Monday, 16 April 2018

Dealing with backlog: Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper

Because I loved The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles I decided to also give this one a try. This is by far the oldest of the three of them, and it's very noticeable. Most noticeable is the lack of a hint button. I always try not to use the hint button, but if your attention wanders and you miss a part then you'll have no idea what to do without that or a quest log, and this game has neither. The only thing that might help you if you lose the thread is to read through an old dialogue. But because both Holmes and Watson have the tendency to talk to themselves an old dialogue might not help you.

Second noticeable is the lack of explanations. The first time the deduction board popped onto my screen I had no idea what to do with it, and the game didn't explain how it worked. When you were supposed to add pieces of evidence into the deduction or timeline the game didn't explain that either and I was just sat there wondering why I seemed to have a puzzle with half the pieces missing. Because the game didn't tell me that I'd have to find and add them myself.

Suffice to say I used a guide for a lot of this game.

About halfway through I got bored with it and took a small break from it, but then decided to complete it anyway. The first half is mostly just walking around Whitechapel as Watson and talking to people, and barely anything happens (apart from the first confusing deduction board). Not until Holmes dresses up and starts figuring things out for himself rather than using Watson the puzzles truly start and the game starts to shine a little bit.

The game is old and there's no getting away from it. It hasn't aged gracefully, but I find that I can actually look past that and say that I did enjoy the game - once I understood how everything worked.

Also Holmes' aqcuired pronunciation is terribly hard to listen to for long.

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