A Matter of Caos: Episode 2
When last we left our brave purple, tentacled detective Mr Gilbert, he was hot on the trail of a missing girl who apparently may have gotten in too deep with the wrong people, and those looking for her might not even have her best interests at heart. But in the second installment of Expera Games' point-and-click adventure series, A Matter of Caos: Episode 2, things are just starting to heat up, and they'll get even weirder before they're done. As the game opens, Mr Gilbert has finally gained access to a bar that may look ordinary (as ordinary as a city with ogre bouncers can be), but has its own share of dangerous secrets. To play, just click on the icons onscreen to interact with people, make choices, or move around the area, and remember that in addition to click on items you're carrying to use them, you can also combine some, so go ahead and experiment. If you wind up carrying a lot, a scrollbar will appear below your inventory for you to slide and see it all. And don't forget... if you like the game, please support the developer by buying the "complete edition", which contains some extra content, and goes toward funding bigger adventures with Mr. Gilbert!
Episode 2 of A Matter of Caos plays more or less the same as the first, though you'll find the cast of characters widens considerably as Mr Gilbert searches for Daphne. The series' strength lies in its blend of noir sensibilities and supernatural set pieces, with crooked cops and hired guns hobnobbing it alongside cultists and hellhound guard dogs. A lot of progression depends on knowing the right things to say to people in order to unlock more dialogue options, so if you're stuck, make sure you've chatted with everyone you can about everything you can. There's a mildly annoying tendency for the game to boot you out of conversation once one dialogue option has been finished, so you have to click on the character again and go through their opening chit-chat before you can select another, but that's hardly a nail in the proverbial coffin. What's a little more frustrating is that there are definitely times when the logic required to solve the puzzles feels pretty specialized, so when you get stuck, it's easy to have to fall back on the "everything and the kitchen sink" method of trying to make progress. Despite that, the plot picks up considerably as Mr Gilbert is introduced to a pack of dangerous characters, and learns several new tricks to get himself out of sticky situations. A Matter of Caos is shaping up to be an appealingly complex tale in a unique setting with all the twists and turns you could wish for, making Mr Gilbert one friend we're glad we made.