Poirot is the famous Belgian detective created by
Agatha Christie in her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. She once
said that if she’d known that he would become such a fixture of her novels,
she would have not have given him quite so many idiosyncrasies, or made him so
old. But her many fans love him with all his odd ways, especially his
insistence on being methodical and logical above all, and the importance of
applying the mind, the “little grey cells.” Therefore, the treatment that the
designers have given Evil Under the Sun is odd, considering the nature of the
To be sure,
they had to change the story some for the game in order for the solution to be
a surprise. However, when we’re immediately confronted with ghosts and magic
in the introduction, we know something isn’t quite right.
Hercule Poirot wouldn’t take these things
seriously, and while he did have a sense of humor, he didn’t consider murder
humorous. He definitely wouldn’t have used a “finger of suspicion” magical
device to help Hastings discover the solution during
Poirot’s re-enactment of the murder. Supposedly, this magic finger was
given to Poirot by a magician, and
Poirot tells Hastings that this will help Hastings
by providing a series of specific clues throughout his,
Poirot’s, retelling of the story. Even considering that
Poirot is pulling Hasting’s
leg about this, it is absolutely outside of Poirot’s
character to joke in quite this manner.
Not only are
we presented with a magical device in the introduction, we are also presented
with a ghost story that has something to do with the future murder at this
resort. As stated previously, some changes had to be made to the story to keep
the ending a surprise, but in this game almost everything has been changed,
and the result is a story that is only very loosely based on the novel, Evil
Under the Sun. So, Agatha Christie fans be warned, this game isn’t anything
like the book.
said, let’s get on with the actual game itself.
When considered solely as an adventure game, this adventure is somewhat
amusing and is well-designed in many aspects. The era of 1940’s England during
the war is captured nicely, from the great voice-acting to the clothes and
mannerisms of the characters. The buildings and locations are drawn with
exacting detail and give the appearance of being from that time, although I’m
not an expert on the actual accuracy of the architecture. The resort looks
great, anyway, and just how I would imagine it to appear.
As in most
traditional adventure games, there is a lot of searching for items to collect
and a good bit of dialogue. Not only is there interactive dialogue from the
characters, but there are also several instances of conversations that are
overheard. All of this information will be used to solve the mystery.
Most of the
puzzles aren’t difficult, and almost all of them involve using items in
inventory in conjunction with clues gleaned from conversations. There are a
few manipulative puzzles, but most of the puzzles are strictly inventory
based. The majority of these puzzles are fairly
well integrated into the game and are logical. Sometimes, though, the items
are a little odd, like in the beginning of the game when
Poirot bends over and picks up a huge rock and sticks it in his pocket,
I guess. A murder hasn’t occurred yet, he’s just arrived at the resort, but he
evidently feels the need for this rock. (He actually won’t need this rock
until much later in the game.)
is easy to understand and use, but players need to be sure to choose the menu
that gives the save and load options, rather than click on
Poirot’s door to exit. If players exit the game
via the door, they won’t have a save option for the game.
This is a
nice enough adventure game, especially for adventure fans that enjoy leisurely
games with lots of exploring and conversations. The atmosphere is just right,
and the game as a whole is a pleasant experience and one that won’t tax the
brain too much. That is not to say that the game is too easy, it’s not; it
requires some thought for many of the puzzles.
Agatha Christie fans have been warned, this game is not anything like the
book, despite the title. The only similarity lies in the characters of
Poirot and Hastings.
Considered solely as an adventure game, Evil Under the Sun is a slightly
above-average mystery game. The characters are interesting, the dialogue
engaging, and the puzzles are fun. However, when considered as
a homage to Agatha Christie, it leaves much to be
graphics are very nice and are evocative of the era. The characters are not
drawn quite as well as the backgrounds.
music is alright, but ultimately forgettable.
game overall isn’t too difficult. The puzzles take a little time and effort,
but aren’t too taxing.
idea to change the entire story and add magic is odd, and there wasn’t any
reason really to do so.
nice enough adventure, but one that may disappoint
Agatha Christie fans. For players who are not Christie fans, it will be a nice