Developer: Four Thirty Three
Price: $0.99 (On sale; normal price $4.99)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? In The Secret of Chateau de Moreau, players take on the role of Antoine, whose wealthy foster father has passed away under mysterious circumstances and left all of his wealth to Antoine. In order to claim his inheritance, Antoine also has to clear his name—and this is where the detective work comes in. To solve the murder mystery, players have to question other characters, solve puzzles, and search for clues. It’s a very well-designed game and well put-together. Mystery fans should really enjoy this charming app.

The actual gameplay is reminiscent of other point-and-click mystery games. As Antoine, players wander around the chateau searching for clues. The chateau is mostly represented as a floor plan; upon entering a specific room, players can search it for clues or talk to any characters present. Rooms are presented as single images; within a room movement is impossible. While exploring the chateau I was vaguely reminded of the Phoenix Wright games. Interactions are fairly basic, with a menu of dialogue options provided and the other characters responding accordingly. There’s a sizable cast of other characters, including Antoine’s siblings and the chateau’s staff.

While exploring, puzzles will occasionally appear. These “puzzles” range from the very easy examples in the beginning of a game (entering a combination into a lock, or spinning a wheel) to somewhat more complex operations later.

Despite this being a mystery game, for the most part the story unfolds without relying too much on the player’s intuition. The chateau isn’t enormous, and for the most part the game leaves little doubt as to what the player’s next task is. In some ways this is good; not knowing what to do next and wandering aimlessly is my least favorite part of the mystery game experience, and I’ve yet to encounter that in this app.

As for the app’s more mundane aspects, everything works fine. While there’s auto-resume, there’s no auto-save, so cautious players should remember to save the game often. But the app has no real problems. Artwork and sound effects both work well to create atmosphere and add to the story.

There’s no denying that The Secret of Chateau de Moreau is an impressive game. Over 40 endings (even if many of those endings end in Antoine’s death or arrest!), nice art, 100 puzzles, a complex story…The Secret of Chateau de Moreau scores on many counts. Anyone who enjoys mystery games definitely needs to check out The Secret of Chateau de Moreau.

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