Dr Game's Second Opinion - Three Cards to Midnight
May 26th 2009 23:05
Many of you will remember the days when full motion video games featuring live actors took over the industry. A lot of these games were of extremely poor quality but there were a few gems in the pack. Some of these were the Tex Murphy games - Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive and Overseer. There was just something unique and fantastic about a private investigator reminiscent of Sam Spade solving cases in a mutant infested future.
Unique and fantastic is how I would also describe the creators of the Tex Murphy series new game Three Cards to Midnight. The game centres around a girl named Jess. She has just turned 30 and has found herself in a room with a man with tarot cards. Jess has no memory of how she got there and the man insists she chooses a card to help remember how she got to where she is.
Each tarot card represents a location familiar to Jess and contains a bunch of items scattered around like someone has ransacked the place. Jess has a few keywords relevant to her memory and the location and it’s your job to match the items with the keywords. For example one of the keywords might be Sugar and in the scene might be a pie, a pea and water. There are also items that don’t match to the keywords. Select one of these and you’ll get a Miss. 10 misses and you have to restart the scene. At the end of some of the levels is a puzzle, which can be anything from putting together a shredded document to card puzzles featuring blackjack.
When you solve a location or a puzzle you’re treated to a cutscene that reveals another piece of the story - but not necessarily in the order that it happened. The whole game is one big puzzle that you have to put together and it’s a real unique way of revealing the events.
It's not for everyone though.
If you only interested in playing games with high end graphics then Three Cards to Midnight is not for you. The visuals are a little dated but they don't take anything away from the game. The other aspect that may turn off players is that some of the items you need to select in order to progress aren't as clearly illustrated as some of the other items. There was a whip that looked like rope, a pea that looks similiar to a gobstopper and an onion slice that looked a little like a coaster. Sometimes you're just going to have to guess but other times you can access one of your hints - but you are punished at the end of the chapter with a lower ranking.
DIAGNOSIS - RECOMMEND
There’s not a lot of games like this out there and it’s only $20. If you’re a fan of games with a great story then this is a highly recommended title but for everyone else they should probably check out the demo first at www.bigfinishgames.com.
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