Art of Murder

[Review] Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer (PC) Blows Goats

I got a lot of boxed games…and they are begging to be played! Most are point-and-click, and most I’m sure you’ve never heard of! Here is one of them!

Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer is a point-and-click crime adventure game, and a sequel to Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets, a game I had reviewed waaay back in Fall 2013. That game was terrible, and this one was no better. You might think I am a glutton for punishment…trying to play a sequel to a game I had given my precious “This Game Blows” Seal of Disdain to. But my long-term memory failed me, and my need to clear out some of my boxed games is a priority, soooo here we are.

In Deadly Secrets, we saw Nicole Bonnet, NYC FBI detective investigating a murder. In Hunt for the Puppeteer, she is in France investigating a murder that might be related to a string of murders that have taken place in New York. The Gendarme are on the scene, as a body of a ballerina has been found in a studio, posed in a similar fashion to artist Edgar Degas’ (1834-1917) painting Waiting (1880-1882) by using wires suspended from the wall and ceiling. Nicole, posing as a guest to the Gendarme, comes in to investigate in secret, as the police don’t really want her tampering with the crime scene. Somehow, she manages to build an evidence dossier using plastic document protectors, pencil lead and tape at hand, but not until she and the gamer consult an in-depth walkthrough on the internet.

degas ballet

The Waiting by Degas

Okay that last part of sentence isn’t quite true. I consulted an in-depth walkthrough….thanks Gamezebo.

The game looks pretty good, and collecting equipment to have at hand in your inventory is fairly easy. What isn’t is actually using your equipment…did you know if you join a stapler and a pencil, you can easily cut a pencil in half? Or how about using a match stick and cotton to make a q-tip? But, wait, why couldn’t I just use that pencil tip and cotton as a swab? Several choices in items you use to investigate didn’t make sense to me, and were not intuitive. And once I got my evidence, I thought we could just move along in the game past the first chapter. I was wrong.

Truthfully, the first time I played this game was about five years ago. I quit after the first chapter because I could not progress in the game, even after consulting walkthroughs. My gaming chops were not grown in yet, so I figured I would get more gaming under my belt. Since then, I have played many adventure point-and-click games, including Broken Sword and Syberia – both excellent games! I’ve played Mass Effect for chrissakes!

I have the chops, yet Hunt for the Puppeteer eluded me. I could not get Nicole Bonnet to leave the crime scene. She kept saying she had more to investigate. I tried again with a new gamer profile…following step-by-step instructions on everything Nicole was to do. Still, somehow there was more to investigate.

puppeteer hell

I don’t know what I was doing wrong or what I was missing. But, forget it folks, daylight is fading and who gives a shit. I am out! Detective Nicole Bonnet will be solving this one on her own! Au revoir!

2/10

Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer
City Interactive
2009

[Review] Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets (PC) – Here’s a Secret: It blows

A serial killer has been killing random antique dealers, and it’s detective Nicole Bonnet’s job to find out who. Her job is made that much more difficult as she is made to search through messy rooms for clues to crack the case. It’s just a normal day in hidden object mystery world for Nicole, but pure torture for me.

I could say that Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets had a great story or the music was stellar. But, I won’t…Besides, all of that is meaningless in my book when the gameplay absolutely sucks.

Ever play a hidden object game that gives you x number of items to find in a certain amount of time? These games exist – I don’t come across them too often these days, mind you. Some games even penalize you points if you run out the clock. Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets IS that game, and does it in the most excruciatingly unfair way. Try having to locate 20 items in under two minutes; an hourglass’s sand running out as you play. If the hourglass runs out, all the items you have just found reappear on screen and you are made to locate them AGAIN! Better hope your memory’s good…

What makes this even more brutal is the objects that you are searching for are so small, you can barely see them. Tiny items are on this list such as a pen, a button, a paperclip…I mean, seriously? You don’t have a prayer finding these items in time. There is a hint button to help you along the way, but it is very slow to recharge, so at best you would have one hint per two minutes. You cannot skip through any of these puzzles, so if you can’t get past them the first time, try try again. This format ultimately made me stop the insanity and move on to better games.

Now locate that teeny speck of dust for me…

I can take there being a timer on a hidden object puzzle (even though I don’t like them) but to make one click through every object AGAIN like it is some sort of memory game is ridiculous, and NOT FUN! And in my opinion, if it’s not fun it’s not worth playing. Detective Nicole Bonnet will be solving this one on her own.

Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets
Publisher: City Interactive
Released: 2011