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Lord Bellwater's Secret

by Sam Gordon profile

Historical
2007

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Member Reviews

Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 7
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Very polished and user-friendly... until the last scene!, November 21, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Sam Gordon, ****
This single-room game is a good old-fashioned mystery story, in which you, as a groom in the service of a Victorian gentleman, hunt through your employer's study to discover the truth behind the death of your sweetheart.

I'm not usually all that good at puzzles, but I found most of these easy yet satisfying, right up to the very end where I found myself utterly baffled not by what I should try next, which it turns out I had right, but by how on earth I could persuade the parser to let me try it. Given the number of other reviews that have mentioned this problem, I have no doubt the author will fix this up in the next release, so I've not taken any stars off for it. I would, however, advise waiting for the next version if you don't want your immersion in the story to be interrupted by a bout of frustration right at the most exciting part.

The rest of the game was very polished. I couldn't find a single unimplemented noun; some descriptions were shared between nouns, for example the bookshelves and the books, but this is perfectly sensible and absolutely fine. (I know some people don't care about this kind of thing, but I feel a little bit more writing effort put into the parts of the scenery that people are likely to look at really makes a difference to whether a game feels solid or fragile, and I don't trust fragile games to have fair puzzles/solutions.)

Similarly, I liked the fact that it was possible to discover details of events prior to the start of the game that, while irrelevant if your goal is only to get to the ending, added colour and interest to the whole story.

My main disappointment was that what I would have seen as the optimal ending seems not to be implemented.