AGATHA CHRISTIE – 4:50 FROM PADDINGTON

by iPLAY GAMES; I R M; CHORION; FLOODLIGHT GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics: * * **  Player participation (PP) * * * *  Satisfaction Factor (SF) * * * *

Frustration Factor (FF) *

This is a Miss Marple Hidden Object Game and is excellent.  High SF! It is a fair step up from the previous 3 Agatha Christie Games.  Playing well on Windows 7, the graphics, both textual and pictorial, are clear and enjoyable to use – though still with a few tiny objects per location, and the fading distance perspective which I consider a mistake for this media.  There is still the great attention to authenticating detail, and the story mode is close to the novel with its inevitable twists and turns.

This time, in the Main Menu, there is How To Play which is comprehensive giving all playing information clearly; Story Mode and Find All Mode.  In Options there is a choice between Timed and Carefree (untimed) – Brill!  SF Between each Chapter, there are Bonus Puzzles based on found clues – such as a Rummage game where you have to rummage through a purse looking for specific items, or through leaf litter to do likewise; and another where you have to match connected clue blocks, to show that you understand the investigation thus far.  Following this, and in order to proceed, you must use the few Site clues to actively find the next locations on the map.  These you can then visit as often as you like.

Another interesting twist to this game, is the way you have to find a key Item from the dialogue text in order to dismiss that dialogue line from the screen.  There are usually at least 2 per location, some easy to find and some less so – another good reason for playing in Carefree Mode.  There are the usual 3 Hints per Chapter, so you need to use them wisely, easy to do on the clear locations, but not so easy where the fuzzy backgrounds and tiny items prevail.

This is the Game where I realised that it was this old camera like fore-ground focus method that the graphic designers had used.  But the human eye changes focus continually, from fore to mid to back-ground back and forth.  So it would be more real to have the entire scene in focus – and kinder to the eyes of the player.  Otherwise eye-strain and FF result.

There are several movie versions of this novel, all good.  But the recent movie, with Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple, is the closest to the novel, and from the images used, I deduce is the basis for this Game.  Like the David Suchet as Poirot movies, all of the Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple movies, are also a must-see for Agatha Christie fans.  And for those newcomers to her works, they are also a must-see.

Play this Game and enjoy it, despite the little niggles.

For Walkthroughs of this Game go to UHS Hints at:   www.uhs-hints.com/

(C) Copyright Jud House 25/05/2011

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