AGATHA CHRISTIE – PERIL AT END HOUSE

by OBERON GAMES; I R M; SPINTOP GAMES; CHORION; FLOODLIGHT GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

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

Frustration Factor (FF) **

This is an interesting game, carefully following the twists and turns of Agatha Christie’s plotline.  It is one of my favourite (David Suchet) Poirot movies – I love the Art Deco era, the architecture and the clothes – and the Game closely follows the movie also.  The opening graphics are comic book style which is also fun, easy to read, catches the imagination, and aims to draw in some younger players as well as not alienate traditional Agatha Christie fans – SF.  Only voice-overs are missing.

Once again it plays on Windows 7, but if you feel it necessary you can reset it via Windows 7/ Control Panel/ Troubleshooting. My old bug-bear the graphics clarity is fairly good, more in some locations than in others – a few locations are visually difficult to search – FF.  But with concentration and patience your eyes adjust to the image and you can eventually find the objects.  But I do think that it’s important that the Game Developers play fair, or people won’t buy their games!

The fact that the Game is once more Timed (rats!), does not help with this slower search due to the graphics challenge.  There is a feeling of increasing panic as you search desperately for tiny  or obscure objects, because you DO NOT want to have to do it all again!  It is hard enough on the eys the first time.  Mind you there are locations that are great, that providing the things are in the fore and mid-ground you can see easily, and whizz through with a feeling of achievement – of finally getting somewhere!

The Options in the Main Menu is a little better than DEATH ON THE NILE; the Hints are still only 3 per Chapter; and the Help is great, really informative and easily visited if you need a reminder as you go along.  The Puzzle Bonus Rounds between Chapters, to complete the previous investigation and move to the next, is varied, and uses the Clue Cards that pop up as you locate certain objects or discover certain facts.  There is a Clue Room to review the Cards, and an Evidence Room to review all the clue items.  There are also letters from Miss Lemon to Poirot to be decoded; and torn photos or documents to be reassembled jigsaw fashion.

The logical sequences of the Game are great, the locations are well devised and authentic to the era, and generally the atmospherics suit the game.  If, as the Character Clue Cards popped up, those characters spoke their small piece of information, the Game might have been enhanced – a voice to lend authenticity to the image of the character.  But it works fine as it is.  I guess it’s not easy to get the movies’ actors to do the dialogue for Games – a matter of scheduling no doubt.

If you get the chance to see or buy the David Suchet version of PERIL AT END HOUSE – or any of his Poirot movies – then do so.  I highly recommend it.  I also recommend that you play this game – just be prepared for a few FF along the way.  But they will be outweighed by the SF!

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

(C) Copyright  Jud House 23/05/2011

* * * * *

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