Review by KFHEWUI
"Decent point-and-click game that is too short and easy"
Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy is a port of the PC game from 2002, and it is follows Sherlock Holmes as he heads to the manor of Lord Montcalfe. Lord Montcalfe's daughter, soon to be Sherlock Holmes' cousin, has asked him to investigate into the death of her father. He heads to the manor of the late Lord Montcalfe, and everything starts out fine.
The story is not bad, and it does have a few twists along the way. Writing is solid, and the final outcome is interesting.
Sherlock Holmes is a point-and-click game, and the top screen shows the items while the bottom screen is where all the game play takes place. The stylus can be used for everything from movement, looking around, and picking up objects, and the D-Pad can be used instead of the stylus. The rest of the controls are simple to grasp with only "L", "R", "start", "Y", and "A" being used. Control scheme is responsive, and it does not take too long to grasp the controls.
Before starting up the game, the player can select a tutorial from the main menu, and it basically explains the mechanics of the game however it is not necessary at all to do this since the gameplay is easy to grasp and does not take too long to figure out.
The game starts with a cut scene of Sherlock Holmes riding a carriage, and it does not look that bad. The character models look good, and they are nicely animated. After the scene, the game starts, and the graphics look as good as the cut scene, and there is a slight dip down from the PC version.
Music is a mix bag, and the soundtrack is not that bad. Sadly it is completely forgettable, but it does the job of filling the background. There is voice acting, and at first, I hated Sherlock's VO. After time it finally grew on me and the rest of the voice acting is not bad. Sound effects range from passable to awful, and in the opening cut scene there is a part with the horse neighing. It sounds like the audio is cracking instead of a neighing, and later in the game there is a sequence with rain that is absolutely pitiful. One problem I have with the audio is that the voice acting can be hard to hear, and there are sub titles however the subtitles sometimes do not match up with the dialogue that is being said.
The game starts off in the foyer of the mansion, and the player can walk around pick up items and find notes however the door is locked. Along the walls are sarcophagi which are nothing more than decoration since the puzzle involving them was removed, and Sherlock needs a key to unlock the door. After searching the room, no key can be found, and the developer included a walkthrough with the game, and if the player gets stuck, they can go into the item menu and click on the "?" symbol which will open up the clues. Also "R" is the shortcut key for clues so hitting it is faster and is suggest over going through the item menu.
Once the key is found either by the clues or by messing around, the player can enter the next room, and reaching the next room signals that the player is about a fifth of the way done with the level. The levels in Sherlock Holmes are not long at all, and there are five in all. Thanks to the addition of the guide, it is impossible to get stuck in the game, but on the flip side if the guide was not there, some players might not beat the game.
The bulk of the game consists of collecting clues and items to solve puzzles, and most of the puzzles are not mind numbingly difficult. The puzzles can be solved with little effort except for one which involves a trap room. The problem with this room is that movement is awkward and downright bizarre with no rhyme or reason behind how the player moves. Ultimately this is the only part of the game that truly offers any amount of difficulty, and players that have played or beaten the PC version should be glad to know the infamous sliding puzzle was given the axe which is great because that puzzle was a time consuming mess.
At a few parts in the game, there are time sequences, and a blue bar on the right side of the screen will indicate how much time is left. These sequences include a smoke filled room, lit torch, and finding a bomb and the game is very generous with the amount of time so it never really feels like the player is running out of time.
Besides using the touchscreen for movement, the game also has a note feature where the player can use the bottom screen to write notes to help them solve puzzles, but this ultimately feels useless since the game includes a clue system which explains how to solve every puzzle.
Replay value is a big a problem because the game can be beaten in one sitting in under four hours and there is only one difficulty. After beating the game, there is nothing to do except replay the game, and due to the short length that does not take too long at all.
Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy is a decent point-and-click game that feels right at home on the DS due to the control scheme, but ultimately the short length and lack of replay value hurt the game the most.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/13/12, Updated 04/29/13
Game Release: Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy (US, 07/13/09)
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