Who Killed Sam Rupert?

Review by MW
November 2002

Just One Chick's Opinion

I sit down, ready to dive into a new adventure and explore the world of Crime Scene Investigation. I have in my hands Who Killed Sam Rupert?, the first installment of four investigations in the Virtual Murder Series. I pull out my magnifying glass, pen and paper, and set out to become one of the few, one of the elite, a virtual super sleuth. Donning my Sherlock gear and filling my virtual pipe with the necessary sleuthing tobacco, I settle in ... only to I find I am done!

That's right, you heard me correctly. I play the game twice through and manage to finish both rounds (combined) inside of half an hour. My first round is "orientation." (A puff of smoke wafts upward from my pipe.) I need to figure my way around the game, which means I squander the time allotted me and lose the first round. The second time through is even shorter than my orientation and I solve the murder within ten minutes. What is my state of mind by this point? I feel shock, horror, and revulsion that this type of game can be allowed to go unchecked and pose as fun, a challenge or, worst of all, an adventure game. (I am choking and gasping for air, eyes tearing up, as I suddenly remember that I don't smoke.) Putting on my Sherlock gear and doing my finger warmups has taken me infinitely longer to get through than solving the murder just did!

Despite the fact that with one blink I could actually miss half of the game, I'll give you the lowdown on the perp ... what little there is, anyway ...

Just the Facts

The game itself is what I would term "point-and-select"; you just select the information you want to look at rather than using your clicker to click your way to adventure ... or at least to some fun. You are the detective assigned to the case at hand, and although everyone else in the game has a name (including your partner Lucie Farewell, whom you never see but can hear), you don't; so much for being a Lead Investigator.

The game revolves around the murder of a restaurant owner by the name of Sam Rupert who has been found lying dead in a wine cellar. You are given a crime report, forensic information, a notebook to detail your findings (which I did not discover or use until after I had selected my suspects) and all the usual stuff you'll see cops digging through on a top forensic show ... Okay, it's not as high-quality, but look, I am trying to make myself feel better. Can't you show me some compassion here?

Here is the kicker: You are given six hours to solve the game. (This is the point where I start to hyperventilate, "Six hours, only six hours, how can I possibly solve a murder in six hours? This will be one of those games that I'll have to play through three times before I solve the mystery ... That means I will have a total 18 hours of fun to look forward to and all the money spent on the Sherlock getup will have been well worth it!") Well, it turns out that the six hours to which the programmers allude is a virtual six hours; I guess players are supposed to read between the lines. After questioning my eight suspects, I use up most of my six hours within the span of less than eight real-time minutes, and my "Ah ha!" moment has just turned into a hugely resounding "Huh?" After reading a few of the reports, I find the killer, file my warrant for arrest, and that is that. Yes, I have chosen wisely: After five long, grueling minutes of late-night reading, sweating the details, and not wanting to accuse the wrong person, I find out that my laborious efforts have paid off ...

Graphically speaking, I am of the belief that the bigger the better! (And just where is your dirty mind? I'm talking games here; pay attention!) I have a 19-inch monitor for a reason: I like the graphical immersion. I pop in WKSR, click on the game icon, and instead of pleasure, I get pain. I have been rooked. The screen pops up, and what I get is a dinky little window that only takes up a third of my monitor screen, so I can see my desktop while I am playing. (I have definitely shown up overdressed for this occasion.) No resizing is allowed; you get what you pay for, bub ... (Well, I only paid a buck, but it was a hard-earned buck, I tell you, and I have squandered it like some little rich kid cloaked in bills. WKSR is the repercussion of frivolity, and I have to pay.) The graphics are standard and not much to get hyped over. A lot of the shots are just stills with a few short movie clips inserted, so that a player can pretend to be playing a game. Oh, those cunning gaming fiends over at Creative Multimedia Corporation sure know how to throw a "par-tay" and keep a gamer interested!

Considering the source, don't expect a lot of extra frills. The soundtrack is minimal at best, and in the Movement and Direction Department, there is none. Rumor has it the rest of the series is virtually the same (pun both intended and not intended)—even going so far as to use some of the same clips! (Hey, is anyone getting the feeling that I have a slight distaste for this game? I am sorry if I am giving you that impression; I actually mean to impart a feeling of utter disgust.) I feel that I have given this game too much of my time considering that I could have been out searching the adventure gaming frontier for a good game to play during those minutes instead. I hope this review serves to steer a hapless gamer away from the dangers of this "game," instead of becoming CMC's next vic (to all you novices, that's CSI talk for victim). The game touts itself as being exciting, witty, and challenging, which I guess could be the case if you are a sixth grader—I just happen to be in the seventh.

(For those considering this game for a child, please be advised that it does have a couple of instances of soap-and-water language.) The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: Creative Multimedia
Publisher: Creative Multimedia
Release Date: 1993

Available for: Macintosh Windows

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System Requirements

Windows 3.1
386SX or above
500K free hard disk space
Super VGA with 512K+ video memory
256 colors with Windows drivers supported
Sound card
CD-ROM drive

System 6.0.7 or later
3.5 MB RAM
8-bit color and color monitor

Where to Find It

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No reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission.