Hurrah, a murder mystery! This one is set at a casino: one of the VIP guests is found murdered in his hotel room, and the casino owner wants our hero to identify whodunnit before the FBI swoops in and shuts everything down. The game is presented with flat, rather simple-looking drawings with text overlaid in boxes and options ranged at the bottom; it's all navigated with a point-and-click interface.

The underlying plot driving the story was pretty well-thought-out, in my opinion. I saw no holes, and I liked how it all fit so neatly together. The writing, though sparse a times, communicated pretty well where it had to and never felt unfinished. I think "understated" is the word for it.

The tension never seemed to mount very high, though. Part of the stress is supposed to be from the threat of the FBI's arrival in a matter of hours, but it doesn't really come across (more on this later) why the hero should care, aside from ordinary pride in doing one's job. Intriguing as it is to unravel the plot, gameplay is largely straightforward, and there remains just a little bit of the sense of this being just "all in a day's work".


I think my favourite "twists" had little to do with the story at all. It isn't until midway through the game that one character mentions that this is a case of a "non-native murdered in reservation land", and suddenly the initial premise of having to solve the murder before the Feds show up takes on a new dimension. It's no longer just about maximising profits: it's also about politics and the uneasy relationship between the government and the native Americans. As for why our hero cares? It's never outright stated, I think, but it's implied in the final paragraph that our hero is, himself, native American. This is a thing that will affect him as well, beyond the bounds of a mere murder investigation.

This final "revelation" is significant, I think. Until this point, the only thing we know about our hero is that he's a deputy law enforcement officer and almost certainly male. That final paragraph gives him a face. It's pretty understated here, and easy to miss, but this little bit of extra information about our hero still constitutes a moment of revealed identity, like the final scene of "Twelve Angry Men", when one of the other jurors stops the hero outside the courthouse to ask him his name. The adventure is over and now we want to know who we owe everything to.

On the whole, I'd say this is something with some complex intricacies going on, but which, on the surface, looks simple and understated. Like a Spanish omelette, and Aztec hot chocolate with cayenne pepper. The consumption is straightforward, but there's quite a bit of stuff going on.