Wii

North America

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

by Les Thomas - April 25, 2008, 3:25 pm PDT
Total comments: 1

3.5

Get ready to point-and-click until everyone's dead, even you.

The exploitive and expansive history of the classic Agatha Christie novel (the original title was much different) is not served well by this three-year-old PC port. With the exception of some interesting uses of the Wii Remote, the game is a real clunker. Unless you're an old-school PC gamer with a predisposition for the sometimes mind-numbing logic of PC point-and-click adventures, I advise you read the book instead. You'll save yourself a lot of frustration! You play as a new character, Patrick Narracott, the boatman who charters the ship taking the eight death-destined guests to a mansion on Shipwreck Island. It will be your job to search the nooks and crannies of each static environment for clues to solve the murders. If only you could play as one of the guests, at least you would die at some point and be able to put the whole painful process behind you.

And Then There Were None is the story of eight very different guests who are invited to a mansion on a remote island. One by one, each of them dies in the manner described in a children's poem titled "Ten Little Indians." A copy of the poem hangs in each of the guestrooms. The title of the poem was also one of the less offensive titles of the novel, play, and movies.

The gameplay represents the divide between the usually slow-paced, deliberate action of PC point-and-click adventures and what a lot of console gamers will readily find boring and frustrating. Luckily, the developers managed to come up with some interesting uses for the Remote. These touches are sporadic and sometimes not readily apparent or explained; the often cryptic in-game instruction refers to this frustration as "part of the puzzle." You hold "A" and twist the Remote like a door knob to open doors. The Remote is also used to dig, pump, and carry out other physical actions. This is not enough to appease most console gamers, or casual gamers for that matter. It takes a very special player to enjoy the deliberate pace, especially with a throw-away, bargain-bin mystery like this. And they will grow weary soon enough; and then there were none.

The cinematic sequences throughout the game are lush and stylistic, but technically very much in the past. The in-game graphics are even worse, with lackluster avatars and static, nebulous backgrounds. The game shows its age, and the Remote updates can't begin to obscure that.

The game goes against the grain of the original story, and fans may find this frustrating. The classic is a classic because it broke many of the traditions and conventions of murder mysteries up to that point: no detective solves the case, the murderer goes undetected, and the story's construction is confusing enough that guessing the killer is nearly impossible. So, interject a lackluster sea captain turned detective to turn all that around, and well, it could lead to another kind of murder.

Searching for clues or even empty space to find some way to progress the action will continue for hours on end. Your search will then turn to a weapon to dispatch yourself. To solve this one, you're going to need to be a PC gamer born in the early 1970's or Agatha Christie herself. If you bought this game for PC three years ago, you might have been pleased with the clunker, especially if you had little knowledge of its genesis. But as a Wii title in 2008, a few added control gimmicks can't save this from the bargain bin of the slowing trend PS2 and PC ports that just shouldn't be.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
4.5 4 6.5 5.5 1.5 3.5
Graphics
4.5

The PC port shows its age, especially with the in-game graphics. The cinematic sequences are stylish and fitting but also clearly dated and of the PC adventure variety.

Sound
4

The sound effects work to the game's advantage and add to the atmosphere of mystery. The voice acting is a little sad, but maybe it's because so many talented actors have voiced the story in previous formats.

Control
6.5

The Remote is used in place of the computer mouse in this clear point-and-click port. However, the Remote is also used in clever ways, mimicking physical actions like opening doors and digging.

Gameplay
5.5

The divide between the deliberate, old school point-and-click gamer and the reflexive, variety-driven console player has never been more apparent. If that's your bag, have at it; but most console players will find the pace silly and overly static.

Lastability
1.5

I'd rather watch the 1945 film version with the sound off than play this game again. You'd have a better chance reading Walter Huston's lips than solving this clunker.

Final
3.5

It's easy to ruin a classic, so it's no surprise this game does such a good job of it. The slow-paced point-and-click play will be enough to turn most players off. The limited Remote gimmicks try to advance the gameplay but fail. Read the book, see the play, watch the film, but skip the game.

Summary

Pros
  • Remote is used in clever ways to mimic physical action
  • Stylish cinematic sequences
Cons
  • Frustrating pace and bewildering puzzles
  • Frustrating point-and-click gameplay
  • Three-year-old PC port shows its age
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

IceColdApril 25, 2008

Hmmm... I'm thirsting for a Wii adventure game.. but I think I'll wait.

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Genre Adventure
Developer The Adventure Company
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
Release Feb 25, 2008
PublisherDreamCatcher Interactive
eu: Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
Release Feb 08, 2008
PublisherJoWood
Rating12+
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