Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House is a puzzle-based adventure game with a few references to violence and sexual themes. Players solve puzzles -- often presented without instructions as to what the player is to do to solve it -- to earn clues to solve the overall mystery. The puzzles are very linear, and they seemingly have only one solution. The game moves slowly and several of the more than 30 puzzles are very similar in nature.
What's it about?
In SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERY OF OSBORNE HOUSE, the genealogical records of Queen Victoria have been stolen and the Royal Family asks the famous detective Sherlock Holmes to unravel the mystery. Players will have to find out who is behind the plot to overthrow the ruling house of Great Britain while guiding Holmes and Dr. Watson to various locations throughout London, solving puzzles, and unraveling clues. The title has more than 30 puzzles available, and they play intricate parts in gaining clues to the mystery.
Is it any good?
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House suffers from a lack of instructions for many of the puzzles used by the game. For example, one of the first puzzles encountered is the Horizontal Lady. It has a maximum possible score of 150, but the game does a very poor job of stating the objective of the puzzle. Clicking on the icon for a hint states the objective but then only allows the player to get a maximum of 100 out of the possible 150.
While the hand-drawn artwork is very good, the game seems to move at a snail's pace at times, with dialogue that attempts to add flavor to the game, but generally fails. The puzzles are the core of the game and they can be challenging. There are moments that will elicit a smile in the way a phrase is turned as the characters banter. The game may not sit well with younger players who are looking for a game that moves briskly along, while older players may find the puzzles entertaining but frustrating due to the lack of guidance in what is supposed to be achieved.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how to use logic and creative methods to solve puzzles.
They can discuss how to set responsible time limits on gaming.
They can also talk about how to deal with frustration when games don't give all the instructions or players struggle with game elements in order to resolve them in a peaceful, non-aggravating way.