Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle Episodes 1-3 Review

When I was given Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle to review, I was fully expecting another hidden-object game masquerading as a detective game. So many “detective games” devolve into a static picture where you need to play hide and seek instead of actually, well, detecting.

Blue Toad Murder Files is not this game. But it’s also not the detective game that we’ve been waiting for. Instead, Blue Toad Murder Files takes a dash of Clue and adds some Professor Layton in to make a game that has some smart and fun puzzles to solve, but is brought down by terrible pacing and a bizarre multiplayer mode.

Blue Toad Murder Files is an episodic adventure that casts you as one of four detectives from the Blue Toad Agency. After arriving in the quaint, small town of Little Riddle, you quickly realize that this small town plays host to a few mysteries and you take it upon yourself to solve them.

The first three episodes of the game are available now, but there is not a whole lot of difference between the episodes other than the main mystery that you will be solving. Each one features 16 puzzles to solve and you’ll be visiting different locales in the town to talk to the residents and gain some information. The puzzles that you’ll be cracking range from the usual brain teasers that puzzle veterans will be familiar with, to some new types of riddles and math-based problems that truly sent me for a loop. There’s a good challenge here with the puzzles, but if you are truly stumped, you always have the option to skip them and continue with the story. Unfortunately, that is your only option. There is no hint system, so you either figure it out through brute force or have to skip and see the solution.

Solving puzzles is also the extent of the gameplay. The actual investigating and questioning parts are all done for you, so you won’t actually be deducing anything. It mainly comes down to noticing contradictions in your suspects statements, which is hard to do because the game’s writing is so bogged down in trying to be wordy and humorous that any real information is lost. After every four puzzles, the game asks you a series of questions based on what you’ve learned so far to test your attention, but they too don’t jog your memory on information you need to know. By the time I had to deduce who the culprit was in each mystery, they were reduced to just wild guesses.

The game’s multiplayer is just as vague as the game’s mysteries. Up to four players can solve puzzles with each person taking a turn at one. This leaves 4 puzzles per person per episode, not a whole lot to do for everyone. At first I played the game cooperatively, but the game isn’t meant to be played that way, as there are “winners” crowned at the questions phase, and your medals, rewards for solving puzzles in a certain amount of time or with no wrong attempts, are tallied up at the end to declare an ultimate winner. The multiplayer exists in this weird vacuum where it wants you to play competitively, but isn’t built for it. It’s just an odd style choice from the developer Relentless Software, who created the Buzz! quiz games for Playstation, games that are great for multiplayer.

The game’s visual style is a nice treat though. Each character model has a funny, cartoonish look that shows a lot of character, and the town of Little Riddle has plenty of hustle and bustle going on to make it feel alive. The same can’t be said about the sound, with uneventful music and the same voice actor doing the voices for every character you meet. He soon runs out of voices and characters sound alike and don’t match their expressive faces.

Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle gets the puzzle element right, but botches the actual mysteries of the game. While I had fun with the puzzles, the game’s poor storytelling and a multiplayer mode that isn’t fully realized just makes for a game that isn’t charming or intriguing enough to stick around and play Sherlock Holmes.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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