Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None Wii Review
The mighty Nintendo Wii has become globally popular, achieving over 20 million sales in about a year. Personally, I think that the main reason it is so successful is because it is so adaptable and can appeal to any audience. We’ve already seen many genres of games enhanced by clever use of the Wiimote, such as Wii Sports, Metroid Prime 3 and Zelda. Each one has raised the bar for their rivals in terms of control methods. Now we see another genre come to Wii that really makes you think “yeah, that’s a perfect fit”, the point and click crime solving game.
Before I start, I’d like to point out how emotional this review has been for me. When I first found out that And Then There Were None was coming to Wii, I just about wet myself. Agatha Christie is well known for her excellent novels, and personally, I think this particular one is one of her best (and scariest!). To me, the Wii and the Agatha Christie crime solving game go together like Peanut Butter and Jam. Mmmm. And from my first 10 minutes of this emotional rollercoaster, I was not disappointed in terms of how well it stuck to the book. The characters looked the part, and the settings were brilliant. It stuck to the plot well, and I enjoyed roaming around inside one of my all time favourite books. Also, I cheered and whooped a lot.
For those not in the know, And Then There Were None is a tale of 10 people, all mysteriously invited to stay on an island, each one of them with a secret. It appears that an unknown madman has brought them there, and they can’t escape. Now you can understand why it gets a little frightening. The novel itself means this game has a fairly solid lifespan, and with the multiple alternate endings, there’s a lot more for Agatha Christie fans to get out of the game, as most will probably already know the outcome of the book, it’s nice to also get some variation. The ending you see is decided by choices you make during the game. To make the book into a viable game, it obviously had to be thickened out, and I’m glad to say that all of the additions and alterations have been done well. All of the objects and information in the game are authentic and nothing feels out of place.
I think now would be the best time to voice one of my greatest concerns about this game. Although a lot of people (including myself) believe that graphics in a game are not vital, here even I have to shout out a big “what the hell?!”. The backgrounds and scenery and environments are very pretty, and when you can’t see any of the characters, you can be tricked into believing that they’ve done something special here. But then, inevitably, the blurry sausage people walk in. The detail and animation on the characters is absolutely shocking. They look like they’ve been generated by the Nintendo 64, and given that everything around them looks so good, there really is no excuse. It almost made me cry. However, the game is well endowed with an excellent soundtrack and voice acting. The music is perfect for the era, and a pleasure to listen to. The voices feel dramatic and real, with each one suits the character.
You’re pretty much forced to ignore this however, because the game inside is rather good. I started by picking up lots of items and investigating stuff thinking “why am I doing this? The things I have are quite useless” but as the game progressed and developed, it all became clear. The way you have to manipulate items and use your notes is immersive and it’s very easy to get carried away in the whole story line. The Wiimote has an obvious use here as the point and click tool, but is also used for actions. The ones that only occur every so often, such as digging through a sack of flour, and using a torch to see are bearable, but this feature of the game was milked just a little too far when it comes to the tedious and repetitive opening doors gesture. Every time you want to open a door, you have to twist your wrist unnaturally which at first is annoying, and then becomes downright painful after extended play.
The fact that I am a big Agatha Christie fan in no way affects the score I will give, as I believe that this is just as accessible to newcomers as it is to both Agatha Christie and fans of the genre. It is obviously suited to a more mature audience, which only serves to further expand the Wii’s appeal to the worldwide market. Apart from those character animations it rarely gives me reason to fault it, but may take some perseverance to stay motivated until completion. Once you’re sucked into the plot, it is thoroughly entertaining.
A reasonable conversion, but nothing outstanding.