Please sign in or sign up!
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    GameLog Entries

    dkirschner's The Case of the Golden Idol (PC)

    [July 16, 2024 07:33:40 AM]
    The Case of the Golden Idol really engaged my brain, until both it and my brain broke. I've never played anything quite like this, though I read that Return of the Obra Dinn is similar, and I've been wanting to play that anyway. This is like a point-and-click detective game. You are presented with a series of narratively and spatially connected chapters. Each chapter contains at least one "room" or "screen", each with various objects to click on. Clicking on the objects reveals information, some of which itself is clickable and gets stored in a book of words. You then use the words to complete mad-lib-type "scrolls" and solutions that explain what happened in the chapter.

    The pacing is nice and goes from easy, as you're learning the ropes, to really complex. The story spans several years and is full of political intrigue. In the last couple chapters, you need to refer to previous chapters to remember characters and plot points. If you get stuck, you can access up to four hints in each chapter. The first time I was going to use a hint, on I-forget-which-chapter, I clicked on "access hints" and it brought up four categories of hint. Just reading one of the category names prompted me to re-examine something, and I figured it out! Did I technically use a hint?

    Fast forward two or three more chapters, and I'm feeling quite proud of myself, and smug, for solving everything on my own. Enter chapter IX. There was a murder at an estate. Tons of people were there, all with their political backstories and motives. The constable had taken accounts from all the attendees as to their timelines of events, some of which were vague or contradicted others. I knew there were two poisonings and a theft. I thought there was a third poisoning because one of the characters' behaviors seemed to fit the description of side effects, but whether he was or wasn't on something didn't matter. I did miss a second theft, which a hint pointed me to. This chapter ended up frustrating me because you have to work out political motives. There are several different ways you could reason them out, and you just have to try them all until one works. I could not for the life of me figure out the solution scroll on this one, though, and ended up just looking it up online.

    "Trying them all until one works" ends up being a strategy you can use, especially if you know you've got most of the solution correct. The game both encourages/discourages this because if you have two or fewer mistakes in your solution, it tells you. You can swap words in and out, and you know you had something right when you swap a word and the "you have two or fewer mistakes" goes away. Other times, it's like answering a multiple choice question where the teacher doesn't account for grammar. If it says, "[name] [name] went to the [noun] to [verb] a [noun]" and your available nouns are like garden, sky, bathroom, idol and your verbs are take, killed, framed, and shoot, then obviously the verb is the present "to take" because the others are past tense except "shoot," and you wouldn't shoot any of those nouns. So someone went to the bathroom to take a shower. But there are so many names, and they always use first and last names (and some people have multiple identities), that the names are the really tricky part! It'll say something like "[name] [name] and [name] [name] went to the [noun] to [verb] [name] [name] because [name] [name] wanted to [verb] [name] [name] with [name] [name]" and you're like "uuuuuh..." So, chapter IX ruined me...

    Case X was a brain-scratcher with math that I almost solved, but I swear there was an error in the writing. People are on trial and they get "merit deductions" for violating core virtues. Someone got such a large merit deduction that they were killed. I used one hint to figure out the mode of death. I had thought of entering that mode of death, but didnít because it sounded weird the way it was worded. So much for my "bad multiple choice question" strategy. One thing you have to do in this chapter is deduce how many merits each core virtue is worth so that you can figure out who died because the person who died had the biggest merit deduction. In the solution, you have to write how many merits they lost. I got the number of merits wrong, but this is not on me! I calculated that the guy was charged with 88 merits (and this was verified by one of the optional solutions that I got right), but one of the other people on trial said that they didnít charge him for fashion crimes, which would decrease the total merit deduction by 2. He should have 86! Yet the solution is that he lost 88, not 86. Why would they have that character say something that is wrong? Frustrating.

    Great. Last chapter! It was another murder-filled doozy like chapter IX. I was slowly working through it but encountered a series of unfortunate bugs that killed the game. First, it stopped letting me open scrolls. I rebooted the game, and the scrolls started working again. I used a hint. It told me the hint and then, for some reason, played the ending scene as if I'd solved the scroll, which I hadn't. I exited out, came back, and sure enough, the scroll was solved. Okay...? Whatever. Let's finish. On to the epilogue, one final case with three scrolls to complete. I completed the first. I was working on the second. In the last chapter and the epilogue, you can revisit old chapters to refresh your memory of characters and past events. I went back to the chapter with the rituals, and the game bugged out again, getting stuck on the scene with the footprints in the forest. Every time I closed it and clicked on something else, it just opened the screen with the footprints again. Click click click click. It wouldn't let me do anything else. Then..."Thanks for playing!" on the ending screen. What?! I went back to the menu, re-opened the chapter, and sure enough, all the scrolls were completed.

    I was really enjoying Case of the Golden Idol! Even when it got hard, I was enjoying scratching my head and marveling at the connections, even if the complexity was becoming a bit frustrating. I definitely didn't like that my math was wrong in chapter X, when logically it was correct. And then the game bugged out a few times and messed up the last chapter and the epilogue, which really sucked and left me with a sour taste for the whole experience. I'll have to try Return of the Obra Dinn!
    add a comment Add comment

    dkirschner's The Case of the Golden Idol (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 9 July, 2024

    GameLog closed on: Monday 15 July, 2024

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    So cool. Solving murder mysteries using reading comprehension and critical thinking! --------- Gets very complex with all the names and political intrigue. Bugged out the last two chapters and ruined the ending. Bummer.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on The Case of the Golden Idol

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : The Case of the Golden Idol (PC) by jp (rating: 5)


    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014