Just finished Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
, which is the first Sherlock game I've played. It falls in the middle of the Frogware Holmes game series.
I started playing it a year ago - this is a common circumstance, with me - and had to stop when life got busy. When I browsed across it again, I realized that I couldn't remember the first thing about the story, and so I started over, saying goodbye to the previous six hours that I had tucked into it.
This is a weird little beast: it's a mash-up of Sherlock's adventures with the Cthulhu Mythos, although Cthulhu is never actually mentioned by name (rights clearance problems, no doubt). The case begins just a few blocks from Baker Street with the disappearance of a servant, and after some mucking about in a few local spots and the nearby docks, Holmes and Watson get wind of monstrous - literally - events afoot in a clinic in Switzerland, and before long they are exploring all over the world.
The story is actually quite good, if unlikely. There are some complications in making a good detective adventure, because you have to spoon-feed the plot to the player, but mostly this is successfully done. There are certainly moments when Holmes picks up, say, a coin and a hammer and an apple - just making this up, it's not a spoiler - and then spouts off the most bizarre story about how obviously the maid was selling off the family silver at market. Holmes always does that, but it's weird when you're supposed to be Holmes and you're sitting there thinking, "Really? How on earth did that happen?" But it's all part of the fun.
This point-and-click can be experienced in first-person or third; given camera wonkery, I mostly stayed in first. I used a walkthrough for a few puzzles, sometimes for the routine in-game silliness native to the genre (for the most part, this game stays roughly logical - roughly) and sometimes to get past a few jarring junctures where Holmes will abruptly ask Watson a question that must be answered correctly (like, "And now, Watson, we must obviously place the fardle in the _____ to continue"). Your responses to these challenges must be exact, and there is little warning about when they will appear.
On a couple of occasions, the answers are ludicrously obscure, names or references you've seen once or twice on scraps of paper, and once the question appears you no longer have any access to your case files, so you can't go back and check to find the information. I suppose I'm a lazy player, but I was not actually keeping notes on the notes that are accessible throughout the game via a handy archive feature, except when you need the information to continue playing. So, walkthrough. There's a very good in-game hint system, which takes pains to let you get hints without ruining everything, but you can't get to it when these segment-ending questions come up.
Steam says I spent 26 hours in there, though 6 are from last year's first-brush experience and another couple of hours are from leaving it on one afternoon. Overall, this was good fun. Recommended, though I am not jumping up and down about it. http://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2014/post209
for my miniscule list-so-far.