Games of Passion review

Games of Passion review

Adventure Game reviews: ‘Games of Passion’ is a Nintendo DS murder mystery featuring 4 women who solve murders. As seasoned gamers, we gave this suspenseful adventure game a try.

New York Times bestselling author James Patterson has his finger in a lot of pies. With 52 novels under his belt, he has dedicated a lot of time to various adaptations for film, TV, and video games. The latest in his benign empire is a murder mystery adventure game for the Nintendo DS and DSi based on his popular “Women’s Murder Club” series about a group of women who get together to solve murders, not commit them.

As great fans of the adventure game genre we were intrigued… Would this Nintendo game make the perfect stocking filler for the gaming fashionista?

What the game’s about

The WMC finds reason to meet when seemingly unrelated women are found murdered. It’s always nice to solve a murder in between cocktails, isn’t it? You will play as Detective Lindsay Boxer, reporter Cindy Thomas, Dr. Claire Washburn & District Attorney Yuki Castellano as you attempt to discover the identity of the killer.

How the game uses the Nintendo DS platform

Women’s Murder Club: Games Of Passion is a Nintendo DS exclusive so we’d expect it to make the most of its gaming platform. With so much industry talent involved in its making, the game should look great and play fantastically – and it does a fine job of using what the Nintendo DS has to offer. The game relies heavily on good looking, stylish, realistic artwork. Getting around is easy – you just use the Nintendo DS stylus to click on hidden objects in crime scenes, do CSI style investigation work in laboratories and choose what you want to say when interrogating suspects.

For those lucky people with a Nintendo DSi, there also is a ‘Photo Mysteries’ option that allows you to incorporate photos of your family, friends, etc. into a mystery story. Unfortunately, a Nintendo DSi – which has a built-in camera – is necessary to enjoy this feature and as we’re just impoverished adventure gamers with a regular DS, we weren’t able to virtually murder any of our bitter enemies, Dexter-style. Boo!

How the game plays

Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion is the latest in the James Patterson murder mystery series and like its predecessors it combines hidden object searches with puzzles and a few mini-games.

The mystery unfolds over seven chapters which usually feature a hidden object screen that scrolls across the two Nintendo DS screens (don’t worry, you won’t be searching for practically-invisible tiny pins. The game is designed to be intriguing, not frustrating. You’ll be looking for chic and strange artifacts cunningly blended into their rich and varied surroundings). Most chapters also involve an interrogation of a suspect and a mini-game that requires fibre-matching or performing some sort of chemical analysis in the precinct laboratory.

The puzzles are not particularly complex, but gamers should nevertheless still enjoy the smooth pleasure of the gameplay and the strong use of plot, characterisation and storytelling. We did – and we’ve cut our teeth on fiendish and seminal PC adventure games like Myst, Gabriel Knight and Sanitorium – and the uber-fiendish ‘The Hobbit’ for the ZX Spectrum. Anyway… Although Patterson wrote the initial script, adventure games guru Jane Jensen is credited as the game’s designer. Her influence and understanding of the genre is very much in evidence as the storyline flows smoothly and what could have been simply a collection of puzzles is instead a somewhat impressive, tightly knit mystery and the characters all have distinct personalities that bring them to life. Non-gamers will certainly have the pleasure of opening their eyes open to a richly rewarding new genre of entertainment.

The designers have clearly designed this game to appeal to not only gamers and James Patterson fans but also fashionistas – the art is slick and stylish, the murder mystery has a definite feminine angle and you’ll probably feel rather special and glamorous as you play this in a public space.

Women's Murder Mystery Club - Games of Passion for the Nintendo DS

Buy Women’s Murder Club: Games Of Passion (Nintendo DS) on Amazon