RUNAWAY EXPRESS MYSTERY


by ICARUS GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES

INTRIGUING, MACABRE, CRIME!

Story:   While a young mother attends a train exhibition with her children, something strange happens. The monumental Runaway Express starts moving with her children on board! With no one to help, the frightened mother jumps on the train before it starts to speed away. While on board, she finds that it is occupied by unexpected travelers – ghosts of people who died on board during those 50 years the train was operating between Paris and Istanbul.

Every death, every person, every ghost holds some mystery that has yet to be investigated. Now, these haunted souls rule the train and it is no longer suitable for the living. The young mother finds that the only way to save her children is to investigate the haunted past and bring some resolution to these lost souls.

Will it break the curse? Will uncovering each mystery free every soul? Why do the passengers fear the masked Engineer? Unveil the mysteries to find out how to defeat him, but beware, doing so comes at a price.  (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

Desktop:   Left: Notebook (only Notes), Magnifying Glass (Evidence Board), Menu  Centre: Inventory (General & Evidence)  Right: Tasks, Hints, Map (Interactive)

Options:   Basic, but with Auto-Widescreen.

Tutorial:   Clear, informative.

Play Modes:   Casual; Advanced; Expert.

Map:   Interactive – once you gain this at the start of the first Case, it proves very useful.  It continues to expand as you proceed through the carriages of the train and into locations at the stations.  If the map is not showing the Exclamation Mark indicating the next Hot-Spot, then you probably need to carry out some task within your Inventory – Tip: Use the 101 Room Key on the Soap Key Impression, plus the File, to create the 102 Room Key.

Graphics:   These are really excellent – authentic for the era of the main character’s time, plus for that of the ghostly characters’ time –  colourful at times, gloomy at others.

HOPs:   These occur occasionally – at new locations and when you need to find specific evidence items.  You then use a left-side tool bar of Investigator’s tools – Magnifying Glass, Fingerprint Powder, Luminol Spray, and Flashlight – within the HOP to locate certain evidence.  This makes them really enjoyable.  You also collect Interactive Silhouetted Items to use back into the HOP until you reach the final Item.

Puzzles:   There are very few of these as most of the work is done as you progress.  They mostly require Logic.  The Final Puzzle to defeat the Engineer, is a little baffling as you click on the question mark and nothing happens.  This is because the question mark is where you need to put one of the numbers from the squares across the bottom to make the sequence of numbers make sense.  Once you grasp this, you can solve it quite quickly.

Game-play:   This was excellent – involving you in all the actions, the searching, and the use of the Evidence Board upon which you had to place the crucial items as you found them.  It involves questioning the ghosts by clicking on the topics indicated  – you can fast forward through these dialogues if you tired of them or read faster than they speak.  You  then receive information and helpful items from them.  Gradually, you  fill up the Evidence Board by clicking the Magnifying Glass , then using Items from Inventory, until the Case is finally solved.  Then you reveal the solution to the relevant ghost, gaining the Power Key to move to the next carriage and the next case.
There are Three cases in all, and all ultimately belong to the disaster that turned the train into a ghostly Runaway Express.
Case 1:   The Disappearance of Lord Parkinson.
Case 2:   Death of a Torch Singer.
Case 3:   A Caper Gone Wrong.

Player Participation:   High – you do each Task yourself – for example, using a screwdriver on each individual screw, or turning a key twice then turning the door handle.

Satisfaction Factor:  High – this is a very satisfying game, ending conclusively so that there are no loose ends.

Frustration Factors:   Only the bemused moments when you can’t see where you need to go, and the Map is not helping.  This is brought about by the text telling you where next to go, not staying on screen long enough – you usually glance down to check other things then find it gone when you look back again.  So Tip: make sure you read all of them before being distracted elsewhere.

I came across this game searching for a Standard Game to use a Free Game Coupon on.  At first I wasn’t sure but thought ‘Oh well, might as well try it.’   I was so glad that I did.  It’s an excellent Crime game, with more detecting and evidence collecting, less HOPs and Puzzles, more PP, and several Cases to investigate.  

I really do highly recommend this game to all Crime fans.

Jud House 29/09/2014

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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