Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet [rating: 3/5]
Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet from I-play for the iPhone/iPod touch is based on the series of books from acclaimed author James Patterson and based on the millions of books that he’s sold this game should have a pretty big user base even before anyone has even seen it, played it or reviewed it!
So does it live up to it’s paperback brother or is it a simple cash in on a recognized title?
WMC: DiS (Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet) is a scavenger hunt style game where you play as the characters from the fore-mentioned book as you attempt find the clues that will help you solve a murder. The story is told in a graphic novel style with the screen panning across the page as you read the action that is taking place in the preamble to your investigation.
The graphics look good but the graphic novel style limits the interaction and for much of the game you feel like a voyeur rather than a participant in the action. After the scene is set you will be taken to the crime scene or a different location to look for clues. For this you are provided with a list of objects that must be found and you do this by panning round the location using the touch screen as well as zooming in and out using the standard iPhone/iPod touch zoom controls.
Certain objects will require further interaction. For example you may need to take a picture of some evidence or maybe take a swab. Again this is all done via the touch screen but at times the level of accuracy is so high it will take you multiple attempts before you stumble, by chance, onto the correct spot.
In addition while taking a swag by rubbing your finger across the screen there is no way to tell whether you have collected enough evidence or not as there is no progress bar to show you how you are going and you must simply lift your finger to see if enough evidence has been recovered. If not you must start collecting again!
Once you have found all of the objects and/or evidence form your current location the story will continue and you will be taking to your next location, again making you feel that you are along for the ride rather than driving the car. You’ll also find yourself revisiting many of the same locations and while the game-play is refreshed each time by new objects being included along it can seem a little repetitive.
There is a time limit at each location too and failure to find all the objects and complete all the puzzles and failing to meet it will reset you back to the beginning of the current location, the objects will be relocated and changed around as you start over. There are additional hints if you are struggling but they are limited so use them wisely.
This process is repeated around multiple locations but you will soon find yourself solving the murder and with limited replay value the game could be off your iPhone/iPod touch as quickly as it was put on. While the game would be enhanced by some type of scoring based on time or accuracy this isn’t available.
Sound is limited to atmospheric background music and the odd sound effect and although the overall feel is good the linear playing style and short lifespan makes this a game for fans of the book or genre only.
- Good memory game
- Enjoyable for fans of the books
The Not So Good
- Too short
- Linear game play
- Not very interactive
Reviewed By: @CraigWillis