense of a living and functioning town, but rather just a few limited sets.
The plot has its strengths and is quite intriguing at times..or at least it has the potential to be. There are some mysterious events going on and some sinister characters that you’re eager to investigate, including the protagonist’s sleazy boss. Unfortunately, the game focuses more on some cliched romance plot between Darren (the protagonist) and some random girl he happened to pass in the street one day. He runs round after her like a lovesick lapdog, while his mother lies dying in hospital and people’s lives are being ruined. It’s at this point Darren started to grate on my nerves.
One of the biggest failings of this game is the sheer obnoxiousness of the protagonist. Apart from sounding like Butthead, he is disrespectful, immature and downright pathetic, and I found myself wishing bad things to happen to him. He shows no emotion and no personality and is a very shallow and underdeveloped character.
Another annoying aspect of this game is that many significant events are brushed over. You spend the first part of the game running back and forth, gathering evidence to prove the innocence of the aforementioned girl and when it’s all complete and you’re getting ready to present your evidence, hear what the police have to say and so on, the game just cuts to “later that evening” when Darren and the random girl are having a chat.
However, while the game does it’s best to avoid plots or exposition that might actually interest the player and make for an entertaining story, it makes sure you are given information about every little triviality and insignificant item in the game. You can’t just click on a drawer and expect to open it….first you must hear what kind of wood the drawer is made of and how old it looks. Another example is when you click on the shower and get some longwinded monologue about Darren’s breakfast. All this unnecessary dialogue just drags the game out and makes for a very tedious experience. What’s more, you end up learning the life history of supporting characters who don’t even play a part in the game’s plot.
The puzzles themselves are quite engaging and often logical. It’s fulfilling to see them come together, which is, of course, a big appeal of such games. Unfortunately, playing the game just feels like a long chore and is very frustrating.
Read the review »
Time Played: 2-5 hours