Version Reviewed: 3
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
Are some of these suspects giving you trouble? Do some of the clues keep escaping your notice? Then check out our Contradiction guide for budding detectives.
Take a bow, Contradiction. Murder mystery point and click adventures won't be the same, and it's all because of your Kickstarted inner beauty.
The gameplay dives right in, roughly a week after the mysterious drowning of a Kate Young in Edenton Village. Detective Inspector Jenks is dispatched to make some sense of the mystery, and here the story really begins, with the built-in tutorial giving us the initial help needed.
The idea is to explore, collect items, interview folks and solve puzzles.
If one expects the regular point-and-click adventure, this game should be surprising... in a good way. The core gimmick is that instead of just graphics, we get real life acting to push the gameplay along. Yes, the game characters are depicted by live actors, the dialogue is "real" and - most importantly - the acting itself is credible. The info boards that encapsulate the live acting work exceptionally well as bridges, and it is quite the immersive experience.
The developer does a good job with the concept. Finding contradictions is literally the fuel here; as one goes about collecting information, a key tool is the ability to analyze answers provided to find the falsehoods which can be used to leverage useful information. More specifically, the game "levels" are presented as 1-hr increments (Jack Bauer-style); to advance to the next hour of investigation, one must figure out a contradiction or such in the preceding portion. Without giving too much away, getting green fallacy matches is a rush. As hinted at earlier, clues can be collected and used later to solve procedural puzzles, and as such, exploration is a huge portion of the game.
One aspect I really enjoyed is the way the developer expands the gameplay. Finishing one portion opens up more characters and locations - locations that could not be explored prior.
The game menu works, yes, but I think I would have preferred a smoother recollection process; the game relies heavily on the ability to double back and review collected data. The need to go back to a character to re-review that character's contribution is a bit busy. The hint functionally could be a bit cryptic at times, but to be fair, I'd rather see that than an overly easy game.
Still, this is one of those reviews that was hard to do. Why? Because the game is criminally engaging.
It's a crime I figure we can all live with though.