Paintings and other artwork have been stolen from a museum gallery. All of the evidence points to Damien Bestieu, one of the featured painters. A school teacher solves the mystery, but just as she is about to reveal the thief, Damien hands her a cup of coffee. She takes a sip and falls to the floor unconscious. The coffee was poisoned. The police consider it an open and shut case, but two young school children think differently. Help the children solve the mystery by searching the museum and surrounding grounds for clues that will clear Damien of the crime.
L'expresso Empoisonné is exquisitely designed with an easy point-and-click interface and fetching artwork. The story might be simple, but it's catchy and extremely enjoyable, kind of like an episode of Scooby Doo minus the campy humor. You carry a backpack that holds your inventory along with a clue journal. There are four entries in the journal that point to Damien's guilt. Your overarching goal is to prove each of these points false. You'll also be solving typical point-and-click puzzles to unlock doors, navigate mazes and find necessary items to continue in the game.
A small but enormously enjoyable feature of L'expresso Empoisonné are little mini-games that are integrated into the story. One example is a short bout of whac-a-mole. There's also a small (but oh-so-fun) maze and a short action-arcade sequence involving fish. Each time I hit one of these mini-games it was the perfect time to break the cerebral activity of solving a mystery. And I admit it, they made me grin.
L'expresso Empoisonné was released in French a little over a month ago, but this version has been translated to English. There are some rough patches and a few untranslated bits of text, but nothing that will hamper your understanding or enjoyment of the game.
You'll spend a solid hour on this game and will be glued to the screen the entire time. Puzzles are just difficult enough to keep you entertained but not too tough to discourage you. A very well-balanced title that captured my imagination and admiration right from the start.
Update: It appears that Anode & Cathode have taken The Poison Coffee offline and therefore it is no longer available. :(