I like mystery games. I’ve really enjoyed the C.S.I. console games over the years, and I’ve liked many iOS mystery titles from the App Store. I also really like Agatha Christie, particularly her books featuring Hercule Poirot. So I was excited to play Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders, even though years ago in 2007, I played Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun and hated it. This time there was a new developer and gaming has come a long way in the last nine years.
Unfortunately, many of the issues I had with Evil Under the Sun are still present in The ABC Murders. This is essentially a game about walking very slowly around various environments to try and catch a serial killer.
Over the hours I played, most of the time was spent walking. Even when it was time to talk to another character, I had to watch Hercule Poirot walk over to the character and position himself just so before the dialog would begin. It was exactly like it was still 2007. Despite the fact that this is a relatively simple game, there are long load screens all over the place. Why in this day and age, in a game with such simple graphics, do I have to tolerate long load screens?
And then there are the bizarre controls. Basically The ABC Murders is a point and click mystery title. Simple right? Not in this game. I have never had to use the left trigger so often in a game, especially one without complex weaponry. It’s a point and click game. Why am I using the left trigger at all?
What’s good about the game? The story is good. The ABC Murders is one of Christie’s best books. The game follows the story pretty faithfully, and were it not so painful to play, would be really interesting. The fact that the story is so good is the only thing that kept me in there as long as I did. Did I solve it? No. Not because the puzzles are difficult. They aren’t, but because I just couldn’t watch Poirot walk around anymore.
Agatha Christie wrote great mysteries. Why we can’t get a great game out of them, I will never understand. Because the game isn’t actually broken, and the story is good, Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders earns 2.5 out of 5 GiN Gems.