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Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels

by Bob Bates

Mystery/Historical/Literary
1987

(based on 17 ratings)
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About the Story

Moriarty has set a deadly trap for Sherlock Holmes. And only you can stop him...
Travel back in time to Victorian London, where the city is bustling with preparations for Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee. Crowds of sightseers and souvenir vendors fill the streets in eager anticipation of the Jubilee Week events. Newspapers detail the gala array of festivities. Sumptuous receptions for foreign dignitaries. Special services at Westminster Abbey. A Royal Procession through the streets of London. And the Queen reigning over all, resplendent in the Crown Jewels.
At least, that's the official plan. Unbeknownst to the celebrants thronging the cit, a crisis has arisen: the Crown Jewels have been stolen from the Tower of London. If they're not recovered before the festivities begin, the theft will be exposed and the government will fall into international disgrace.
Only 48 hours remain to solve the crime. With Scotland Yard failing to make headway, the Prime Minister calls on Sherlock Holmes, the famous consulting detective. But riddles left at the scene of the crime include a direct challenge to Holmes, who suspects a deadly trap. To throw the scoundrel off his guard, Holmes turns the investigation over to you, his trusted cohort, Dr. Watson.
With Holmes by your side, you use your wits, intuition, and a myriad of clues to solve the riddles and piece together the mystery. Your search for the jewels and the villain leads you all over London, from the most popular tourist attractions to the seediest back alleys. As Big Ben strikes each successive hour and dangerous complications impede your progress, you realize you're facing that most dastardly of foes, Holmes's archnemesis... the vile Professor Moriarty.

Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels is the first story in Inform's new Immortal Legends series, developed by Challenge, Inc. Using Infocom's sophisticated development tools, Challenge lends its own brand of puzzles and plotting to interactive fiction. In The Riddle of the Crown Jewels, author Bob Bates brings Holmes's London to life, filling it with familiar characters and locations. On-screen hints provide clues when your magnifying glass falls short of the task.

And now, come, Watson! The game is afoot...

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
IFIDs:  ZCODE-21-871214
ZCODE-26-880127
ZCODE-26-880127-26BA
TUID: j8lmspy4iz73mx26

Editorial Reviews

Adventure Classic Gaming

The atmosphere in this game is great. You meet many of the familiar characters from Sherlock Holmes, including Mrs Hudson, Mycroft, and the "irregular" Wiggins. The game manages to keep the player's attention until the end. A sense of humor is present throughout the story but appropriately wry without resorting to the silliness common in other Infocom titles. The parser provides excellent descriptions of places of importance and makes the story interesting to follow. In a game that is so well written, any addition of graphics to the text only spoils the player's imagination. In solving the puzzles you need to use all of Sherlock's typical gadgets, including his magnifying glass.

Since the game plays more like a treasure hunt, the mystery detailed in the story is just a pretext. There are no suspects to interrogate, hints to analyze, or trails to follow. Exploration is restricted to inside the city of London. Whenever you try to wander around the streets in London, the game answers with phases like "There are too many people: you can't pass." or with unnecessary obstacles that block your path to explore.
-- Francesco Cordella
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SPAG
Having read all the Conan Doyle Holmes stories, I found Sherlock a positive delight to play. Both Doyle's writing style, and the atmosphere of 19th century London are approximated extremely well. Unlike Infocom's earlier mysteries which took place in one house, Sherlock's action takes you all over London. Numerous little bits of Holmesian minutiae flesh out the game. The humour is appropriately wry without resorting to the usual Infocom style of silliness that would not work nearly as well here as in other games.
-- Graeme Cree
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SynTax
As Infocom is an American company, it is quite interesting to see not only an American's view of London, but an American's view of Victorian London. Generally, the atmosphere is pretty good but there are a few errors, notably a sign on the Tower of London informing you that the Tower is shut but adding 'have a nice day'. Hmmm.....

However, the puzzles more than make up for such lapses. If you should get stuck, there are built-in hints which can be called up during play.
-- Sue
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Polls

The following polls include votes for Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels:

Bugs that you can take advantage of by Fredrik
Bugs are an annoyance, usually, but in some rare cases, bugs can actually make the life of an adventurer easier. Some bugs can help you in certain situations, perhaps even to bypass puzzles, and they can sometimes provide positively...

Games with a city setting by JonathanCR
I'm interested in games that are set in cities - historical, modern, fantasy, or science-fiction. In particular, games that make you feel that you are in a real, functioning, busy city where life is being lived all around you. Which...

Games with accurate (present or historical) settings by Emily Short
I'm looking for works in the general spirit of The Fire Tower or 1893: they can be puzzly or not, have a story or not, but they should attempt to represent a real-world setting as accurately as possible, and in some detail.

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This is version 6 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 7 April 2013 at 11:15am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item