Disappointingly for an old-school police adventure, at no point in Unsolved Crimes are you required to slide across the hood of a sports car. In fact, apart from the wah-wah-esque music, there%26rsquo;s not a lot about this game that exploits its %26rsquo;70s setting. But that%26rsquo;s not really a problem, as the important business here is solving crimes. Obviously. As a n00b in the NYPD you%26rsquo;re working with detective Marcy Blake to solve a series of increasingly complex murders. (Some are almost comedically gruesome, such as the young lady found in pieces in a hotel room.) By investigating the crime scene and making deductions from suspects%26rsquo; statements, you can piece together what happened.
Unfortunately, while this sounds like you%26rsquo;re handed the case file and sent on your merry crime-solving way, the game chaperones you, making everything pretty easy. Suspects are interrogated off-screen so you merely have to read their statements; some problems are presented as multiple choice questions, with certain options being laughably daft red herrings; and even some open-ended questions are phrased in such a way that you don%26rsquo;t need to use the ol%26rsquo; grey matter too much. And there%26rsquo;s little reason to go back to a case once it%26rsquo;s solved (even though the ranking system might entice you to retry for an A grade) as replaying is just a case of remembering the right answers from your first playthrough.
Yet despite these shortcomings, Unsolved Crimes is still good fun. The stories are engaging, the stylus gets a workout with occasional puzzles and (slightly dud) action sections, and the game%26rsquo;s logic is almost always sound (though we did berate the DS once or twice because it wasn%26rsquo;t immediately obvious that the motive was random infatuation rather than long-standing jealousy). You%26rsquo;ll rattle through this in a couple of hours, but the compulsion to outsmart New York%26rsquo;s killers means that they%26rsquo;ll be a satisfying couple of hours.
Nov 3, 2008