Who Killed Sam Rupert?
Review by MW
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 graderI 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.)
Developer: Creative Multimedia
Publisher: Creative Multimedia
Release Date: 1993
Four Fat Chicks Links
386SX or above
4 MB RAM
500K free hard disk space
Super VGA with 512K+ video memory
256 colors with Windows drivers supported
System 6.0.7 or later
3.5 MB RAM
8-bit color and color monitor
Where to Find It