Players who purchase Murder, She Wrote: Mystery Jigsaw Puzzles because they like the series starring Angela Lansbury will be tremendously disappointed with this game. For one thing, although the makers used the opening credits from the series, and used pictures of Angela Lansbury to represent author-cum-sleuth Jessica Fletcher, she doesn't actually make an appearance in the cases, either in the movies or in the voice.
Many players will feel, as I did, that they are being ripped off because of this. For all the effort the makers of the game went to, they could just have used a differently named female detective and people would feel less of a sense of being cheated out of their money.
There are four mysteries included on the disk: The Uncoventional Murder, The Art of Murder, Desktop Murder, and Recipe for Murder.
Each mystery asks players to sit and listen to a bunch of long quicktime movies strung together with sound files to be introduced to the murder. Since there are only 5 or 6 actors on the CD, many appear more than once. Also, none of them are professional actors. All of them are the crew that made the game.
Not only are none of them professional actors, but it shows. Even the lady reading the part of Jessica sounds flat and uninteresting. Sometimes, this makes the first part of the game torture to sit through.
After the little dramatic opening ends, players are asked to complete a puzzle to solve the murder. The game, as a default, cuts the puzzle into 221 tiny pieces, scattered over three screens. Luckily for those who don't have the patience of Job, you can decrease the number of pieces, reducing the time and effort it takes to solve the puzzle.
Once you piece together the puzzle, you are presented with a picture of the crime scene containing clues to the crime. For a fairly observant person, they should be obvious.
After the player studies the picture, they can solve the crime. They will be taken to the solving screen, where Jessica asks who you will accuse. A small button by the name of each suspect can be clicked on or off. Jessica will then tell you if you are right or wrong and then give her version of the crime.
As a murder mystery game, this game fails. As a puzzle game, it is built on exactly the same engine as Jigsaw Power, also by Interplay. My advice, save your money and watch a few reruns of the original series.
Graphics: The quicktime movies are low resolution and grainy.
Sound: Everyone sounds wooden, and you'll have to turn up the sound to hear it correctly.
Enjoyment: This is as much fun as watching Mexican Beans jump.
Replay Value: There is no need and no reason to replay any of the games. Shoddy as this is, it's a one time through venture.
Solve exciting multimedia mysteries. Match wits with Jessica Fletcher, of the popular tv show, to solve the murders. Watch the suspects proclaim their innocence. Play the stories, then piece together the jigsaw puzzle to find vital clues. Use the "magnifying glass" to examine the scene of the crime. Choose the difficulty level. Fun for all ages.
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