Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None PC CD-ROM
Published by The Adventure Company
Developed by AWE Games
Release Date: February 2006
Murder mysteries, we all love them. And who could have given Awe Games a better plot than Agatha Christie, the world famous crime author? This preview is going to take a quick peek into Awe's latest game, Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None.
The game is based upon a novel Agatha Christie wrote in 1939, And Then There Were None (originally titled Ten Little Indians) that has become famous world wide. For those of you who don't yet know the story, here's an insight into what the game holds for you. Ten complete strangers are invited to spend the weekend on Shipwreck Island by Mr U. N. Owen only to become stranded there with no sign of their host. He has left a recording for them to listen to though and it's a recording with some alarming home truths for his guests. One by one the guests are accused of murder and one by one the guests' numbers start to dwindle. Is the murderer exacting justice? Or is there, in true Agatha Christie style, another plot twist to discover?
You play as Patrick Narracott, an 11 th character, who takes on the role of investigator trying to discover the identity of the murderer. The game play is wonderfully gripping and will keep you coming back for more in your quest to find out 'who done it?' The setting for the game is very apt, stranded on an island with a murderer on the loose, a storm raging outside that prevents anyone leaving, no telephone to contact the mainland and at one point, a power cut! The puzzles are logical enough, with some used as a form of sweetener for that precious commodity of investigators, information.
The game does have some problems at present, which I hope will not appear in the final version. I hit a dead end on my first day. There are some batteries hidden in a sack of flour, but if you don't find them before nightfall on your first day, the game hits a dead end because the batteries are no longer there. Unfortunately, the American release of And Then There Were None still has this particular glitch. Another mistake is that you'll see corpses of guests who have yet to be murdered, which somewhat spoils the story if you don't know who's next in line to get the chop. Minor imperfections such as characters standing on furniture or appearing to float in mid-air instead of standing on the floor are small problems that should be easy to correct.
Subtitles were enabled by default, although their consistency leaves a lot to be desired. The introductory cutscene was not subtitled, completely leaving deaf players in the dark. This omission also occurred when the recording from Mr. Owen was played, and at other strategic points throughout the game. I can't mention them all here for fear of 'giving the game away'. Suffice to say that without these cutscenes being subtitled, it would be a waste of time for deaf gamers to play And Then There Were None, which would be a great pity.
The subtitles themselves have been presented very well with a dark overlay appearing at the bottom of the screen with light coloured text. Although the subtitles are not colour coded, Narracott's style of questioning keeps it clear who is talking. There were a few glitches with the dialogue, such as no spaces between the words or the text not appearing onscreen long enough to read it. However, these should be corrected for the final version.
Overall, even with all the glitches that I have mentioned, I really enjoyed playing the game and look forward to seeing the final version so that I can find out who did it and why and, as a bonus, watch Agatha Christie's original ending.