By Kieron Gillen on October 28th, 2009 at 5:08 pm.
Er… by which, I don’t mean giving a sort of guide to what it’s like to date Agatha Christie. But… well, I saw there was a demo of Agatha Christie: Dead Man’s Folly. Being unfamiliar with period detective dramas, I realised it was time to call in an expert to see whether it lived up to the legacy of mustachioed Belgians. Hence, I turned once again to expert Christie-ian, Delightful Girlfriend who spent some time with the game. And then I interviewed her on what she made of it. Find the results below…
Delightful Girlfriend: It’s not a game! It’s like being shown pictures of the same rooms over and over and being asked to click on stupid items. Why is there a parrot in the dining room?
RPS: Maybe it’s been invited for dinner?
Delightful Girlfriend: A painter’s palette stuck in the middle of a painting on the wall. A pair of scissors roped into the middle of decorative bunting. And no discernible reason why you have to find those objects at all. Just “click on these things please”. Interspersed with “bonus rounds” which involve a sort of “fill the gaps” hangman game and some “rearrange these scraps into a picture”. These are the games for Poirot’s brain-challenged tagalong helper Hastings, not the great man himself. Rubbish.
RPS: Hmm. It sounds it. Perhaps we should rewind a little – what makes you such an Agatha Christie expert?
Delightful Girlfriend: Having read all the books (several times) as a child. Having watched (now a lazy adult) the majority of the adaptations on ITV3 (yes – even the shitty one hour ones based on short stories which are more about making the audience laugh at Poirot eating fish and chips than they area about plot – fucking ITV). Having even played that And Then There Were None PC/Wii game a couple of years ago despite it also being SHIT. Although at least it was point and click ADVENTURE not just point and click on SHIT.
Delightful Girlfriend: This is not the kind of useful commentary you were after is it?
RPS: Oh, I dunno. You sound a lot like Walker. This is what he does all day when talking about the descent of the genre. Anyway – have you ever dressed up as Poirot?
Delightful Girlfriend: Er… no.
RPS: Would you want to?
Delightful Girlfriend: Would you like to talk about the game?
RPS: If I asked you to dress up as a sexy Poirot, would you?
Delightful Girlfriend: Define, in precise terms, what a “sexy” Poirot would wear?
RPS: The hat and… a sexy moustache?
Delightful Girlfriend: You want me to wear a moustache?
Delightful Girlfriend: I’d rather dress up as Miss Marple. She has life experience. I get the vague impression that Poirot’s still a virgin.
RPS: Oh, please. That chubby Belgian’s a smoothie.
Delightful Girlfriend: He goes after all the young ladies. But he’s very noble. Wouldn’t be one for a quick grope in the butler’s pantry.
RPS: Anyway! So if I get this right… the game is basically you presented with a room, and you clicking on everytrhing in the room until you find all the clues. And then you go onto the next level? Yes?
Delightful Girlfriend: No no – the objects aren’t even clues! You’re in a room. You have a list of gibberish. You click on the gibberish. At the end, you have a clue to “decode” to tell you which other gibberish object to click on. (hangman game). Then you go onto next level, where you’re presented with different rooms AS WELL AS THE ONE YOU’VE JUST BEEN IN JUST LOOKING FOR DIFFERENT OBJECTS THIS TIME.
Delightful Girlfriend: That said, in the demo you’re not even presented with the murder yet – though from the format I think it’s unlikely to change dramatically the further the story goes on.
RPS: You really sound like Walker now. Anyway – Did this happen in the original book? Obsessive compulsive Poirot wandering the place and prodding?
Delightful Girlfriend: Occasionally a segment of plot flashes up on your screen, but it’s like as a reward for your “hunting”, so you don’t actually take part in the game/murder at all. You just click on parrots/umbrellas/dice/sugarbowls. And there’s no parrot-poking in the book at all, at least that I can recall.
RPS: Hmm. I think you’d recall a parrot being prodded. This does sound rubbish.
Delightful Girlfriend: Oh – and it’s very American. I had to go to hints to figure out what a birdie was. Do you know what a birdie is? DON’T GOOGLE – ANSWER ME NOW! DAMN YOU!
RPS: A score in golf?
Delightful Girlfriend: It’s a fucking shuttlecock. For badminton.
RPS: That’s not cricket
Delightful Girlfriend: It’s also not meant to be in the fucking dining room.
RPS: Maybe the parrot brought it. Okay – I think we have a picture of this now. One final question… what did you make of the rendered Poirot? He looks sinister.
Delightful Girlfriend: Oh. You mean “Poirot”. Not parrot or “porriorrrt” or whatever the hell you typed. Yeah. He’s quite the freak.
RPS: I will correct all the spelling afterwards, and then you’ll look the fool. Oh yes.
Delightful Girlfriend: Have we just msn-ed ourselves into some kind of sexy Poirot vs Marple cosplay?
RPS: I certainly hope so
Delightful Girlfriend: Well that’s the weekend plans taken care of then. Excellent… wait. You’re going to correct spelling?
RPS: I’ll give it a shot
Delightful Girlfriend: Hm. Good luck.
RPS: Thanks for your time.