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Touch Detective Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on August 10, 2011


Touch Detective
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Quirky visual style.
  • Intriguing characters that develop over time.
  • Initial chapter of content available for free; pay as you go or altogether for the rest.
  • Exclusive content for full purchases.

CONS

  • No object highlighting or hint system; forces the worst kind of pixel hunting.
  • Tenuous logic links; story can only be advanced at times through brute force.

VERDICT

Touch Detective brings a whole lot of baggage with it from its original release in 2006 and instead of fixing the gameplay the developer has focused on implementing a micro-payment system.


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The App Store is in many ways a second chance at life for some games that otherwise missed their mark the first time around or feel they have enough legs to penetrate the market again. Touch Detective (also known as Mystery Detective) by BeeWorks came out in most regions for the Nintendo DS in 2006 and attempted to showcase a point-and-click adventure style game for the system. While not critically acclaimed it was still a fun game and now iOS users can give this quirky game a go for themselves.

Unfortunately, instead of addressing issues that plagued the original title, this title comes as an almost pristine copy of the 2006 game. As such players will need to overcome two issues that have become trademarks of the genre - that of pixel hunting and obscure-logic solutions.

Obscurity is almost the expectation in the small town of Osawari where your character (detective Mackenzie) lives. The cute Lolita-style world highlights the strangeness of each character, with Mackenzie having regular internal conversations that often side-track away from the topic at hand. It's a charming and intriguing world that beggars curiosity, especially when the game starts out by having you chase someone stealing dreams, but once you're in to the game proper the bubble quickly bursts.

As per the game's title there's an emphasis on 'touching', which in any other adventure game would simply be referred to a clicking and you'll need to do a lot of it. There are no highlights to point out objects of interest (which means you may not make the connection between repairing a net with a spider-web without external help - you're welcome by the way) and when the game fails to provide any hints about where to go next you'll need to go room-by-room touching everything in the blind hope that you progress the story.

With the fix being as simple as implementing an object highlight or hint system, it's hard to understand why the developer would keep the game's beguilingly confusing system exactly the same after all this time. The clever dialogue, cute visual style and intriguing world make it an easy game to like, but the gameplay pushes you away making it hard to justify purchasing all the remaining chapters of the game.

If you're desperate for an adventure game you could do worse than Touch Detective, but it's still a product of a by-gone era carrying almost all of its weaknesses in-tow.

Screenshots

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