Developer: Big Fish Games
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Dispensing with the usual Hidden Object gaming format that Big Fish Games love to stick with, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is a distinctly traditional point and click adventure game. Previously a PC adventure game, the conversion has gone slightly awry with awkward controls and dated graphics, but the storyline behind Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is still quite interesting.

It follows the mystery of a series of immigrants who have vanished from across London, leaving Holmes and Dr.q Watson to figure out exactly what’s going on. As is often the way in such games, there’s an occult presence amongst all this with such disappearances leading to Cthulu worshippers. It also leads to the crime fighting duo exploring various locations across the world. Everything about Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is quite linear, right down to the conversations that can be pursued with witnesses and other passers by. There are plenty of reports and documents to consult, though, which I found quite interesting, both for progressing the story and adding to the general ambience and background.

Amongst such wordiness, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened offers plenty of puzzles too. Some of them are quite interesting but the game does suffer from a handful that make little sense, with even the included strategy guide not always helping here. An unfortunate oversight for a game that should entertain mystery fans.

Technical issues also arise, such as a control scheme that clearly hasn’t been adapted to the iPad very well. Alongside that, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened offers two different perspectives, first and third person, with neither proving ideal. Instead, switching regularly is vital. Such frustrations do grate but the spirit of Holmes lingers on, encouraging adventure gamers to persevere. It might not be the strongest of adventure titles, but there’s still something pleasantly endearing about its story and (logical) puzzles.

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