Who Killed the Sheriff?
Developed by Mystery Tag and Arcali Entertainment, The Wisbey Mystery is a Hidden Object Adventure title. As is fairly usual with games of this genre, you can create profiles for individual users. These profiles contain the volume levels for sound effects and background music plus the player’s progress. You can also select to use a custom cursor and place the game in full screen mode. Two levels of difficulty are available with this game. You can select from Casual or Expert. With Casual mode you get a tutorial and hints throughout the game plus a fast recharging of the game’s Hint feature. Expert mode, on the other hand, does not have a tutorial or hints to suggest what action to take. The rechargeable Hint feature is slower when carrying out its task.
The game opens with an incident that occurred 15 years ago. In fact “incident” is perhaps not the correct word as the event involves the murder of the local sheriff and his wife which left their two children as orphans. They were immediately taken under the protection of the town mayor. The game then moves forward to the present day as you are called in by the police chief to look into the disappearance of his journalist friend. The journalist had gone missing while investigating new information which had come to light regarding the old murder that had occurred in Wisbey Manor.
As befits the location of Wisbey Manor and its surrounding area, the game’s graphics depict a rather dowdy look to the various scenes especially when you move inside the actual Manor building in search for the missing journalist. As you move around the different locations, your mouse cursor will change shape to indicate when specific actions can be carried out. In this way you will be advised when an object can be picked up or when you can zoom into an area for a closer look. Hints will appear to give a clue as to what type of action or tool will be required to complete a task. You will also be advised when there are exits to other locations.
Overlaid across the bottom of the various scenes in the game are the tools that are available to you. Taking up a central position is the Inventory which contains the items you have collected or been awarded at various times. Chevrons at each end of the Inventory can be used to cycle backwards and forwards through the collection of items.
On the left of the Inventory is a map which allows you to jump between unlocked locations. This map will also show your current location and where tasks need to be completed. The map sits on top of the game’s main menu option. To the right of the Inventory is the rechargeable Hint feature which can be used when its lamp shape is full and sparkling.
From time to time you will encounter other characters, such as the missing journalist and the police chief, and become involved in a one-sided conversation. You have nothing to say or even make an appearance. The dialogue will be spoken by a voice actor and printed on the bottom of the screen. A mouse click will be required to move through the different sections of the dialogue.
When an outbreak of sparkles appears within a scene, it means that there is a Hidden Object scene. You will be required to locate all the objects listed in text format that are present within the current scene. These objects are generally in plain sight although sometimes well integrated in the scene. You will be awarded one of the objects once every item in the list has been located.
The game contains a number of mini-games or puzzles. Generally these distractions are positioned on doors that are blocking access to other areas of the manor and its surroundings. If any of these puzzles or mini-games proves too difficult, and I must admit to being tempted on a couple of occasions, then s a Skip option will be made available.
I felt that this game was rather a slow burner in that it takes a time to draw you into the story line. It may not have the attraction to encourage you to burn the midnight oil for long playing sessions but it will keep calling you back for more action. A free to download time restricted version of the game is available before deciding to purchase the unrestricted copy of the game priced at USD $9.99 from GameHouse.com. The game requires a 1.4GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 370MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later,
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