Review: Blue Toad Murder Files
Developer: Relentless Software
Release Date: December 17th, 2009
Price: $7.49 | £6.29 | €7.99 | HK$ 78.00
Players: 1-4 (local)
What I liked:
- The excellent narration and overall presentation.
- The ability to play with up to 3 other people at once.
- A good mix of different types of puzzles.
What I disliked:
- If you give up the game gives you the solution.
- Each episode is fairly short (An hours worth of play).
- Not much replay value after you beat an episode.
Everyone loves a murder mystery, whether it be a book, a TV program, or a movie. There haven’t been many murder mystery video games, but Blue Toad Murder Files looks to change that. With its episodic format even feels more like an interactive book or TV show than it does a game.
That isn’t the only thing making this feel less like a game, it is presented in a very interesting way. Each episode has 12 puzzles that you have to solve along the way. But before you can get to the puzzles you have to go through the excellently narrated story. All the character’s dialogue in this game is beautifully voiced and I was amazed to see that it is just one person doing all of it. Each character has a distinct personality that comes through at the first moment you meet them. It is not all puzzle, you will get quizzed on the events of the story making sure you are paying attention. But enough of all this I figure you want to hear more about the game.
So you can play this game either alone or with up to three other people. You can all use your own controllers or just pass one around. If you are using separate controllers make sure you are playing with people you trust, since all the controllers can move the cursor around. You can really screw your friends over if you want to. Each player gets a turn to do one of the twelve puzzles per episode. You are graded on how fast you do it and if you had any misses. There is a semi-competitive side game going on if you are playing multiplayer. All of your medals will get added up and at the end of an episode a winner is chosen.
I had fun playing this in both single and multiplayer. But there are a few things that will make playing this more than once kinda of a drag. First off you will know the answers to all the puzzles. The game does nothing to mix it up, meaning they will have the same answers every time. So you can pretty much just memorize the multiple choice answers. I wish it would at least randomize those questions. Also this doesn’t really pertain to a second play-through, but the game will tell you the answer to a puzzle if you give up on it. What is up with that? I gave up on a question on my first play-through thinking, I will just get this one next time. But nope, I was given the answer. I don’t really see the reasoning behind that. Then there is the length, for the 8 euro you are spending you are only getting an hours worth of story. I guess when you look at it as a full game this might look better, but at the moment it seems really short with little to no replay value.
I almost want to say just wait it out and get this when all of the episodes are released. It would probably be cheaper and you will get the full story with no cliffhangers (yes there is a cliffhanger at the end of every episode). But then another part of me is saying, I did have a really great time playing — even if it was rather short. I really enjoyed the voice-work and I am really interested to see where this story goes. I love a good murder mystery and Blue Toad Murder Files fills a niche on the PlayStation Network that I, for one, would like to see more of. So I guess if you like a good murder story or even brain teasers you will want to check this out. Whether you do that now or later is totally up to you of course.