James Patterson hard covers, James Patterson paperbacks, James Patterson graphic novels, James Patterson audio novels, James Patterson films, James Patterson television shows, James Patterson pc games, James Patterson online games and now James Patterson Nintendo DS games. Am I forgetting anything? How about some James Patterson jammies to sleep in at night or a James Patterson candy bar to snack on while reading? Seriously though, James Patterson is as nice a person as you could ever have the pleasure to meet and it’s great that he has taken such a liking to the adventure genre.
His newest game, Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion, is a Nintendo DS exclusive and as in the previous entries, combines hidden object searches with puzzles and a few mini-games.
The WMC finds reason to meet again – as if they need an excuse to eat, drink and make merry – when seemingly unrelated women are found murdered. You will play as Detective Lindsay Boxer, reporter Cindy Thomas, Dr. Claire Washburn & District Attorney Yuki Castellano as you attempt to discover the identity of the killer.
The mystery unfolds over seven chapters each of which usually features a hidden object screen that scrolls across the two Nintendo DS screens (and which thankfully doesn’t contain some of the obscure and/or miniscule objects common to these searches), an interrogation of a suspect and a mini-game that requires matching fibers or performing a chemical analysis in the precinct laboratory.
The problem is that not only do none of the puzzles offer even an iota of complexity, but there is also no penalty for an incorrect answer so if you’re not sure of the solution it is simply a matter of click, click, clicking everything on the screen until you have matched all of the objects or found the missing items.
Just as Patterson often hands over the reins to a co-writer once the initial book in a series has been published, so too does it seem that his involvement in Games of Passion was limited as adventure luminary Jane Jensen is again credited as the game’s designer. Her influence is clearly evident as the storyline flows smoothly and what could have been simply a collection of puzzles is instead a somewhat impressive, tightly knit mystery and the characters all have distinct personalities that bring them to life.
Unfortunately, at just seven chapters, the game is quite short and offers very little in replay value, but there is an option titled ‘Photo Mysteries’ that allows you to incorporate photos of your family, friends, etc. into a mystery story. Unfortunately, a Nintendo DSi – which has a built-in camera - is necessary to enjoy this feature and as we’re just poor adventure gamers with a regular DS, we weren’t able to virtually murder any detested relatives.
Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion is better than other games of this ilk, but considering the talent involved it should be much better. It is the third entry in this series after Death in Scarlet and A Darker Shade of Grey, but the formula is already growing stale and some changes would be welcome: maybe a virtual James Patterson as the game’s narrator using his real voice or the option to choose from degrees of varying difficulty. Hey, look at me, offering suggestions to Jane Jensen and James Patterson, the world’s best-selling author. Sheesh, what nerve!