The game is afoot! Or rather... akeyboard? I guess? Is that like a thing?... whatever! Not important. The point is, this week we're filing aboard the Mystery Machine for some of our favourite sleuthing escapades. While sadly not as popular as anything involving zombies or ponies or tears, mysteries still provide a remarkably robust experience for the would-be gamer gumshoe. Maybe after playing a few of these titles, you'll be able to solve the Mystery of the Missing Free Time. As if we didn't know.
- Alice is Dead - Mike Morin and Hyptosis unleashed a fantastically twisted and bizarre interpretation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale with this point-and-click adventure series. Waking up as a faceless mystery protagonist in a locked room with a very familiar corpse, it's up to you to follow the trail of macabre clues and discover the truth of what's rotting in Wonderland. Mixing a swank sense of off-kilter style, clever puzzles, and memorable characters and situations, Alice is Dead delivered an engrossing, creepy, and top-notch mystery that's still well worth checking out today if you don't mind having your rose-coloured childhood altered a little.
- Cyberpunk - Straight from our very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Ray Gazu manages to make you feel like a bonafide cyber detective in this clever little hacking game. You're trying to retrieve a "datacore", and you'll have to summon up your inner decker to get into the system. Blending subtle and clever puzzles with an authentic looking interface, Cyberpunk isn't necessarily a mystery in the traditional sense, but the way it forces you to figure out each step of the process with minimal instruction makes it a great tool for you to build up your powers of deduction. Plus, now you're fully qualified to be a hacker on a primetime television cop drama. THEY'RE HACKING YOUR MAINFRAMES AND EXTINGUISHING ALL YOUR FIREWALLS WITH THEIR VIRUS NODELETTES.
- The Scene of the Crime - Pastel Games has always been great at telling stories with imagery, and this sleuthing point-and-click adventure pulls it off again with a sleek noir atmosphere that will have you tugging your imaginary fedora down over your eyes. You're solving a murder this time by slinking around an ominous apartment, trying to find all the pieces of evidence needed for a conviction as you make use of the various tools at your disposal. Aided by Kamil Kochansky's heavy, ominous style of design and a fantastic soundtrack, this one is short but simple and provides a great little exercise for your fledgling forensic abilities. You'll be ready to solve such crimes as "The Mystery of the Vanishing Crueller" and "The Case of the Smell In the Gas Station Bathroom"... just as an f.y.i. though, there is no happy ending for that last one.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!