With their fresh new take on the literary classic, O-Games bring a true Victorian nightmare to the gamer generation. Will the ‘Point and Click’ based Cleudo-esque crime caper leave players gripped or miffed? Let’s find out together as we review The Mysterious Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Available as both a handheld title for the Nintendo DS system, as well as a retail game for the discerning PC gamer, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’s duality based dark chiller is the latest title from independent developer O-Games.
Against the time-honoured backdrop of a dimly lit London suburb in 1886, where gin-soaked women ply their scarlet trade by flickering gas lamp, and black nailed street urchin’s seek to alleviate naive young toff’s of the burden of their heavy wallets, O-Games have set the tone for their latest title. Deep in the shadow’s of the looming Gothic architecture of England’s Victorian capital city there is a beast stalking the night, the like of which the horrified resident’s and ruddy-faced ‘bobbies’ have never before witnessed. This drooling steely-sinewed predator hunts its human victim’s best when the streets are lit by the silvery light of the moon, and when the filth and smog from the numerous factories and foundries spew their noxious mists across the cobbled street’s almost as if the choking fumes are a moorland fog that hides a hound of Hell. But this ‘beast’ is no snarling animal, no yellow eyed monster prowling the alley’s and walkway’s with survival its only motive for committing these ghastly atrocities. This is a different kind of ‘beast’ altogether. This is the ferocious killer that slays its targets not out of necessity, but for sport, and there is but one ‘animal’ that lay’s claim to that ‘honour’ and he is man. But this is no ordinary man, this is…..
…whoa there people, spoiler alert!! To reveal the identity of the killer is to ruin the title for the countless gamers that will have the immense pleasure of piecing together O-Games cracking take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale. And that is the premise for the title in a nutshell. You play the part of a detective with Scotland Yard who has been tasked with uncovering, and ultimately capturing, the murderer of the recently deceased Sir Danvers Carew, a society gentleman of some renown who has been discovered brutally strangled in a rather less than elegant area in a run down part of 19th Century London. Calling on the assistance of a capable young medical practitioner to aid with forensics, alongside the deductive reasoning of your fellow members of the force, you must then visit various location’s, and persons, crucial to the games’ plot to uncover suspects as well as gather information and vital clues to help you solve the heinous homicide.
The graphic’s throughout the game are extremely crisp and very well presented, as the scenes that greet you at each murder scene, or location, are shown to you in the form of a still shot that you must analyse, in excruciating detail, for a whole menu of clues relating to the insidious incident, as well as a plethora of unrelated items that you must identify also, as you try to crack the puzzle that O-Games have laid out before you.
The format to the game is that you are shown a scene and at the foot of the screen you are given a menu bar that informs you as to which item’s you must recover if you are to progress any further. Some of the missing articles will leave you scratching your head as to their relevance to the games’ plot, however, ours is not to reason why-ours is but to play or die. Upon discovering all of the required pieces you will then be offered up any one of the 30 or so mini-games, that contain everything from clues to questioning your suspects right through to fingerprints and forensics. Each of the chapters will offer up a ‘The Story So Far..‘ recap in your trusty Detectives’ Journal, which is beneficial in keeping you up to the minute on objectives, suspicious characters, motives and the like. Our advice is to take advantage of the opportunities that the diary affords, by reading all that it has to offer. There are times in the game when you miss a speech bubble, or quickly gloss over an important fact but with a glimpse in your trusty tome you can be back with your finger on the pulse in no time at all.
The voice acting is handled far better than in most and has genuine English-speaking natives portraying the characters, as opposed to the ‘Mockney’ accents adopted by some of the lesser talented voice over ‘experts’ of other games. The visual’s and accompanying musical score are both atmospheric and compelling with neither being garish nor offensive optically or aurally.
Overall then O-Games have opted for a more sedate method of crime fighting in this title, ad in reflection it has worked extremely well, if the point and click method of gaming is your ‘bag.’ The decision to make it also available on the Nintendo DS is inspired, as it is charming puzzlers like this that simply flourish on the handheld system.
Graphics: Whilst not exactly being packed to the rafters with whistles and bags and fireworks of Earth shattering detonations, O-Games have managed to make their version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a success by making what the game does have as well done as it possibly could be. Very solid and dependable with nothing in it that you could not show to your eight year old daughter, or your eighty year-old maiden aunt. Good clean fun with first an almost hand painted feel to the lovingly created scenery. 7
Gameplay: Point and Click titles have a fan base that is all of their own, and they are going to absolutely love this splendid version of a timeless classic. With a beautifully simple format, that works as well on PC as it does the Nintendo DS, the gameplay does not suffer from over complicated clutter and instead run’s smoothly alongside the well written and well acted storyline. 7
RePlay Value: With well over thirty side missions and mini-games running parallel to the main games’ plot, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has a great deal more substance to the vast majority of the plain and predictable Point and Click puzzlers in its genre. Enough variety keep’s the game from ever feeling stale, and the fact that the tale as been told now for veritable decades ensures further usage for generations to come as new gamers are introduced to the literary masterpiece. The only flaw would be the short time it takes to reach completion, but otherwise an enjoyable day’s detective work for a long haul flight or lazy sunny afternoon 6
Presentation: A fine translation of Stevenson’s dark and brooding tale brought to the ‘iGeneration.’ looking superb with a haunting score that drift’s across the room in the same way that the London mist casually careers across the bloodstained cobbles. Great puzzling play that will have you, at times, scratching your head one minute whilst pulling out your hair the next in futile frustration at not being ale to uncover that final fingerprint. O-Games should congratulate themselves on a job well done. 7