Detective PC games are not for everyone. They require time, patience, and the ability to think outside the box on occasions. However, for fans of this genre, these things seem trivial in an effort to solve the “whodunit” they are presented with. Players are willing to devote tireless hours into solving puzzles and finding clues to reach the elusive answer. Personally, I fall in between both groups. I enjoy a good mystery, but at the same time, I struggle to think outside of the box at times. Let me share my thoughts on the episodic puzzler Adam Wolfe by Mad Head Games.
Meet Adam Wolfe, a detective of the paranormal. His sister is missing, which drives him into the dark areas of San Francisco looking for her. Your job is to examine various locations and solve puzzles, meet intriguing characters, and determine what happened to your sister. The scenes in this game are quite varied from dank tunnels to museums filled with puzzles, you find yourself immersed in this adventure. While immersed, you notice that the graphics don’t have beautiful gradients and photo-realistic scenery, but rather a dark comic book feel which really helps set the mood as you progress throughout the city.
The audio shines in this game in my opinion. Adam’s narration of the scenes, as well as dialog about his life, leads to deeper immersion in the game. I even caught myself feeling sympathetic for Adam and some of what he’s gone through. Additionally, the ambient music enhanced the mood of the scene I was examining. Eerie music is found throughout the game, causing me to anticipate some character or creature will jump onto the screen at any moment.
The one area of the game I wasn’t fond of is the interface. You control everything with the mouse. This may seem simplistic, but it did not always seem intuitive. I found several times where I wanted to move around in a scene using the familiar W,A,S,D keys, but they didn’t work. Once I stopped trying to navigate using the keyboard, my game went much smoother. You move your mouse around the scene and as you come across a possible clue or puzzle, a new icon appears. Click that location for new clue or puzzle to solve. I did appreciate the fact that there were various a couple levels of difficulty within the game. The higher the difficulty, the less clues are available. I was on the easy level and was given a light bulb icon I can click to receive a hint. Instead of allowing me to be lazy, the light bulb did have a cool down period before I could receive another clue. I advise die hard detectives should go with the Hard setting and use that intuition to work through the puzzles in the game.
Adam Wolfe is available for $5.99 for Episode 1 and $19.99 for Episodes 1-4 through Steam on the PC and the Mac. iOS users can purchase Episode 1 for $3.99 and All Episodes for $11.99 through iTunes. While not for everyone, I feel Adam Wolfe is worth the cost and provides fans of detective games a few hours of mystery and intrigue.