Saturday, 24 September 2016

Consulting Detective - Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

It’s finally time for me to be the judge.

Last time, we closed the book on the third and final case in this volume of Consulting Detective. We’ve interacted with a ton of crazy characters, explored London, and placed three murderers behind bars. This is a game unlike any that we have played before and I’m glad that I was able to experience it firsthand.

As I prepare to write, I’m not sure how it will do in our PISSED scale. I know that I had a lot of fun, but the game does not have many of the standard trappings of adventures. Will that give it an advantage or a disadvantage in the rating? Let’s see!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Introducing The Great Zork Marathon

Written by Joe Pranevich

The greatest dam in adventure game history.

Hello, Sailor! Before we get into 1992, we want to peek ahead just for a moment to 1993 and a monumental release: Return to Zork. No one can deny that the Zork games were some of the most successful and influential adventure games of all time. They spawned a franchise that included multiple series of games, books, and toys. They were parodied by some developers but imitated by many more. Next to Colossal Cave itself, I don’t think there were games more influential on our genre than Zork.

And yet, because they were text adventures, we haven’t played any of them. Trickster’s only text adventure review was Colossal Cave, but he wrote it for RetroSmack instead of our fine publication. We’ve played a few text adventures since the Great Relaunch, but we haven’t played any of the Zork games… until now.

This is my challenge: I will play and review every Zork game before the blog makes it to Return to Zork. Considering that it took me nearly six months to play four games in my “Summer of Questprobe” series, I may be biting off more than I should. But I want to give it a try!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Consulting Detective - Won!

Written by Joe Pranevich

A mysterious murderer and his mysterious envelope.

Last week, we started the case of the “Tin Soldier”. General Armstead has been killed in a duel with an unknown assailant. While we know he was killed by an elderly Frenchman with a cane and a carpetbag, he left behind plenty of people that had a motive to kill him: the thieves of the Polar Star diamond who he was close to exposing, five other members of a death lottery (a “tontine”), plus his brother-in-law who may have stood to gain control of a number of shared assets. None of those are elderly Frenchmen so we have to dig deeper to discover the connection.

We spent most of last time working to track down the Polar Star diamond. We discovered that Armstead’s contact had been murdered, potentially by the guy who the diamond was stolen from. We also know that Armstead’s publisher was making moves for the information almost immediately after his death. My leads are exhausted and I’ll need to start this week by going down a different path. Thus far, I don’t have any theories that are panning out, but I am having a ton of fun with this case.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Conversation with David Marsh

Interview by Joe Pranevich

As we close out our coverage of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, I am thrilled to have been able to speak to one of the masterminds behind ICOM Simulations’ success, David Marsh. In the first decades of his career, David helped bring us classics like Deja Vu, Shadowgate, and Uninvited. He was the art director for the Consulting Detective series. These days, David is the driving force behind Zojoi, the current owner of much of ICOM’s adventure gaming legacy. He and his team have recently released updated versions of the first three Consulting Detective cases plus a complete reimagining of the original Shadowgate.

In a wide-ranging conversation, David and I talk about all of those titles, games that didn’t quite make it, and even Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally. It was a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to be able to bring this interview with you.