Sunday, 4 July 2010

Freeware Game Review - Ben Jordan Case 3: The Sorceress of Smailholm

Ben Jordan Case 3: The Sorceress of Smailholm sees the intrepid paranormal investigator travelling to a small Scottish town to investigate the murder of two children in the woods outside the town.  Many in the town feel that witches are to blame, though Ben is not convinced and a criminologist who comes to solve the case is unimpressed with both the villagers' superstitions and Ben's line of work.

Like the earlier games, Ben Jordan Case3 oozes atmosphere.  The graphics are somewhat basic but do the job, and the music is well chosen.  For the most part the dialogue is well written and convincing, with just enough clues conveyed in the conversations and descriptions of objects for you to work out what to do next (well okay, I admit that there were two occasions when I was stumped and... ahem... cheated).  There are two possible endings to the game, though I've only managed to find one so far.  The puzzles are well balanced and logical, while the storyline is simple but effective, with a couple of good plot twists thrown in.

Overall if you liked any of the other Ben Jordan cases, chances are very high that you'll like this one too.  I was a little spoilt by having played the first two versions in their Deluxe glory while this is a standard issue episode; however the basic game stands up well.  My guess would be 1-2 hours to complete, taking into account a fairly wide range of adventure gaming abilities - probably an extra half-hour to find the second ending (I may get round to it sometime, but I didn't want to delay posting the review!).

(There's a bit of bad language and gore in this episode, if it were a film it would probably have a 12A/PG-13 rating.)

Related Links:

Freeware Game Review - Ben Jordan Case 1: In Search of the Skunk-Ape (Deluxe Version)

Freeware Game Review - Ben Jordan Case 2: The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea (Deluxe Version)

If you need it... Ben Jordan Case 3: The Sorceress of Smailholm Walkthrough

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