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Shutter Island (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  piltdown_man (68966)
Written on  :  Jun 28, 2011
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars2.6 Stars

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Summary

I've heard good things about the film.

The Good

This is a hidden object game. I've played a few and had the good fortune to start with one that was half way decent. Since then it's been down- hill all the way.
This game is better than many others I've played and these, in my opinion, are the main points in its favour.

Artwork
Any game of this type has got to have good artwork and this game has just that. I found all the scenes very good, not exceptionally good, but better than many others. Check out the screen shots and see for yourself.

Gameplay.
I played the game under Windows 7. It loaded and played flawlessly. There were no crashes, no hangs, no problems of any sort.
Some of the hidden items are very small and in a game of this type it is very important that the player is able to select them with pin point precision. A hidden object game is spoiled when either the object can be selected by clicking in its general region or if the target area is a few pixels off. In this game I encountered neither of these problems.
Inevitably there are some times when the player will get stuck because an item, or possibly two or three, will prove hard to find. The game takes care of this very neatly with a flashlight that highlights the area of a missing object and then takes a minute or so to recharge before it can be used again. There is no scoring in this game so there is no penalty for using this shortcut.
All in all the game plays well, the controls are very intuitive and easy to use.

Music
The music in this game is good and helps set the atmosphere. Though it's quite heavy handed in some places, and there's nothing in there that I'd want to have on my iPod as a soundtrack, it generally helped the game along quite nicely.

The Bad

The first problem I have with this game is its length. I bought it today, started playing it this evening and I'd finished it within three, possibly three and a half hours. To me that's a reasonable length for a game demo but its way too short for a game.

I also have a problem with the story. I haven't seen the film playing this game does not encourage me to make the trip to the cinema or to buy / rent the DVD. It's difficult to say much without giving away the plot of either the film or the game, however, having read a plot synopsis at imdb.com I now know that the game is based on the film and contains some key story elements but does not follow the film entirely. The game, after sort of developing the story inside the clinic while tracking down some escaped patients, moves quickly to a couple of scenes outside the clinic and then delivers one of those endings that's supposed to be shocking but isn't because it's been heavily hinted at throughout the whole game.

My third niggle with this game is the dialogue - there isn't any, or rather there is but its all text based. When two characters speak a text box containing a picture of the character and, at the most, three short lines of text appears. In some conversations a character has nothing to say and responds to a question / observation with a text box with just "..." in it which renders the whole bit of dialogue totally pointless.
All text boxes can be cleared with a mouse click so the pace of the game isn't unduly disturbed but I'd have preferred either spoken dialogue or more detailed text that told a decent story. For me what the game offers is a cheap option that lets the game down badly.

My final niggle, and this is a personal preference, is that I like my objects to be to scale. A couple of times I missed something and had to refer to the in-game help because I’d missed something that was much larger than expected.

The Bottom Line

What we have here is a game that looks good and which plays well but ultimately fails to deliver a satisfactory gaming experience.