Mobile Game Review: Murder in the Alps

I’m beginning to wonder about stereotypes a bit more than my social psychology and social theories classes taught me. This particular game is well thought out. Well laid out. The graphics are excellent for an in-ad game. I would expect this to easily be something I could play on PC. It honestly reminds me of a very old Nancy Drew PC game I used to play as a kid. I did not get too far in that game. Some of the puzzles were so convoluted.

Here, the game is set in the Swiss Alps in the late 1920s early 1930s. The Art Deco fashion is fun. I was having an issue for a bit with the fact the characters switch in between English and German for certain words – ladies and gentleman and such. I was feeling like some of the characters were type caste because of it. Switching between English and German should make sense. I’m just trying to be more sensitive to if people are value pandering or virtue signaling with diversity and doing it badly. I think I probably jumped at this one and was just being too sensitive.

The story goes from interactive to back and forth conversations done up in a comic book style. The conversation bubbles pop up into fitted margins between character images which is not something I’ve seen done yet, and I rather like that presentation style.

Now, the puzzle aspect of the game. You have “energy” reserves that you have to give time to recharge. Sometimes you can get free energy during week deals, which is frequent enough to keep you coming back. I’ve had the game on my phone for a few weeks now and have watched the notifications pop up one to two times daily about deals or energy or what have you. That might be annoying to some people, so, thought I’d mention that up front.

Within the games, you spend a bit of energy though, and you can lose track of how much you spend because the energy bar is off hidden in a left hand hamburger menu. Keeps visual distractions to a minimum, but you can burn through energy quickly if you aren’t getting the idea with the game and keep asking it for hints.

This is a Hidden Picture game set up. There are some other mini-games, but the main premise is that you are presented with a room or a corner of a room where you get to look at a jumbled mess of trinkets and try to find a set of them on a list. If the word is in white, the item is in frame. If the word in the list is red, it is hidden behind or in something and you have to figure out where a lock or a latch are. This doesn’t appear bad right out the gate. However, you can go poking at a screen all day trying to figure out what is moveable and it still not be obvious. Some things look like you should be able to open them or move them and they are non-interactive, where as other pieces don’t look interactive and instead are and the only way to figure that out is through hints. (At least, in my case).

It’s not like watching old Hana-Barbera cartoons with cell shading where you know the set of rocks the teenage sluths climbed up are going to fall down because they are a flat color compared to the “background” rocks that are all moss covered, etc. The clues in Murder in the Alps are sometimes terribly subtle.

I like the premise of the story line, in so far as it comes off as most any noir detective novel or Agathe Christi mystery style book does. So far, less racist, which is a blessing. I can’t stand reading Agathe Christi. I’ve tried, and each one is just down right disparaging. I know, I know “product of the time,” etc. etc. Doesn’t mean they still need to be in print.

I haven’t made it into “chapter 2” of the game yet. I was playing what I could of the start up to see if the energy recharge rate was fair to the user or if it was money hungry like Genius Otome games is.

For the most part, I’d call it a decently set up system.

The only thing I can say that started getting on my nerves, and this has to do with a conversation I had with a friend earlier in the month about women perpetually being sent off to the work kitchen to fetch all the men coffee and how that is demeaning and sexist. Well, here is a female MC who is a reporter with a penchant for mysteries. There’s plenty of space to explore, and yet the game is set up with just enough of a rail that it will lock down explorable scenes whenever someone sends you off to find a magnifying glass, someone’s umbrella, or a knife by which to pry the door open. Again, doesn’t sound bad at the outset, but the level of frequency the MC is sent off to the kitchen and else where to fetch things while the men occupy the various murder rooms trying to figure out what happened is…bugging me…at the moment.

Would I suggest it? Yes, I think I would. The art, interactions, and story line are all decent. It might live on my phone a bit longer as I play with it until I hit enough of a road block that I don’t want to sink money into it. It’s just frustrating enough that I don’t actually want to spend money on it to play because of the sheer need for hints, but as long as the energy maintenance time is free and I have other things to occupy my time, it’s okay to freeload some space.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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