Story:  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, famous artist and dedicated patron of the Moulin Rouge, has come to you for help! Who murdered his friend Sophie, the leading lady of the Moulin Rouge? It’s time to gather up the suspects. Was it the clumsy stagehand? Or maybe it was the jealous Baron… Explore the city of Paris as you gather and examine evidence that will point you to the true killer. But watch your step – a masked figure is watching you from around every corner! Make sure this thrilling Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure isn’t your last!  (Big Fish Sales Blurb) 

Desktop:   Guide, Evidence Board, Map, Map, Match 3 (Left); Inventory/HOP Lists (Centre);  Hint, Morph Wizard/Windmill Icons alternative (Right).

Options:    Good basic Options and a cool Main Menu.

Extras:    Play Bonus Chapter; Play Mini-Games; Play HOPs; Bonus HOP; Souvenir Room; Match 3; Collectibles; Codex; Making of; Pictures; Movies; Music.

Tutorial:    As always with EIPIX games this is good – you get to choose whether to have a full Tute, a partial Tute, or only unusual game-play Tute interruptions.

Play Modes:   Casual; Challenging; Expert; Custom.  I always opt for Custom given the choice.

Map:    Interactive and helpful – the Exclamation Marks (!) let you know what needs to be done next while the Question Marks (?) show the Objective site.

Graphics:   These are gorgeous, authentic to Paris in that era – the Eiffel Tower is only half built  when it appears in the background of scenes.  They are clear and colourful, though less so in the HOPs.

Music:  This is really good – varied, and suitable to the games locale and era.

HOPs:   There are Lists; Shapes; Lists plus Shapes; Mini HOPs; Riddle Question HOPs – most are Interactive.

Puzzles:   Quite varied, both in interest and design -a few were boring, and a couple wouldn’t close forcing me to Skip them even though I had already completed them correctly.  I know this because I double checked them in the Guide before pressing Skip.  The final Puzzle has poor instructions and wouldn’t respond to any of my attempts to evade the blasts, so I was forced to Skip it!  All Puzzles should be playable!

Collections:   Windmills (41) – these are Windmill Blades and can be accessed via the Collectibles in the Extras Menu after games completion.  Wizard Morph objects (14) which are in the HOPs and hard to see – I only got half of them.  And though I tried to get the rest when the whole CE was complete, I couldn’t see them at all.  Sometime shtey are needed to unlock further game-play so this is annoying.  The morphing needs to be more often and more apparent – at least in the Easy Modes.

Game-play:   This is enjoyable as the Navigation and Controls work well, the Story is embedded into the game driving the play, and the HOPs and Puzzles are not too frequent, allowing for Item and Evidence gathering and usage as you progress and in order to progress.  The Evidence Board can be accessed easily, and provides you with information about Suspects and gathered Information.  The Evidence Kit which you collect from your office at the outset of the investigation, is placed into your Inventory and opens for your use when clicked.  It will tell you if you do not need it at the time or will provide access to the tools if you do – very helpful and time-saving.  The Souvenir Room can be accessed from the Extras menu and provides extra play.  If you haven’t collected all the souvenirs then click on an uncollected item (shape) in the room and it will transport you to the scene it is from.  In the bottom left you will be shown the shaped item in a bubble – find it and you will be transported automatically to the next site of a missing souvenir and so on till all are collected.  Some items are in sight others need an action to find them.

Player Participation:   This is good – you are doing things all the time – there seems to be little milling around doing nothing in this game.

Satisfaction Factor:   This is high throughout most of the game.  Although the story resolves well, the ending is quick and leaves you wondering who the villain really was – you don’t have time to identify them before they are gone from the screen.  A bit annoying.

Frustration Factors:    Only the faulty Puzzles – especially the final one which was really annoying.  I do prefer to be able to play and complete all the Puzzles – when they are illogical, timed, require quick dexterity, or are poorly explained I feel cheated by the game designers.  All Puzzles should be playable!

Bonus Game:   Similar Game-play, HOPs, Puzzles (quite a few of them), Interactive Map use, and continuation of Collectibles search.  The Story was also well devised, and at least this resolved clearly and satisfactorily.  Always best to end with no doubts at all – even if there is a hint-hook for a probable sequel.

I highly recommend this game and bought it at the next Sale.

Jud House 24/10/2014

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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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