Crime Stories Review

Crime Stories plays like a game from ten years ago. From the time you start the game, till the time you decide to turn it off and do something else, it is downright boring. It sells as an adventure game, with a bit of mystery twist, but the game plays like Prince of Perisa did, ages ago, except much worse. About the only way this game could be appealing is if you decided that reading a bunch of text boxes on the screen meant you were playing a video game.

To be fair, Crime Stories: From the Files of Martin Mystère is a pretty cheap game designed for just about any wintel box with a video card. So you can’t really expect groundbreaking Half-Life 2 graphics or an interesting storyline. What you do get for your money with Crime Stories is a ridiculous idiot of a hero, gameplay from hell, and a poorly crafted storyline with annoying bits of dialogue. If any of this sounds interesting, then by all means, rush out to the store and pick yourself up a copy.

Your entire experience in Crime Stories revolves around Martin Mystère. Martin is sort of introduced as a professor and an expert in solving mysterious crimes, but he is really introduced to you in his pajamas, stuck in his own bedroom, mindlessly looking for a key to his wardrobe closet. You see, Martin’s wife has hidden the key to his wardrobe closet and Martin needs to find the key to get dressed and go outside…getting the picture? The story, if you can call it a story, is about as exciting as watching the grass grow. To make matters worse, the entire story is displayed as plain text in annoying little boxes. The only way to discover anything is to click on it and read plain text. It’s ridiculous. It’s completely past ‘puzzle solving’ or ‘reading comprehension’ and into ‘downright boring’. And if you thought this was the worst part, if you thought that once the game got going things would be different, you are dead wrong. The game does the exact same thing the entire time.

The gameplay in Crime Stories: Martin Mystere is like the gameplay in King’s Quest V. Yes, you read that right, King’s Quest V. The developer of Crime Stories: From the Files of Martin Mystère could have shipped you this software on 3.5” diskettes. Ok, I’m joking there. But in all seriousness, the name of the game in Crime Stories is to be thorough. Unfortunately that means exploring every stupid nook and cranny, clicking on every ‘hot spot’ and reading hundreds of lines of boring text. You’ll need to sift through all of it to find the small (and useless) bits of relevant information to progress the game. Too bad that most of the info you read isn’t relevant. However, if it does happen to be relevant, and a legitimate piece of evidence to aide you in solving the crime, don’t expect Martin to explain it. That’s right, you’re stuck reading endless lines of irrelevant text to unravel the mystery and you still don’t get the story behind some of the evidence from the main character. It’s like the game gets worse as it goes on…oh that’s right, it does get worse as the game goes on...