A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while young mystery buffs may enjoy stepping into the shoes of one of literature's greatest detectives, this story-based whodunit game is about a serial murderer and is filled with gruesome details. They should also be aware of the very high difficulty level on several of the game's interior puzzles, which could frustrate some kids even if they're enjoying the other aspects of the game.
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What's it about?
AGATHA CHRISTIE: THE ABC MURDERS follows the same plot as the famed mystery writer's similarly titled book. Detective Hercule Poirot receives letter from someone calling himself ABC and announcing in advance murders he plans to commit in different British cities. Poirot travels around the country interviewing suspects, most of whom say things like, \"I'll only answer your questions if you can solve this riddle.\" Random brainteaser puzzles are presented to Poirot through the game. At the end of the story, the player must correctly identify the murderer or risk starting the game all over.
Is it any good?
As it follows the plot to Agatha Christie's original novel of the same name, The ABC Murders is a mystery that will definitely keep you guessing (unless you've already read the book). As an interactive Christie mystery, the game is a pretty good one. While the random puzzles posed to Poirot through the game provide a lot more for the player to do, and generally work as a game-lengthening device (a la those in the Professor Layton games), the inability to skip any -- or even get a hint -- is a flaw.
There is a nice bit of replay value added by the "Free Mystery" mode, which presents the same case and same suspects, but with different testimonies that lead to an entirely new murderer. There is also a third mystery, in the form of a logic puzzle, the clues to which can only be found by examining the scenery during the main mystery. Touches like that cater to mystery lovers, but the game may still be too challenging for the casual player.
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