The Vault №37
Let me see... going from all the evidence in front of me... I'm going to have to go with... Tricky! In the JayIsGames Vault! With this week's handful of games from the past!... Okay, the games below might not be of too much help in discovering who killed Mr. Boddy, but any amateur sleuth out there should enjoy the collection of not-so-elementary cases to crack. These three mystery adventure games take us to crimes around the globe: from the underbelly of the big city, to a small-town circus, to the deserts of Egypt. The game's afoot!
- The Goat In the Grey Fedora - I've met a lot of hard-boiled gumshoes in my day... but Nick Bounty, star of TGITGF and the earlier A Bad Case Of The Crabs... he's been left on the stove all day. Still, when a saucy dame meanders into his office and offers a hefty paycheck in exchange for help in locating a valuable goat statue, how can he resist? Hilarious noir meets old-school Lucas Arts-styled point-and-click fun, with a good mix of top-notch voice-acting, devious puzzles, and a host of movie references. Really, both Bounty adventures are top quality work from Pinhead Games, but I've always had a soft spot for Goat. Its primitive 3D graphics might be a step down from the hand-drawn art of Crabs, but the story is better and it includes a Monkey Island-inspired scene in a dark room that's one of my favorite moments in any game.
- Detective Grimoire - Considering that a sequel is on the way, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the Super Flash Brothers' 2007 work about a murder at a carnival... and if you've never played it before, you're in for quite a treat. Fun, well-written, and more than a little cheesy, the focus is on interrogation as you press suspects' testimony to find guilt or innocence. Everyone has something to hide, even if it's just their face behind the grease-paint, and Detective Grimoire could give Phoenix Wright a run for his money when it comes to breaking through contradictions. Highly recommended to everyone who doesn't mind that friggin' carnival music.
- Death in Sakkara - Unlike the other two games featured today, the protagonist of 2005's Death in Sakarra isn't a detective by trade: he's a reporter searching for both a friend's missing daughter and a lucrative book deal. Thus his investigation is much more journalistic, packed with documents, photographs and research of the game's setting of 1920s Egypt. However, just because the tone is more Christie than Chandler doesn't make it dry: the stakes of life and death are just as serious. The BBC and the Preloaded team blends quality comic art, effectively twisty writing and a few obtuse puzzles into an extraordinary production. The Beeb has a tendency to let their high-quality past projects disappear from the web (and, even in this one, the save system has become a little wonky), so be sure to play through the four chapters while you still can!
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!