Editors' Choice Game
Blue Toad Murder Files
Reviewed by Angie Kibiloski
Blue Toad Murder Files (Retail $19.99 for download on PC and PS3), from Relentless Games, isnít your typical murder mystery game. Itís more like an interactive mystery novel, in which you must solve plot related puzzles as you follow along with the narrated story. This format is different than anything Iíve played before, and itís surprisingly enjoyable. The narrator, who also voices all of the characters, is very entertaining, with his dry wit and wry commentary on your abilities to work through the puzzles and solve the mysteries. If you listen carefully to the conversations with suspects, and keep your eyes peeled for clues, you might just have what it takes to be a Blue Toad detective.
There are 6 chapters in the game, each with a mystery to solve, and a cliffhanger ending to set up the next chapter. The entire thing is set in a picture perfect English village, called Little Riddle. Picture perfect except for all the murders. You get to choose between 4 detectives from the Blue Toad Detective Agency to be your character. Richard ďDickĒ Dickens is the brilliant, youngest detective of the bunch, solving crime between school terms. Hannah Dakota is a peppy, enthusiastic young sleuth, on loan from America. Miss Marjorie Maple is the classic old biddy, sharper than she looks, and a mentor to younger detectives. Finally, Lambert Vanderbosch is one of the original recruits, sporting a mustache and a fake Belgian accent. You can switch up characters at the start of each chapter so you can take them all out for a spin if you like. You can even play in cooperative mode with up to 4 players, and mix up your ensemble to suit.
The animation is cute, and the characters you meet in Little Riddle are charming. One reason this more casual format, of being led through the story, is so fun is due to the great characters and how enjoyable it is just to sit back and watch them. The mini-game puzzles will always provide something to do with whatever clue you are investigating at the moment, and consist of a wide variety of types, though many have to do with memory skills or logical reasoning. Each puzzle is timed and scored for accuracy, and you are awarded gold, silver, or bronze badges for your efforts. At intervals throughout each mystery, you will be asked to answer quiz questions, to see how well you have been observing the characters and conversations you have had so far. Likewise, at the end of the chapter, you will be asked to deduce who the criminal is from the suspects you have interviewed. Get it right and the narrator will kindly praise you, get it wrong and he will scold you like a disappointed headmaster. Still, if you have done well in the mini-games and the previous quizzes, your score can put you out on top of the chapter, even if you guess the suspect wrong.
I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Toad Murder Files. It was refreshing to play a game with a different format, a more relaxed and casual atmosphere than your typical adventure mystery title. Little Riddle was a very pleasing town to spend several hours of sleuthing in, and I would love to go back for a sequel in the future. The cute characters, the picturesque town, the fun puzzles, and the surprising desire to please the narrator, all combine to make this title irresistible. If you want a leisurely murder mystery, you have to spend some quality time in Little Riddle. Available for download from Amazon and the Blue Toad Murder Files official site. Enjoy!
Recommended System Specs:
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