James Patterson - Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion  - Review

James Patterson - Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion
Ages: Teen

This is the fourth in the James Patterson - Women's Murder Club series and the first one on the DS and DSi.

It was an interesting challenge to put a "seek and find" on a small screen, but Oberon Media managed it very nicely. The DS is held vertically, like a book and the D-pad moves the screen up-down and sideways. It takes about six screenfulls to carefully view the entire scene. The plots are conveyed mostly through dialogue between the main character, Linsey Boxer of the SFPD, Lt. Warren Jacobson, Detective Ryan and Linsey's drinking buddies. A string of outwardly unrelated murders, has the department searching for clues that could tie them together.

The game format relies mostly on finding objects in the scene which involves a two step process - getting rid of extraneous stuff from the crime scene, these are unrelated objects, and searching for actual items directly relating to the crime. In an attempt to more fully flesh out the mystery, a new technique is introduced where you are asked a question and pick the answers from a series of images. A good idea but the questions and choices are insultingly lame. The interrogation is the poorest part of the game. In spite of the complications of multiple plots, there was an attempt to simplify some of the tasks. In the PC versions, forensics involved weighing, mixing chemicals to analyze specimens. Here Dr. Claire Washburn simply tells you the results. There are a couple of instances were you have to solve mini-games or play mahjong and these are interesting breaks from seeking.

Your PDA, source of all information is accessed with the tiny Start button - shoulder buttons would have been much more convenient. There are automatic saves. Repartee between the department's staff is pretty clever but there's no romance here. First time I ran out of hints in a game. The message was, "Drat - out of hints". That was downright unfriendly. At least they could have given me a countdown.

The DSi option is a blast. You are requested to take a bunch of photos by clicking on the camera icon: man, woman, plant, object, food, animal. It's different for each of the 8 mysteries. When you play the story, there you are as the perp, your husband is the victim, the stuffed animal the cause. The only drawback is that you can't put in pictures that are stored on your DSi, and the pictures thatyou take for the stories are not saved. But they should package this game with the DSi as an excellent example of using the cameras in a game.

Loved the San Francisco sites.

Fun Factor: Complicated enough to take it out of the seek and find genre
Female Factor: It's a team of professional women
Player Friendly: Chintzy with the hint tips.

Reviewed by: Editor - 09/09

  • James Patterson - Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion
  • © THQ/Oberon/I-play
  • Platform(s): GBDSDS
  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $27.99