The Scene of the Crime: Golden Doll
Waaaaaay back in 2009, dinosaurs roamed the earth and the fine folks at Pastel Games let you be a detective for a short, shining time. Now it's time to dust off the old fedora and practice your cynical cop sneer once again with The Scene of the Crime: Golden Doll, a new noir point-and-click mystery that asks you to solve a murder on some quiet beachfront property.
Click to interact with people and objects, and click on items in your inventory to use them. Dust for prints, Remember to check your reports tray on your desk back at the office frequently; as evidence is analysed, reports will come in that can unlock new clues and locations. The office is also where you'll be able to dust evidence you find for fingerprints and track your progress on the leads board; click and drag items pinned to it to attempt to combine clues. Click on your map to travel to new locations as they become available.
The first title in this atmospheric little mystery series had a lot going for it. Unfortunately, it was also very short. By contrast, Golden Doll is somewhat longer, and requires you to do a bit more detective work this time around. (Although you still don't get to ask anyone if they're a wise guy; this is a critical oversight.) The game is no slouch in regards to its presentation either; the artwork is gorgeous, and the soundtrack is so mellow and appropriate you'll probably find yourself spontaneously sprouting a trench coat just by listening to it.
Navigation is, unfortunately, a little awkward initially; navigational arrows can pop up in odd places, and you'll find yourself wagging the cursor around the screen, watching for it to change. The hot spots are a decent size, but it's still easy to miss a new perspective point or scene shift. Combine that with the constant backtracking to and from your office whenever you get stuck, hoping to trigger a new report to advance the gameplay, and it's more frustrating than it needed to be.
The only other downside is that so much of the story and exposition is left to a cut-scene at the very end of the game you can't interact with. I assure you, game, our brave and stoic readers are very adept at apprehending perps! While it isn't quite perfect, while it lasts, The Scene of the Crime: Golden Doll is a fun and stylish experience, and a welcome addition to what's shaping up to be a very clever series.