How would Holmes solve the Mystery of the Missing Choco cookies? According to this game, he’d first find one of the messiest rooms in Great Britain – not a problem – and use a magic time machine to turn it into a spot-the-difference puzzle. After discovering about 16 discrepancies, he’d move on to another – equally messy – room and hunt for a shopping list of random crap like champagne glasses and bits of rope. He’d probably pause for a moment to play a sliding block puzzle, or re-assemble a torn note. Then he’d put his brain to work assembling the shifty-looking rogues gallery in front of him into categories, such as ‘Male’, or ‘Wears scarf’, or ‘Is covered with bits of cookie crumbs’.
Exactly why, nobody would be able to work out, but it would lead to his final deduction technique: asking people to hold up the evidence connecting them to the crime, except for one honest person each time. He would then discount them on the grounds that the innocent never lie. Finally, only one suspect would be left and, by process of entirely capricious elimination, taken off to be horsewhipped. Sounds fair. Lost Cases at least pretends that its simple observation games are tied to the story of each investigation, but you’re not really deducing anything so much as waiting for Holmes to explain why he’s the world’s greatest detective and you’re a sniveling boob. In that, at least, Lost Cases is pretty close to the original books.
Dec 9, 2008