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My main dismay with Casebook is that I solved the case within a matter of several hours of determined effort - I found it hard to stop! There isn't a vast amount of replay value - the evidence is the same each time - though there are points when Burton asks your advice on how to conduct interviews. I could happily play through again to see what the other choices do! And there's good news - episode two is under development. The trailer I saw when I finished the first episode looks very impressive and I'd be very happy to help Detective Burton crack another case.
If you find yourself hard-pressed to pull away from the average episode of Law & Order: SVU or Without a Trace, hey… Don’t be afraid to give Casebook a shot. Just be aware that, like the serials from which it draws inspiration, this title – first in a series of episodic outings – is guaranteed to prove short, sweet, topsy-turvy in parts and slightly morbid, but sure to have you coming back for more.
The filmic qualities already show tremendous potential, and if the gameplay can be polished and improved, at least concerning the mini-games and sometimes excessive ease, the series should inspire a devoted following from longtime FMV fans. The case gets closed on the Birchermann kidnapping in about three hours, so it isn’t a lengthy experience, but the weird, uneasy world of Skylark Apartments awaits in James Burton’s next investigation. The game is sold directly from the Casebook website, where you can also view a trailer and read up on future installments. With the second title already well underway and planned for as early as February ’09, I’m now eager to play Episode II – The Watcher. In fact, if this first experience is any indication, the series is one that all interactive movie fans should be watching with great anticipation.
Die englischen Sprachausgaben sind sehr gut verständlich und zusätzlich hat man die Möglichkeit, sich Untertitel einblenden zu lassen. Bei einer Spieldauer von knapp 3 Stunden mit wenig Herausforderungen und eintönigem Gameplay, ist die erste Episode von Casebook sicher kein Überraschungshit, allerdings zeigt sich ein gutes Konzept für eine interessanten Reihe, wenn es den Entwicklern gelingt, in den folgenden Episoden mehr Spannung in die Fälle zu bringen und dem Spieler etwas mehr Abwechslung und Herausforderung zu bieten. Der Trailer für die nächste Episode „The Watcher“ stimmt hier zuversichtlich.
Kidnapped is a difficult game to rate, and depends a lot on what you are comparing it against. As an interactive movie, the simplicity of the mini-games allows it to keep moving along, and the real strengths get to unfold virtually unimpeded. As an adventure game, it lacks challenge and therefore a little depth, but makes up for it somewhat with a well written story, good production, and good to excellent characters. As a casual game, it easily out performs the limited array of such games I have played, but according to some knowledgeable players I consulted it doesn’t really fit the casual game genre. However, it includes elements similar to the ones I have played, but wraps it in a package far more enticing than those I have seen.
Adventure Classic Gaming
Despite these faults, I can say that Casebook is shaping up to become among the most unique and rich episodic adventure game series from an indie developer. If future episodes can address some of the game’s current shortcomings and further expand the game’s core features, the series may succeed in delivering the full interactive experience that it has promised.