Agatha Christie: The ABC Mur­ders

XBox: The Official Magazine - - REVIEW -

Her­cule Poirot’s re­liance on his famed “lit­tle grey cells” makes him a tricky videogame hero. Phys­i­cal clues aren’t as im­por­tant as psy­cho­log­i­cal tells teased out through mind games and dou­ble bluffs, nei­ther of which are easy to show on screen. In­stead, this is a con­ser­va­tive point-and-click mys­tery where you pick at crime scenes, quiz lo­cals and pry se­crets from locked boxes.

The one con­ces­sion to Poirot’s of­ten odd be­hav­iour are ego points, earned by stay­ing true to his char­ac­ter. This means play­ing the rude for­eigner and keep­ing your mous­tache in check – there’s a 200G Achieve­ment for preen­ing be­fore ev­ery in-game mir­ror. When a game func­tions bet­ter as a tache-clean­ing sim, you know you’re in trou­ble. Chal­lenge 1: Find each other. Chal­lenge 2: Find and shoot who­ever com­posed the aw­ful mu­sic. only scor­ing player is also the most vis­i­ble, smartly bal­anc­ing the ac­tion.

But One Shot mode shows Screenchea­t’s premise at its best. Guns only reload af­ter ev­ery­one’s fired their shot, lead­ing to mad scram­bles to fig­ure out ev­ery­one’s places be­fore the next chance to blast each other. It forces you to re­ally em­brace the gim­micky premise, as op­posed to straight death­match modes, where it’s too tempt­ing to blast the grenade launcher un­til you get lucky.

There’s fun to be had, but the idea feels too light­weight to sus­tain a whole game. Most of the en­joy­ment comes from fig­ur­ing out what the hell’s go­ing on. Once you have, longterm ap­peal might be as hard to see as your ri­vals.

Xbox One Tom Stone £11.99

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