In this legal simulation, the player is in charge of a defense attorney in a criminal trial, mounting relevant objections against the prosecution's badgering of a series of key witnesses toward issuing skewed testimony in a case against your defendant, accused of murdering one Sandra Stiff, a glamourous Beverly Hills heiress. It is not enough to know when one may mount an objection, but specifically which from eleven different categories (from argumentative to hearsay to immaterial. Once in a while a legitimate question comes through and the player still needs to identify it as a proper question!)
This game has since been re-made for Windows with enhanced graphics and citation from case law.
A courtroom is a place where legality is upheld. Justice may not always be achieved, because in the court room it's all about the written law, not about the actual situation. That is why with a skilled lawyer, who is able to find loops in the law or able to convince the jury by cunningly questioning the witnesses, you can go scot-free even if you're guilty.
This game is all about being a lawyer.
It's a unique attempt of a game trying to put you in the shoes of a defense attorney. The witnesses are being questioned by the prosecution and you as the defense council have to either allow the question (in which case it's answered) or object to it.
You're defending a person accused of murdering Sandra Stiff. There are 5 witnesses that are questioned by the prosecution and you may only allow the proper question to be asked (by pressing Q). If the question shouldn't have been asked (or better to say, if the witness doesn't have to answer it) you should object!
It's not all that easy though. If you decide to object, you need to be very sure on what ground you base your objection. There are several to choose from:
A - Argumentative: if the question calls for an argument (like "Do you think we'll believe you?").
B - Best Evidence Rule: if the question calls for something that can be found among the evidence (like official reports).
C - Conclusion: if the question requires an answer that the witness can't answer so specifically (like: "At what time exactly did the death occur?").
F - Assumption of Facts: if the question includes parts that aren't proven (like: "Why did he kill her with a gun?").
H - Hearsay: if the questions ask about something somebody said (like a newspaper report).
I - Irrelevant: when the question has absolutely no importance (like "How much does an autopsy cost?").
L - Leading: if the question would be leading a witness (like: "He killed her didn't he?").
M - Multiple: if the question calls for more answers then one (like the time and the place at the same time).
P - Privilege: if the question calls for confidential information you're not required to give (like talks with a priest).
S - Speculative: if the question asks for a guess (like "What did the murderer do just before the murder).
V - Vague: if the question isn't clear (like "What about the weapon then?").
Now don't let the different level of formality deceive you. Sometimes a valid question will be put very oddly, but you'll still have to allow it.
The other thing that's of importance is the speed with which you react. You have 30 seconds to decide upon each question and each passing second is a deducted point (you can't get more then 29 points for each question though). And the points are very important, because if you don't get enough of them, you won't get to advance to the next level.
The questions are different each time, as are the answers. So be careful, because it's not enough that you get enough points to proceed to the next level, you also need to answer a few questions at the end of the level. The questions are connected to the statements and you need to answer with Y (for correct), N (for incorrect), or U (if the answer wasn't given).
Each level means another witness for the prosecution, but the rules are the same. So think fast and remember the statements (pausing the game really helps). Also with each level the sentence for your defendant is reduced (from getting executed, to various jail sentences, to eventually going free).
Still, just getting the charges brought up against your client isn't enough. You may even succeed in finding the real perpetrator, but for that you mustn't miss a single proper question, because it's the questions the witnesses do answer that point toward the real murderer.
The graphics are nice (but few) and the speech consists of a couple of words (but to get the sound you need to exit the game and restart is - don't ask why, I don't know). The variety of questions does give the game quite some replayability and analyzing the sentence structure to decide on what grounds to base your objection may very well increase your understanding of the English syntax. Still the game lacks an important aspect. You can't save it! So you may find yourself advancing to a certain point and then losing it all.
Just a quick tip at the end (apart from pausing), try to get the highest possible score every time (not just the needed score to pass to the next level), because the score is carried through and the higher you score early on, the more mistakes you'll be able to make without getting stuck.
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