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Have You Played... all those weird Hercule Poirot hidden object games?

The little grey cells

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If you search “Agatha Christie hidden object game” you can find these, available to buy apparently legitimately, from a few places. Most of them have their own slightly shady launcher.

The premise is that you, playing as a version of fussy detective Hercule Poirot who looks like if someone drew David Suchet on a thumb, play through his most famous mysteries, but in hidden object form. You can do Death On The Nile, Murder On The Orient Express, Peril At End House. Fill yer murder boots. Enjoy the stretched images, because the games weren’t made for modern aspect ratios. Honestly, I love them. Although I sort of want to call them shovelware, even though they’re not exactly that.

In between still-image cut scenes, where Poirot deduces things like “this is the gun wot done it”, he has to go rummaging through a bunch of junk. Christie cut out the bits where he came to his brilliant conclusions after first finding an old tennis racket, a shoe, a spider, some seashells and a kite, and deciding they were irrelevant.

My fascination with these was because I loved and still love Agatha Christie, I loved and still love hidden object games, and crucially, I could play them for free. You can still play a free trial of almost all of them, which lasts for about an hour of play time — but I worked out that most of them had this thing sort-of-a-bug where, as long as you didn’t close the game for any reason, you could just keep going.

I would stay up for hours, eyeballs drying, patiently clicking on a small bell, a bit of ribbon and an onion in a painted scene of a kitchen that surely violates all health codes, because to close it would be to foreshorten a mystery that I already knew the answer to. Ah, youth.

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Alice Bell

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RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

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