Remember Anaksha? It turns out Arif Majothi's sniping, snarking anti-heroine hasn't been slacking off. But it isn't all snappy one-liners, punching, and headshots. It turns out that Anaksha is just as capable in classic adventures too... even if she can never seem to catch a break. In A Sea of Fire, a short and simple assassination job proves to be anything but when Anaksha can't rely on her trusty rifle. Quick Stop shows that even butt-kicking assassins are people too, as Anaksha is forced to delay picking up her new cellphone to take care of a pressing issue. Finally, in A New Threat, Anaksha manages to arrive at her destination only to find that, once again, Murphy's Law is in effect and she can't help getting wrapped up in bigger problems hidden behind a whole lot of little ones.
Anaksha's not going to be letting her bullets do the talking this time around; you'll need to do things Sierra-style, hunting for items on seedy streets and in seedier locations, and doing favours for seedy-est-er people. (It's sorta seedy, is what I'm saying.) Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move Anashka around, and tap the [spacebar] to talk to or examine things. In A Sea of Fire, you can just click on an item in your inventory at the top of the screen to use it, or just hit the appropriate number key. Quick Stop moves the same way, but requires you to hit [I] to view your inventory to use or combine items, and A New Threat works the same way. Examine everything, read every item description, be willing to try strange solutions... and don't be afraid to crack a few skulls if it comes down to it. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do... even if it involves crafting homemade tasers, procuring bubble wrap for shady purposes, or just finding a way into a bathroom.
Analysis: As the first Mini-Adventure, A Sea of Fire is more of an experiment than anything else, with a loose plot and extremely simple fetch quests to drive it along. Quick Stop displays a significant step forward as far as presentation goes and offers three different randomly chosen solutions. Both games are short as far as adventure games go, and share the same off-beat tone that makes them perfect goofy little time wasters. A New Threat, however, ups the ante significantly by not only being significantly longer having different puzzles and events change slightly each time you play, allowing for a lot of replay value. 850 possible solutions' worth, to be exact. More importantly, however, it feels less like an experiment and more like a proper adventure with (slightly) less gross-out humour and more actual plot. Unfortunately, the cute retro style occasionally gets in the way of things, since it can be hard to tell what you're looking at and it isn't always apparent what bit of scenery might be hiding an object, forcing you to examine everything manually. Sometimes more than once, as there's a lot of backtracking and dialogue or even places you've already examined will change as you play.
While it isn't necessary to complete A Sea of Fire and Quick Stop before you play their more robust sibling, A New Threat, it's still recommended both because they're entertaining but really give you an impression of how hard Arif has worked to really develop skill with this new game engine and deliver something worth playing over and over. Fans of Anaksha's more gritty, in-your-face Frank Miller noire gameplay featured in Dark Angel may find this abrupt shift to be strange, but given a chance it's easy to enjoy the stylish retro vibe, humour, and charm. If you can handle a little adventure game logic (look, I have never used that as an eyeliner substitute) then Anaksha: Mini-Adventures is well worth a look, and your time.
[Please Note: These games contain textual references, but no visuals, to sex and drugs. The warning about racism in A New Threat refers to a single character making an assumption about Anaksha's name based on her Indian heritage. You will see a fair amount of violence.]