Something Amiss: Chapter 3
At long last, after a year and a half of waiting, Tucker Bowen has released Something Amiss Chapter 3, the final installment of his truly excellent point-and-click adventure saga. This chapter finds the intrepid escaped test subject Alice back in custody, awaiting her fate at the hands of persons unknown. But you're not going to stand for that, are you? No, Alice has been through enough, and she's ready to take control of her own destiny. It's finally time to get some answers!
The JIG community really loved the first two chapters of Something Amiss, and in light of this I am especially tickled to report that the third (and, sadly, final) episode is by far the best. It's clear why Tucker took over a year to complete this chapter; the game is a truly well-developed adventure, one that will take Alice through a dizzying array of different environments, enmesh her in intrigue and finally reveal the true nature of the mysterious experiment that so irrevocably changed her life. While happily quite long, the game never drags; the puzzles tread a fine line between creativity and logic, resulting in a satisfying experience that will challenge, but not confound, the player.
As in the first two installments, the interface is controlled by the cursor. To interact with a person or item, simply click and hold in the appropriate spot; a small menu will appear with options to talk to, examine or take him/her/it. You'll collect a large and diverse inventory of items while playing, a number of which will be used in several different ways during the course of the game. While the ways in which items are utilized might be questionable in the real world, they are never so outlandish as to necessitate a seemingly random "leap of logic"; I deeply appreciate this. Also like the previous chapters, Tucker has created some wonderful animation to bookend the game. This lends a unique style to the production, further enhancing the experience provided by an already very well-made game.
The game is not perfect, though. The plot does become a bit convoluted; so much is introduced and so many twists thrown in that at times it seems overworked. I didn't entirely understand how Alice's new abilities (which I will refrain from explicitly mentioning so as to not spoil the surprise) meshed with the events of the story. To be frank, however, I'm having a tough time coming up with much to complain about. Tucker took his time creating a polished game, and was clearly thoughtful in the choices he made.
While I'm truly sad that Something Amiss has come to an end, I am seriously excited to see what Tucker comes up with next. Over the weekend I replayed chapters 1 & 2 before tackling number 3, and doing so gave me a deep appreciation of Tucker's evolution as a designer; the dramatic growth and improvement over the three episodes is really pretty remarkable. If this is any indicator of his talent and potential, we have some fantastic games to look forward to in the future.
The hour has come to learn the truth: