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The Colonel's Bequest

aka: Laura Bow 1, The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

[ All ] [ Amiga ] [ Atari ST ] [ DOS ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews 76% add missing review

Tilt (18 out of 20) (90%)

C'est un Sierra pas comme les autres. Plus que jamais, l'ambiance est au rendez-vous dans cette vieille demeure oĂč s'affrontent douze personnages, qui semblent tout droit sortis des meilleurs Ă©crits d'Agatha la rusĂ©e. Colonel's Bequest est un soft passionnant, inoubliable, incontournable.

Apr 1990 · DOS · read review

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (9 out of 10) (90%)

Yes, The Colonel's Bequest has all the good things in life. It's even set in the heart of the Roaring Twenties, but unfortunately for the lovely Laura Bow there won't be any time for bootleg hooch or the devil's jazz. Our spunky flame haired sleuth instead finds herself surrounded by an ever dwindling cast of shifty suspects on Colonel Henri Dijon's crumbling bayou plantation, because nothing livens up a creepy old house quite like death.

Oct 26th, 2009 · DOS · read review

Games Machine, The (UK) (89 out of 100) (89%)

Excellent support is given to the Roland LAPC-1, AdLib and Games Blaster sound cards. I thoroughly enjoyed The Colonel's Bequest. The confined setting helps to make the adventure gel, giving the plot a busy, fast-moving feel to it.

Apr 1990 · DOS · read review

Amiga User International (88 out of 100) (88%)

There are plenty of hidden passages, secret rooms, and dangerous turns, but all gloriously wrapped inside Sierra's wonderful colour graphics. This first Laura Bow Mystery is the prelude to another Sierra series, and if they are all up to this standard we can all go to bed happy.

Jun 1991 · Amiga · read review

Zero (85 out of 100) (85%)

Unless you like your adventures easy, this certainly adds to the challenge, while there's still plenty of danger to add to the excitement. If you can keep your head while all around are losing theirs, then you'll be in for a taxing and intriguing time. An interesting contribution to what seems to be an increasingly popular theme.

Oct 1990 · Amiga · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20) (85%)

À l’aube du jeu d’aventure, tout semblait possible, tout semblait permis. Les concepteurs faisaient preuve d’une inventivitĂ© sans frontiĂšre. La preuve avec The Colonel’s Bequest, un jeu complexe, qui propose Ă  la fois une histoire trĂšs structurĂ©e et une libertĂ© totale, avec puzzles optionnels et fins alternatives. Il fait partie des grands jeux d’enquĂȘtes, aux cĂŽtĂ©s des cĂ©lĂšbres aventures de JĂ©rĂŽme Lange, Le Manoir de Mortevielle et Maupiti Island.

Mar 12th, 2010 · Amiga · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20) (85%)

À l’aube du jeu d’aventure, tout semblait possible, tout semblait permis. Les concepteurs faisaient preuve d’une inventivitĂ© sans frontiĂšre. La preuve avec The Colonel’s Bequest, un jeu complexe, qui propose Ă  la fois une histoire trĂšs structurĂ©e et une libertĂ© totale, avec puzzles optionnels et fins alternatives. Il fait partie des grands jeux d’enquĂȘtes, aux cĂŽtĂ©s des cĂ©lĂšbres aventures de JĂ©rĂŽme Lange, Le Manoir de Mortevielle et Maupiti Island.

Mar 12th, 2010 · Atari ST · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20) (85%)

À l’aube du jeu d’aventure, tout semblait possible, tout semblait permis. Les concepteurs faisaient preuve d’une inventivitĂ© sans frontiĂšre. La preuve avec The Colonel’s Bequest, un jeu complexe, qui propose Ă  la fois une histoire trĂšs structurĂ©e et une libertĂ© totale, avec puzzles optionnels et fins alternatives. Il fait partie des grands jeux d’enquĂȘtes, aux cĂŽtĂ©s des cĂ©lĂšbres aventures de JĂ©rĂŽme Lange, Le Manoir de Mortevielle et Maupiti Island.

Mar 12th, 2010 · DOS · read review

CU Amiga (84 out of 100) (84%)

Whilst the game is well produced, my main criticism is that it could do with both the action and the responses speeding up a bit, to avoid hours of aimless wandering on the part of the player. On five disks, The Colonel's Bequest has very little space for saved positions on the game disks - so format a spare before you start!

Sep 1990 · Amiga · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (83 out of 100) (83%)

Black humour plays a considerably part in Colonel's Bequest, and you'll find yourself chuckling heartily when the loose chandelier falls on top of you, or if you're caught in the shower by the Norman Bates-type knife maniac! All in all, if you aren't put off by the slow pace of the game the nthis superb murder mystery is a must.

May 1990 · DOS · read review

Das Atari ST/STE Spielebuch (9 out of 11) (82%)

The Colonel's Bequest wurde von der King's Quest-Autorin Roberta Williams geschrieben. Anders als bisherige Sierra Adventure ist dieses Spiel wie ein TheaterstĂŒck in mehrere Akte und Szenen unterteilt. Sobald man ein bestimmtes, fĂŒr die Lösung wichtiges RĂ€tsel gelöst hat, verstreicht eine Viertelstunde im Spiel. WĂ€hrend man spielt, betreten andere Figuren RĂ€ume, lassen GegenstĂ€nde zurĂŒck oder reden mit anderen Personen. Einige RĂ€ume können mit Hilfe der GeheimgĂ€nge belauscht werden und so Intrigen aufgedeckt werden. Zu Grafik und Sound von Sierra On-Line Adventure ist eigentlich nichts mehr zu sagen als: siehe Larry, King's Quest, Space Quest, ...

1990 · Atari ST

Das Amiga Spielebuch (9 out of 11) (82%)

The Colonel's Bequest wurde von der King's Quest-Autorin Roberta Williams geschrieben. Anders als bisherige Sierra Adventure ist dieses Spiel wie ein TheaterstĂŒck in mehrere Akte und Szenen unterteilt. Sobald man ein bestimmtes, fĂŒr die Lösung wichtiges RĂ€tsel gelöst hat, verstreicht eine Viertelstunde im Spiel. WĂ€hrend man spielt, betreten andere Figuren RĂ€ume, lassen GegenstĂ€nde zurĂŒck oder reden mit anderen Personen. Einige RĂ€ume können mit Hilfe der GeheimgĂ€nge belauscht werden und so Intrigen aufgedeckt werden. Zu Grafik und Sound von Sierra On-Line Adventure ist eigentlich nichts mehr zu sagen als: siehe Larry, King's Quest, Space Quest, ...

1990 · Amiga

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (9.71 out of 12) (81%)

In Sachen Grafik, Animation und Steuerung brÀuchte ich Euch eigentlich nur auf Michaels Testbericht zu Larry III zu verweisen, denn in diesem Bereich gleichen sich SIERRA ON-LINE-Spiele mittlerweile ja wie ein Ei dem anderen. Lediglich beim Sound wurde etwas sparsamer zu Werke gegangen, gibt es doch wÀhrend des Spieles nur einige wenige, wenn auch exzellente Soundeffekte und Melodien zu hören. Die Soundkarten-Besitzer erwartet dennoch ein kleiner musikalischer Leckerbissen. Ansonsten ist wirklich alles beim alten geblieben: Brillante Animation, Spitzen-Grafiken, Details en masse, die gewohnte SIERRA ON- LINE-Steuerung,...- kurzum: ein ASM-Hit!

Feb 1990 · DOS

Info (4 out of 5) (80%)

Agonizingly slow disk access so detract from any potential suspension of disbelief that it spoils the fun. Leaning back in your chair yawning while waiting for the location to change does nothing to encourage total involvement. If this game played even a little faster, I'd give it five stars in a minute.

Nov 1990 · Amiga · read review

Adventure Classic Gaming ( ) (80%)

Overall, The Colonel’s Bequest: a Laura Bow Mystery is a good game that gives hours of enjoyable gameplay. An intermediate level player can easily get 6 hours or more of gameplay in a single sitting. The game combines a great storyline, good gameplay, memorable music, and apt graphics.

Nov 7th, 2007 · DOS · read review

Adventure's Planet (80 out of 100) (80%)

Tirando le somme, Laura Bow: The Colonel’s Bequest ù un gioco davvero interessante. Forse la trama non ù molto profonda e i personaggi non sono memorabili ma non ù su questi aspetti che Roberta Williams ha puntato. The Colonel’s Bequest ù concepito come un romanzo giallo interattivo e riesce a colpire nel segno sotto tutti i punti di vista, ad iniziare dalla struttura a tempo davvero molto innovativa e peculiare (un po’ come succede anche nel successivo the Last Express di Smoking Car). Se amate il genere letterario del whodunit non potrete non apprezzare the Colonel's Bequest. Una partita se la merita, così potete dimostrare e affinare le vostre abilità di detective!

Sep 14th, 2011 · DOS · read review

One, The (80 out of 100) (80%)

This type of mystery game has only been done well before by Infocom (in fact this is very similar to one of the company's first, Deadline) as creating a whodunnit scenario that actually holds together is no easy task. Nevertheless Sierra has pulled off a reasonable attempt, with intelligent characters and a plot intricate enough to go to the distance - the only problem is, while these points are major pluses for seasoned sleuths, the novice is likely to get bogged down.

Mar 1990 · DOS · read review

Adventure Gamers ( ) (80%)

Roberta Williams was always one for breaking new grounds and making what others thought impossible. In 1989, her new challenge was to make a detective game. That didn't seem like an easy task, since you couldn't really see how your average adventure gamer who doesn't have the intelligence of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot could enjoy trying to solve a mystery worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie. One way to do that would have been to make solving the mystery much like another adventure game, with a bit of conversation, room searching and puzzles allowing you to follow a trail, and this concept has been explored rather successfully since then by games such as the Tex Murphy series or the Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes games. But that's not what Mrs. Williams wanted: she wanted a mystery set in a closed space, during a short time-frame, with few characters that you would have to question, follow, etc.

Apr 10th, 2003 · DOS · read review

Przygodoskop ( ) (80%)

Podsumowanie Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest wypada bardzo korzystnie. Być moĆŒe brakuje jej epickiego polotu, jest grą skromną, niepozorną, za to fabularnie rozbudowaną. Ale taka wƂaƛnie miaƂa być. Przywodzi na myƛl klasyczne kryminaƂy (morderstwa i odizolowana grupa ludzi, wƛrĂłd ktĂłrych kaĆŒdy jest podejrzanym), a w nich trudno o wątki peƂne przygĂłd. Największe jej plusy to ciekawa skryta pod kurtyną intryga oraz sposĂłb rozgrywki, ktĂłrego nie spotkaƂem w ĆŒadnej innej grze. Dziwi to szczegĂłlnie, ĆŒe ƛwietnie się sprawdza w takich wƂaƛnie produkcjach. Wielbiciele Sherlocka Holmesa i jemu podobnych powinni być zachwyceni.

Nov 6th, 2010 · DOS · read review

Amiga Action (80 out of 100) (80%)

The Colonel's Bequest isn't the hardest adventure game I've played. Personally, I would have preferred to solve the mysterious murders myself. Instead, having found, and searched a body, the computer works out the clues. Despite this rather annoying fault, The Colonel's Bequest is a good game that successfully recreates the feeling of the era. Because of the computer assistance the game isn't too difficult and I reckon that this quest is one that will appeal to novice adventurers. A worthy buy but only for beginners.

Sep 1990 · Amiga · read review

Zzap! (79 out of 100) (79%)

Well, there are a few annoying idiosyncrasies such as being told there's a handle sticking out of the pianola and even being able to turn it but when I tried to take the handle (to use on the fountain in the garden) I was told it wasn't there. This obviously means that I'm supposed to get a handle but not this one. The response should have been better. However, there's plenty to see and do and it should keep budding sleuths at their computers for hours, if only while they wait for locations to load. Ooooh no, don't mock! Music and FX are good and the desire to find out what's going on in the spooky ol' mansion is very strong.

Oct 1990 · Amiga · read review

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (9.4 out of 12) (78%)

Die Grafiken der Konvertierung wurden, wie bei Sierra On-Line ĂŒblich, von der ursprĂŒnglichen MS-DOS-Version gecovert. Doch keine Angst, selbst fĂŒr ST-VerhĂ€ltnisse bietet The Colonel‘s Bequest in grafischer Hinsicht eine Menge. Letztendlich sollte es also keine Zweifel darĂŒber geben, daß dieses phantastische Spiel einen Hitstern verdient hat, wĂ€re da nicht der Ă€ußerst happige Preis...

Jan 1991 · Atari ST

Atari ST User (74 out of 100) (74%)

Previous Sierra games have had a definite storyline running through them. The Colonel's Bequest doesn't seem to have the same feel. I found myself wandering about the estate just waiting for something to happen. All in all, The Colonel's Bequest is a decent game, it's a shame that the storyline doesn't really gel.

Apr 1991 · Atari ST · read review

Enchanted Realms (72 out of 100) (72%)

I wouldn't kvetch about Sierra's slow animation and poor graphics so bad if I didn't basically like their game designs so much. The Colonel's Bequest, design-wise, is one of the best mystery adventures ever. Slow animation and disk accesses, and substandard graphics knock it down too many pegs.

Nov 1990 · Amiga · read review

Amiga Joker (71 out of 100) (71%)

(page 50)
Ungewöhnlich ist auch der Aufbau des Spiels: Es ist in einzelne Akte unterteilt, wie ein TheaterstĂŒck. Mehr noch — sobald der Vorhang nach dem letzten Akt gefallen ist, ist das Spiel zu Ende, ob man den Fall gelöst hat oder nicht! Allzuoft wird das aber nicht passieren. denn spĂ€testens nach dem dritten Durchlauf hat wohl jeder den ÜbeltĂ€ter gefunden. Schade, denn damit ist die Motivation natĂŒrlich dahin. Ansonsten aber nur Lob: Grafik und Sound sind sehr stimmungsvoll, vor allem die Schatteneffekte und die Animationen sind eine Wucht.

Sep 1990 · Amiga · read review

Quandary ( ) (70%)

It's 1925 and Laura Bow sits on a bench in the university grounds studiously turning the pages of a book. Along comes her friend, Lillian, who invites Laura to accompany her to her Uncle Henri's estate for a family reunion. Laura is reluctant at first but when she hears that it's a 'creepy old place' that clinches it.

Aug 2004 · DOS · read review

Power Play (68 out of 100) (68%)

Der Ruhesitz des alten Colonel Dijon ist ein Landhaus auf einer kleinen Insel im sĂŒdlichen Louisiana; umgeben von Sumpf, Wasser und Alligatoren. In einer schwĂŒlen Sommernacht im Jahre 1925 hat er seine Verwandten auf dem abgeschiedenen Anwesen versammelt. Das Desert ist noch nicht richtig verdaut, da eröffnet Colonel Dijon abends bei Tisch den Grund des Treffens: Er sei nicht mehr der JĂŒngste und fĂŒhle sein Ende kommen. Nach reiflicher Überlegung habe er beschlossen, daß sein betrĂ€chtliches Vermögen nach seinem Tode unter allen verwandten aufgeteilt wird. Sollte jemand vor seinem Ableben sterben, wird der Anteil fĂŒr die ĂŒberlebenden Verwandten entsprechend grĂ¶ĂŸer.

