Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring

Format: PC
Digital Jesters

5 060074 850128
Age Restrictions: 7+
27 August 2004

On a warm evening in May 1897, Sherlock Holmes, accompanied by Dr. Watson, arrives at a party in the fabulous Sherringford Hall. It was rumoured that the host, Sir Melvyn Bomsby, a construction tycoon was to make an announcement of great importance concerning the future of his business. At 11pm people began to crowd around the bar in anticipation as Sir Bromsby and his chief associate Hermann Grimble took to the stage. Barley had he begun to welcome his guests when Sir Bromsby fell to the floor, a darkening red stain visible on his tuxedo right above his heart. Holmes decides not to wait for the police before beginning his investigation. The game is afoot...

Most people would give anything to pop a deerstalker on their head, stick a pipe in their mouths and partake in the consumption of an illegal narcotic (surely you knew Holmes was a junkie).

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring gives you the chance to do just that... Well maybe not quite, but is does allow you to become one of the world's greatest fictional sleuths as you set about trying to work out who dunnit in this point and click adventure.

This game offers an interesting variation on the standard adventure game. However, this may also prove to be one of it's main problems, or strongest assets - depending on what you are expecting from this game. This game is split into various levels. You have to collect as much evidence as possible, go back to 221b Baker Street and analyse all your evidence. At the end of each segment you are given a test and must answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no". If you succeed you get to progress onto the next level, if not... then you're going to have to start all over again and reanalyse all clues in order to progress to the next level.

Serious amateur sleuths will no doubt love the challenge, rightly so. But, those who like to rattle through games using only a smidgen of deductive reasoning will find this very frustrating - you really do have to spend a lot of time and effort checking out everything in each level, as it's very easy to miss clues. Not only that, but a lot of clues are extremely difficult to uncover - you'll probably only stumble upon them by accident.

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of The Silver Earring could have been the perfect game for all of those amateur sleuths out there. But, thanks to some frustratingly slow gameplay, what should have been a must buy game ends up being just good. Having said that, this is still one of the best adventure games on the market.

This game also comes complete with a DVD copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon starring Basil Rathbone.

Pete Boomer

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