By: Armaan Khan
It starts, as so many mysteries do, with a phone call on a dark and stormy night. Mr. Grey, owner of the White Wolf Hotel, has suffered a heart attack and you, Doctor Philip White, have been asked to help him. When you get to the hotel, however, the old man is nowhere to be found and another phone call tells you that the “game” has begun. Soon the hotel’s guests start dying one by one, and you must get to the bottom of it before you become a victim yourself. That’s the premise of Mountain Crime: Requital, a hidden object game that won’t amaze you with its ingenuity, but still provides an engrossing experience that’s worth playing if you’re a fan of the genre.
The gameplay in Mountain Crime: Requital is the usual hidden object shenanigans, but with a few interesting modifications. The biggest one is that you’re never hunting for more than eight items at any given time, which is a big change from other HOGs which usually feature lists of over a dozen things. Speaking of lists, there are none here. Instead you’re shown pictures of what you’re looking for, a feature that most HOGs reserve for the hint system. In addition, many items, especially smaller ones like bolts or batteries, repeat multiple times, which makes finding them a lot faster and less frustrating. These three changes to the standard formula make Mountain Crime: Requital a lot faster-paced than the average hidden object game and a lot more fun to boot.
When you’re not looking for hidden objects, you’ll be collecting clues and solving puzzles. These run the usual gamut of challenges such as reassembling a torn page and arranging gems into a specific order. None of them are particularly creative or even mentally taxing but they do provide a good change of pace. The game goes to great lengths to make sure you’re never stuck as well. There are a lot of hints available for solving puzzles, you can skip any puzzle you don’t want to deal with, and there’s a map that shows exactly where in the hotel you need to be at any given time.
It all adds up to a fairly easy game, but that’s not a bad thing because the easiness keeps you continually moving forward through the plot, which is the real star of this show. Admittedly, it’s not very original or creative, but it’s well-scripted and nicely paced with a number of twists and surprises to keep you engaged throughout. This combination of engaging story with easy gameplay kept me invested throughout my entire time with the game because I never had any frustrating what-the-heck-am-I-supposed-to-do-now moments pull me out of the experience. The end result is I had a lot of fun playing Mountain Crime: Requital.
It’s not all smiles and sunshine for this murder mystery, however. Some of the production values leave a lot to be desired. The background art and music are all of very high quality, but the voicework and animation are quite bad. The voice actors deliver their lines in the most ham-handedly melodramatic way possible, and the animation looks like it was rendered in Poser with default settings. These two issues aren’t that big of a deal, though, because you don’t see the other characters a whole lot and the voice work can be easily ignored.
Additionally, Mountain Crime: Requital is published by Alawar, which means you’ll have to put up with their usual shenanigans: you won’t be able to choose your installation directory, you’ll be asked to install the Ask toolbar (defaulting to yes), and the launcher is also one big ad for Alawar’s other games. Again, this isn’t that big a deal to me, but is worth pointing out nonetheless.
Conclusion – Is It Worth The Money?
Mountain Crime: Requital is one of the better hidden object adventure games I’ve played and is definitely worth the $10 price tag if you enjoy this sort of thing. You’ll get four hours of grippingly compelling mystery storytelling with some good (though easy) gameplay thrown in as well. Hidden object fans should definitely check it out.
- Time Played – 4 hours
- Widescreen Support – Yes
- 5.1 Audio – No
- Bugs – None
- DRM – Activation Code
- Control Scheme – Keyboard/Mouse
- System Specs – Intel Core2 Quad @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, Radeon 4800
- Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
- Availability – Alawar Games
- Demo – Yes (1 hour limit)
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