That's right, today's category is: Things that are cheesy but I like 'em anyway. Well, add one more thing to that list, because the Super Flash Bros have released their latest game: a point-and-click carnival murder mystery!
You play the title character, Detective Grimoire a hatless (but not hapless) crime-solver assigned to track down the murderer of Hugh Everton, ineffective caretaker of the carnival funhouse. The suspects are all fellow carnival workers and include a clown, a costumed entertainer, a janitor, a mechanic, the games stall clerk, and the carnival head honcho himself. You'll have to question each one of them to unearth details about the crime scene, as well as the ongoing relationships between all the carnival workers. Additionally, you'll need to hunt for clues at various locations throughout the carnival. When you're in the presence of a suspect, click on a clue from your database and they'll tell you if they know anything about it.
You start out considering everyone a suspect and only removing them from the list when you discover information that proves their innocence. By the process of elimination, you'll narrow your list down to just one suspect. However, identifying the killer is only part of the game—you still have to piece together details like the motive, the murder weapon, and explanations for other clues that you find. Put together the whole story correctly and you'll see the perp behind bars!
Analysis: As I said before, Detective Grimoire contains a higher-than-average level of cheese. Come on, a disgruntled clown and a costumed entertainer who hates kids? Now pile on some smoky private-eye music, corny dialogue, and a motley assortment of suspicious alibis, slap it on the griddle and you've got yourself a mighty fine grilled cheese (and red herring) sandwich.
About the only cheesy element missing is the obligatory twist ending—it's pretty easy to see who the murderer is after playing the game about halfway through. After that, it's just a matter of clearing everyone else and piecing together the events of the previous night.
Because the game was five months in the making, the Bros were clearly able to work out all the details. There really aren't any major issues with bugs, and the user interface is set up well—easily navigable and self-explanatory. There's even a button to save your progress, although you probably won't need it. My only beef was that I was expecting to clear suspects by using clues and logic, a la Sherlock Holmes. Instead, you press questions onto them until they break down and admit whatever it is they were hiding—usually just some embarrassing detail having nothing to do with the case. Contrived? Extremely. But what good cheesy mystery isn't? And besides, you'll put your deduction skills to work when trying to piece together the story.
So go grab a hunk of Camembert and play Detective Grimoire.
PS - don't forget to check out the bonus feature reward at the end of the game: the making of Detective Grimoire!