Thursday, July 29, 2004

Couple Of New Demos

  • Sherlock Holmes and The Silver Earring
    In the demo you play Sherlock Holmes, who has been asked to goto an evening of entertainment at some estate to access if a singer is a security risk or not to someone in the government. While Lord something, is giving a speech he is shot and it is upto Holmes to find the culprit.

    As an adventure game it's typical, grab anything that isn't nailed down and bother everybody will silly questions until you are blue in the face. I like how recent games have abandoned the keyboard interface and gone back to good old fashioned point and click, reminiscent of the Lucasarts classic adventure games like Full Throttle, Sam & Max, The Dig and Monkey Island.

    I can't finish the demo because frankly it's too hard. I have probably missed something, but I have so many silly little powder samples that my inventory is confusing. The voice acting is adequate, but the dialogue is bland and the demo craves for more dialogue between Holmes and the suspects. At one point a maid talks about how the Cook sometimes sleeps in the cellar and she asks Holmes not to tell anyone because she doesn't want to get him into trouble. At this point I was screaming for Holmes to say something polite like "You can count on my discretion miss," bit NOTHING!!! The gormless git just stands there! However Holmes gained the respect of high society while being so blatantly rude is beyond me.

    All in all I won't be buying the full game because it's an uninspiring title that feels more like a chore than any literary classic.

  • Monster Garage
    Now this I did like.
    The TV series goes like this. Some guys are given a car, $3000 and seven days to turn the car into something else. For-instance turning a Volkswagen Beetle into an Airboat (level3 of the full game).

    The demo is a massive 583MB, but that's because this is actually the full game with all, but the first two levels locked (it's a trial). So you have to register it before you can play through the whole game. I have bought games through this method before, more recently CSI Dark Motives, and it's a really sweet way to guy games because after I make the decision to buy it, I can be playing it in under three hours or even less if I made the decision to buy the game from the trial version because then I already have the full game installed and it only needs the CD key, but I digress.

    The game is constructed thus, you first get a briefing taken directly from the TV series (makes the game feel very immersive, as if you are apart of the show), then you have to unscrew, cut and generally disassemble the car you are modifying. Get new parts, either by buying them, building them or modifying the parts you already took off, and then reassemble the car with the new parts.

    It's not so much a fun sandbox construction game, but more of a puzzle game where you have to figure-out what parts you have to buy and in what quantities, balanced against the part delivery time, to completing the car before your construction time is up. And also fit the parts back in the right order to create your new machine. After you have constructed your new beast of a car or whatever, you have to complete a challenge to prove your machine's worth (usually something like drive through three check points).

    Like I said, I liked it, but you will have to play through each level several times to get the right parts and the construction correct.

    NOTE: As there are not in-game hints for this, it's single right click to open a door, and left click on a part and then right click on the bolts to remove a part.