'Sherlock Holmes' adventure bows on iPad
One of the highest-rated PC adventure games over the last decade has made its debut on the iPad.
Earning a score of 81 percent from IGN and 83 percent from Gamespot, Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2006) is now available at Apple's App Store in a remixed "HD" version.
The game works well on tablets, though be aware of its hefty 739-megabyte file size. And while the App Store suggests the game is ideal for players who are 9 and older, the PC version was rated "Mature" (17 and older) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board because of violence, blood and gore, drug references and sexually suggestive themes.
In The Awakened, you play as Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. John H. Watson — inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictitious characters — who investigate a series of mysterious disappearances in 1894. The duo's sleuthing efforts initially lead them to an abandoned temple with a sacrificial alter, and eventually they link these murders to a strange asylum, human experiments on drug-induced patients and a cult tied to the Cthulhu mythos. Only by traveling to New Orleans to confront the source of these killings will Holmes and Watson be able to solve the case.
After you choose to play from a first- or third-person perspective, you'll walk around an attractive 3D world, interact with characters for clues (with more than 60 in the game, in total, all with competent voice acting), collect documents and other items for your inventory, and solve numerous puzzles.
Puzzles range from simple tasks — using the end of a spoon to pick a lock — to more challenging head-scratchers, like arranging numbers in the proper sequence, wearing a disguise to gain access to an asylum, deducing where a thief ran to in order to catch up to him and using your wits to avoid wild creatures in the Louisiana bayou.
Along with examining evidence left at the crime scene, you'll also gather clues to take back to Holmes' famous flat at 221 B Baker Street for further inspection under a microscope or by mixing with chemicals.
The game is fairly easy to maneuver around with the left thumb used for player movement and the right for head movement (in first-person view). Simply tap the screen to talk with characters, interact with objects or pick up inventory items. Hints and help are available, if needed.
If you enjoy a slower-paced, story-driven and puzzle-filled game, The Awakened is a successful PC port that looks, sounds and plays great on the iPad. The $6 download offers a deeper and more immersive interactive experience than casual diversions likeCandy Crush Saga, Temple Run or Angry Birds — but despite what it says on the App Store, be aware this Victorian adventure is not for young players.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened HD
Publisher: Big Fish Games
Web site: bigfishgames.com
Score: 3.5 stars (out of 4)