Version Reviewed: 1.03
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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All fans of the Broken Sword games, when confronted by a new installment, immediately wonder if this is going to be as good as the original or another underwhelming The Sleeping Dragon. It's the kind of comparison that's near impossible to avoid. In the case of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1, it's somewhere in between the two. The charm is often there, but the slow and plodding pace lets it down.
Much of the love for Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 will depend on how much one loved the original two titles. As a big fan, it felt like a comforting walk down memory lane. Besides being reunited with the ever delightful George and Nico (the latter of which having experienced a not entirely convincing voice transplant), there are numerous other references to happier days.
Unfortunately though, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 doesn't offer the most gripping of story lines. In a series steeped in international travel and huge, world changing plot lines, a tale of murder and insurance fraud isn't quite so exciting by any means. Combined with dialogue that isn't as witty as one would like and the slow and plodding nature to puzzle solutions, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 doesn't seem so spectacular.
The puzzles themselves are often quite straightforward but are hidden amongst red herrings and bizarre combinations. It's fairly typical of the series but lacks that 'wow' factor, mostly because it still feels curiously slow paced. On the plus side, a hints system as well as musical cues ensure that no one is going to get lost amongst the occasional strangeness.
It's frustrating that Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 doesn't offer that same spark as the earlier titles. It's fun to catch up with George and Nico, but neither feel as witty or as charming as they have previously. Looking somewhat improved visually and with some solid roots, it veers so close to being something special yet ultimately fails. It's not so much that Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 isn't an appealing point and click adventure, just that it's one that could have been so much more.