First of all the game doesn’t really feel like a detective game. The actual gameplay consists in exploring a house, trying to find ways to get to new sections of the house. Of course you find hints to the solution of the mystery along the way, but you don’t need to care about those to progress in the game.
Instead actual gameplay to a very large extent consists in finding tiny objects that are needed to make progress and which are hidden amongst a large number of other objects many of which seem potentially important but which you can’t interact with. A particularly annoying example of this is a wine cellar where there are a few of the many bottles which you can pick up and the only way of finding out which is to move your mouse cursor over all of them.
Once you have the relevant objects the solutions to puzzles are mostly quite straightforward. It’s the constant pixelhunting that provides most of the challenge. And it’s not just objects you need to search for. I found myself stuck at one point because I hadn’t found that you could click in a certain location to look under a table. The result is that gameplay is tedious rather than fun, I don’t want to be moving the mouse pointer over every little detail in the game to see if a particular object, which you often cannot even recognise what they are because they are so small, is something the developers have decided is going to be important for making progress in the game.
Voice acting is awful, the actor playing Holmes is obviously American with a badly faked British accent. Voice acting for other characters is even worse. The music is also not very good and above all not at all apropriate to the attempted atmosphere in the game. There is no volume control in the game so you cannot turn either the voice acting or the music off without turning sound off completely (from outside the game).
There is not really much story development during the game, you find some clues as to what is going on but Holmes himself doesn’t really have much to say about the case until the big reveal at the very end.
The game also suffers from a major lack of general polish, for examples Holmes comments on attemted actions are sometimes idiotic (e.g. when he comments “this door is locked” when you try to unlock a door with a key) and when you can die in the game there is often no explanation to why you die (e.g. being in a dark room without a light source seems to be sufficient to kill you). The timed sequences also felt very unnecessary, since all that is accomplished is that if you are not fast enough to solve the relevant puzzles (i.e. scan every inch of the room for the relevant items) you have to repeat the sequence more than once until you have found the full solution and can easily complete the sequence within the given time.
All in all this is a badly designed, badly acted, boring and tedious game that I would not at all recommend, and in particular not to fans of detective games since there is no real detective work in the game.
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Time Played: 5-10 hours