Have You Played… Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I was recently most entertained by reviews of the utterly bloody awful Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, a game actually slightly better than the previously abysmal Crimes & Punishments, as people who’d madly claimed to rate the earlier game suddenly realised what a pile of shite it had all been. But impressively, both represent a huge step forward for the amazingly dreadful series which has been being terrible for over a decade. The Awakened appeared ten years ago.

These games were so otherworldly in their delivery that they literally came with comprehension tests. Like the way anything that could remotely feel close to fun in school had to then be tied to a dreary “learning experience”, every chapter here finished with Holmes’ demanding Watson correctly remember a bunch of inconsequential stuff that had happened. Gee, that’s fun!

The whole game was a mess of pixel hunting in 3D and narrative-free puzzles, all set in a complete town to laboriously drag yourself around, all the time accompanied by the utter terror of Teleporting Watson. It was rubbish. I mention this purely to mock people who liked Crimes & Punishments in the opening line of this article.


  1. Neurotic says:

    I was re-reading an old PCG magazine recently, which had one of your Holmes reviews in it. It was the one with the teleporting Watson, mysteriously disappearing then reappearing right behind you. :D

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    Drib says:

    What is that horrible monster front and center? I don’t recall Holmes commonly dealing with the undead.

    • moms pubis says:

      This game was actually a crossover with the Cthulhu mythos, so it’s very possible that that lady is actually possessed by some incomprehensibly ancient evil or whatever.

    • phlebas says:

      Not usually, but The Awakened is basically Holmes vs Cthulhu I think.

    • Geebs says:

      Helena Bonham-Carter and Tom Hardy at home with their daughter, Kurt Cobain

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    gritz says:

    Nemesis is the only game that’s ever given me motion sickness.

    Feeling the urge to barf while Watson silently stalks me through time and space was an improvement on the Frogwares formula, but not necessarily one I feel the need to revisit.

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    phuzz says:

    Awakened? Well after that screenshot I’m going to have trouble sleeping, so close enough.

  5. karnak says:

    Considering that the plot was basically “Holmes VS Great Cthulhu” I suppose all the weirdness in the gameplay just helps the mood :P

  6. TheMightyEthan says:

    I liked Crimes and Punishments. :(

    I felt that the mysteries required you to actually put the solution together, while also not seeming unfair and impossible to solve.

  7. Shake Appeal says:

    Crimes and Punishments was good, though? What a piece of footling bluster this post is.

  8. MrBehemoth says:

    Oh John Walker, why do you insist on liking games wrong? Sometimes I think that your games journalism career exists only to troll me.

  9. Alevice says:

    If I didnt know, I would have imagned that screenshot was from pathologic

  10. Jediben says:

    No; shit.

    • poliovaccine says:

      A comments section where folks not only don’t regard semicolons with dumb peasant superstition, but instead know how to use them, well enough, even, to take creative liberties that *work?* …now I’m confused – so then who writes the articles??