February 10, 2009

Interpol – The Trail of Dr. Chaos

Dr. Chaos has escaped with the help of his three henchmen, Interpol’s Most Wanted criminals Mister Smith, The Hammer and the Artiste. It is up to you to accept the special agent assignment to follow the trails of clues in the form of objects and evidence left behind by Dr. Chaos’ three henchmen throughout worldwide destinations as you attempt to capture them and ultimately be led to the capture of Dr. Chaos himself.

In this new puzzle arcade game you must visually locate eight hidden objects within a themed background based around a location from a worldwide city. Sometimes you may also be required to find multiple quantities of one object adding to the difficulty level. There are three locations per city and you must find all the items throughout the three locations and within a thirty minute time frame to complete your mission. This may seem like a lot of time but some items are really hard to find. Each background will also feature bonus hidden objects “calling cards” that are left behind by the criminals. These bonus items when found will either add bonus points, extra time or additional hints to your game. You may also be given a special bonus level in which you must locate eight of a particular item which will be in different form variations. These bonus levels are a little harder as the objects are more obscure then normal.

The controls of the game are very straight forward. Use the analog stick to direct your cursor over the background. Need a closer look? You can open and close a zoom window by using the X button. A hint is just a Y click away for those hard to find items once you’ve exhausted your searching skills and once you’ve zeroed in on an object the A button can be used to select it. Just don’t click randomly across the background or you will see your time disappear.

The images that make up the graphics of the game are clear and for the most part recognizable. Some items are a bit blurry, especially when using the zoom window. The items and images are a cluttered mass and the use of light and shadow creatively conceal objects. One feature that I found was a nice touch was that in the majority of backgrounds there is one feature that is not static, be it a flickering light or a plane flying cross the sky to name a few.

Overall gameplay is very simplistic and will appeal to all puzzle lovers. The game is gender neutral and though one might think a spy game would be more of a guys game don’t let this fool you, I loved it. This game is great for all ages and family friendly. It encourages group play, hand-eye co-ordination, observation skills and some geographic knowledge learning opportunities.

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