I was really angry with my brother when he sold his old Commodore 64, because I had wanted it, so I decided to buy one secondhand (which I still have), along with a disk drive and a bunch of games. A very intriguing one was Crime Time, although when I played it back then I always ended up in jail or worse.
Much later, I got the PC version - it fitted on a single floppy disk with room to spare - yet I was still unable to finish the game.
Now, having become an experienced gamer, I gave it another go; and after saving a lot and reloading the game at various points (not to mention using a walkthrough – which I had to alter, as it was not entirely correct) I finally finished the game - see the last screenshot for proof.
Well, the game isn’t half bad. The sound is atmospheric, and it does enhance the feel of the game. The graphics are quite nice, actually, but there’s no animation. The interface is a very simple one, so you’ll get the hang of it quickly. There are a number of verbs you can choose from in the middle, and your inventory is at the bottom right. The objects you can interact with are above the inventory, and there’s a compass on the left, showing you the directions in which you can go.
If you wish to bring up the menu, just right-click. From here, you can save and load the game, or exit if you have had enough.
What's really good about this game is its plot. You start in a stinking room of a sleazy hotel, with your friend on the bed (he’s no friend at all – he won’t help you one bit). There are some other guests at the hotel, and they all look suspicious - except for the corpse; it’s dead, and once you see its room you’ll definitely rule out suicide.
Other guests are the honeymooners (who would want to spend their honeymoon in such a hotel?), the high-tech wiz from Japan (what’s he doing here?) and a world-class chess player (yeah, like he’d be caught dead in a place like that). There are some other guests, and of course the staff, but this isn’t your regular "the butler did it" mystery, so the staff aren't suspicious; they are annoying, however.
It seems that almost everybody you meet will be standing in your way, and you’ll need to be very careful. Remember that they are all only too eager to pin the crime on you, so you’ll really need to watch your step.
Luckily, your character has a really cynical view of life and has probably spent most of his life drunk (like any real P.I. would – well, at least that’s what I've seen in the movies), so there will be some comments that might make you giggle, laugh, or throw up, depending on your level of sensitivity.
All in all, I give this game a 3. It's a game I had always wanted to finish, but once I did, it left me with an empty feeling. I liked solving it - although it was really hard without a walkthrough - but once I had the solutions, the game didn't leave an impression on me; it actually seemed really easy. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to solve some quite difficult (and some fairly original) puzzles.
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