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RE[9]: Game Reviews


:: Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun

* Point & Click adventure, PC / Wii

This reminds me that, before I began writing reviews here, I had played the previous game in this series -- The Murder on the Orient Express -- and need to write up that. What you should know is that these are official Hercule Poirot games!

Evil Under the Sun is set in England, 1940 at a hotel on a tiny island off the south coast. Poirot has come for a vacation, but obviously murder is not far away. If you're a fan of adventure games in general then this is entertaining, but unfortunately has a fundamental flaw. Due to being set a hotel, as the game progresses, you are forced to re-visit every room in the game over and over to scour out the items and interactions you need to push the game into progressing. This game is for the more anal-retentive players out there.

The graphics are pleasing enough, mainly held up by the period style. The voice acting is not great, a big step down from the previous game which was voiced by David Suchet himself -- the definitive Hercule Poirot actor.

No detective-mystery game has ever satisfactorily allowed the player to solve the case themselves because there isn't an acute enough means for the player to communicate their deductions. This game appears to present some means of deduction reasoning by providing a map with markers for all the characters and the ability to shift time forward and backward to see their movements. In certain places in the game, Poirot records how long it takes to travel from one point to another to provide a means of determining who would physically be able to make the distance. Bizarrely though, all this comes to nought as none of it is necessary to win the game or even work out who the murderer is; the final showdown is a simple multiple-choice quiz to gauge your understanding of the facts.

:: Highlights

* A period setting Hercule Poirot game
* Reasonably good puzzles that are not overly obscure or obtuse

:: Areas of Improvement

* Too much reliance on re-checking everywhere multiple times
* In the end, doesn't involve you in the actual deduction of the murderer

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