December 9, 2005
In these fast paced times we reside in, every now and again it’s good to slowdown and journey back, to an era when things were more carefree. When life was simple. With the just released The Butler Did It! , by Finnish indie game company Darconus ; those who enjoy Mystery / Suspense Adventure games can now do just that.
First allow me to set-up the basic storyline for you, in a luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps, a murder has just been committed. Unfortunately for the murderer, Jacques-Louis Barajean, France's best detective, is there vacationing (or so he thinks). At the start, the game has you choose a difficulty level, representing the various times of the year at the hotel.
The Butler Did It! is the type of game one plays when they want to take a break from creating empires or exploring a dungeon . This game is one that consists of short mystery scenarios, which are different every time you play the game. The average game time is about ten minutes, give or take a fingerprint or two.
The good folks at Darconus have created a PC game that is comparable to those great board games of the day: Clue, Sleuth, etc. This game gave me a warm fuzzy inside, bringing me back to my livingroom on a Sunday and playing board games with my mom.
The Butler Did It! is a beautiful game graphically, reminiscent of classic films and television series; along with its light, almost classical brunch type music score, the gaming atmosphere is perfectly set. A mystery is now afoot, my cap and pipe (wait a minute, I don’t smoke a pipe) please Watson!
This is a game that is very much mouse driven, in other words, your clicker fingers will get an extreme gaming experience. As Detective Barajean, you click to move about the hotel and its rooms (indicated by a person walking or a door leading you in or out icons). Clicking is also the way you interact with the guests and get clues (courtesy of a magnifying glass icon) to write down in your notepad. At the start of the game, your host is kind enough to give you a roughly drawn map of the hotel and its grounds. As you make your way through the hotel, you will be reminded of the time slipping away, with the appearance of a chiming grandfather clock face. This screen pops up every few minutes it seems.
Soon the good detective is out of time and must gather all the suspects and present to his host and the others, who he feels committed the murder. The murderer is named, the authorities are called in to take them away and that mystery ends. How did you do, you cautiously ask. Well, let’s just say my Detective Barajean these days, is a better mystery writer than detective (probably making more money too).
On the whole, I enjoyed my gaming experience with The Butler Did It! The introduction piece alone, gave me the feeling that I was watching an old super 8 film and the graphics used for this piece were quite unique. All visual and sound elements came together wonderfully, to bring me perfectly into the game.
The Butler Did It! is not one of those games that will break any new grounds in the PC gaming universe, but it’s a nice little “ getaway from it all game “.
Final Grade: B+