If you're a criminal, don't mess with plucky teens, avoid mustachioed Belgians, and whatever you do, if an adorable little old British lady starts investigating your series of murders, KILL HER FIRST. The murderer in Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington didn't follow this piece of advice, which is a good thing, because otherwise it would be a very short mystery.
Playing a hidden object game always means certain acceptable breaks from reality. For example, at one point in the game you have to go through an old lady's purse, and it is clearly not a real old lady's purse because there aren't any Werther's Originals. More seriously, if you're not familiar with the genre, in every scene you're given a list of objects which you must find hidden in the picture and click on. Occasionally the objects must be used within the scene itself, for example, returning candles to a candelabra. While some hidden object mysteries struggle to connect finding a chicken, a horseshoe, and the letter "D" to the plot, 4:50 from Paddington is blithely unconcerned, for the most part. It's only the mini-games that connect to the mystery: the aforementioned searching through a purse, testing for poison in a Mastermind puzzle, and matching clues by following the trails of rope. The game also offers you three opportunities to guess the murderer. The number of times you get it right affects your final score.
Analysis: This is the first game in the Agatha Christie hidden object series to focus on Miss Marple. The game continues in the tradition of the series by having well-drawn objects that are rarely unfairly small, and consistency in its time period and place. You won't be asked to find a cell phone, and if you're asked to find a hat, it's going to be something like a fedora or cloche, not a baseball cap.
What's more, the game's plot and story has improved markedly over its predecessor Dead Man's Folly. In that game, the large cast and sparse amount of information given made even understanding who people were confusing, much less solving the mystery. In this game, one can click on the gallery at any time to view all the characters who have shown up so far and a short bio of them. The gallery also allows you to go back through the chapters and see all the dialogue and clues. And with a greater amount of dialogue, you'll get to know the characters fairly quickly and understand their motivations. All of this is essential to catching the killer.
You can play the game in both timed and untimed modes, and once you beat the game in any mode, you'll unlock "find all", in which you can attempt to find every single object in the game—over 500 items in all. In this mode, you're attempting to find every single object while using the smallest number of hints, adding a lot more replay value to the game.
As for the writing, well, it's Agatha Christie of course, so the plot is better than 95% of the hidden object mysteries out there. If you don't know the story, you're in for a real treat. If you've already read the novel, the murderer is the same, so it won't be surprising for you, but the hidden object finding and mini-games are still high quality enough to make this game worth the purchase.