Review: Blue Toad Murder Files (The Complete Series)
Developer: Relentless Software
Publisher: Relentless Software
Price: $44.94 | £28.74 | €35.94 | HK$ 468.00 (only 1-3 available in HK)
Players: 1-4 (local)
What I Liked:
- Great Voice Acting, and wonderful stylized graphics
- Puzzles are a mix of easy maths questions, and suitably tough logic puzzles
- Story takes many twists and turns, and keeps you guessing until the end
What I Disliked:
- Unskippable cut-scenes
- Bought individually, the episodes are not great value, but as a whole, they shape up far better. Not much replay value either.
- Humor may not appeal to everybody.
Whilst Playing Blue Toad Murder Files, I was hit with the realization that I certainly wasn’t the target audience for the game. In fact, I was decidedly above the target age range for what is certainly a charming little puzzle game, with mind teasing puzzles combined with a great sense of humor that is decidedly British in execution.
Blue Toad Murder Files is a great collection of puzzles, wrapped in the veneer of an adventure game. You take on the role of one of the key members of the Blue Toad agency, and are dispatched to the village of Little Riddle for some much needed R&R, but of course it would be a rather boring adventure game if all the puzzles involved walking around museums, and getting drinks of tea from the hotel lounge. As is seemingly par for the course, your visit to the town is interrupted by a sudden murder, and of course it is up to you to solve this crime, as only the Blue Toad agency knows how. By solving various puzzles involving such wide varieties of events as mourners at funerals, and organizing books!
The puzzles in Blue Toad Murder Files are a real mix of various maths, logic and shape puzzles, with some words puzzles thrown in for good measure. The puzzles really run the gamut of difficulty, with some of them being extremely simple, but others had me stumped for quite some time. The game does offer the option to give up once you get a puzzle wrong but I never used it, preferring instead to keep trying until I eventually solved them. Once particular puzzle had me utterly stumped for over 10 minutes, and the feeling of euphoria I experienced after having finally solved it was outstanding.
The story of Blue Toad Murder Files takes place over the course of all 6 episodes, with each episode ending on a cliff hangar adding much more impetuous to carry on playing. With each episode clocking in at between 45 minutes to 1 hour, I found that playing the game in batches of 2 episodes way by far the best way to play it.
Blue Toad does have some faults though, with cut-scenes in between puzzles being unskippable. This isn’t such a problem if you’re seeing the cinematic for the first time, but on additional playthroughs in order to achieve trophies you may have missed out on the first time round, I can see this becoming an annoyance.
This brings me to my main problem with Blue Toad and unfortunately it’s a problem inherent to the genre as a whole; that being that the game lacks replay value. For the price being asked for this series of episodic adventure games, the lack of replay value is something of a detriment. Finally, if you are one of the few people having been unfortunately been blessed without a sense of humor, then the game’s witty banter and quirky jokes will likely be deemed ridiculous.
If you enjoy British humor, and love puzzles, then it’s more than likely that you’ll enjoy Blue Toad Murder Files. The games’ quirky nature, combined with the overall pace of the game as a whole make it an easily recommendable purchase. Just don’t expect to return for a second visit once you’ve finished all 6 episodes.