Apr 1990 · DOS

Joker Verlag prÀsentiert: Sonderheft (67 out of 100) (67%)

Dank einer gewissen „Intelligenz“ des Programms „wissen“ es die Leute, wenn man schon mal mit ihnen gesprochen hat, außerdem verĂ€ndert sich der Inhalt vieler RĂ€ume, wĂ€hrend die Zeit voranschreitet. Aber Vorsicht, wie in jedem Krimi kann ĂŒbermĂ€ĂŸige Neugier auch hier (lebens-) gefĂ€hrlich sein!
(page 67)

1993 · DOS · read review

Joker Verlag prÀsentiert: Sonderheft (67 out of 100) (67%)

Dank einer gewissen „Intelligenz“ des Programms „wissen“ es die Leute, wenn man schon mal mit ihnen gesprochen hat, außerdem verĂ€ndert sich der Inhalt vieler RĂ€ume, wĂ€hrend die Zeit voranschreitet. Aber Vorsicht, wie in jedem Krimi kann ĂŒbermĂ€ĂŸige Neugier auch hier (lebens-) gefĂ€hrlich sein!
(page 67)

1993 · Amiga · read review

Amiga Format (60 out of 100) (60%)

If you enjoy Cluedo and do not mind a few hours in which three things (zip, nada and zero) happen, The Colonel's Bequest could be for you. An immense amount of thought has obviously gone into the game and it does have a kind of frustrating charm about it. Unfortunately this cannot save it from being plain dull. Laura Bow refuses to look into bags, shelves, closets or people because they do not belong to her or contain nothing of interest. How can a game tell you what is of interest to you? Generally, it is "Oh what a nice present, auntie Mick" rather than a "Look what I just bought, cousin Neil" kind of game.

Oct 1990 · Amiga · read review

100 aktuelle PC-Spiele (6 out of 10) (60%)

»The Colonel‘s Bequest« ist das ungewöhnlichste Sierra-Adventure, das in letzter Zeit erschienen ist. Das Programm lĂ€uft wie ein TheaterstĂŒck. Die Zeit verrinnt und zugleich schreitet die Handlung voran (was nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit fast stĂ€ndig mit dem Ableben einer Spielfigur verbunden ist). Auch wenn man das Adventure nicht löst, wird die Geschichte beendet. Ob man dann freilich den »idealen« Schluß erwischt hat, ist fraglich. Dank einiger Tips können Sie beim erneuten Durchspielen mehr Geheimnisse entdecken und dem verschachtelten Plot besser auf die Spur kommen. Einen Haken hat die Sache freilich: SpĂ€testens nach dem zweiten Mal kennt man die Geschichte, und der Reiz, sich nochmal mit dem Spiel einzulassen, sinkt ins Bodenlose. Die Story ist spannend, die AtmosphĂ€re brillant, aber langfristig bekommen Sie fĂŒr gut 130 Mark zu wenig geboten.

1990 · DOS

ST-Computer (6 out of 10) (60%)

Sound ist, wie ĂŒblich, nicht vorhanden, doch das stört auch nicht weiter. Die Grafik des Spiels bewegt sich im gehobenen Bereich und ist ganz nett anzusehen, könnte aber auch besser sein. Alles in allem ist The Colonel's Bequest ein Adventure, das ĂŒberdurchschnittlich ist und jedem empfohlen werden kann, der gerne SierraAdventures spielt. King's Quest-Liebhaber werden sich freuen, endlich einen wĂŒrdigen Nachfolger zu haben – auch wenn das Spiel nicht so ĂŒberzeugen konnte, wie man es sich vielleicht erhoffte.

Jan 1991 · Atari ST · read review

Amiga Power (2 out of 6) (33%)

Overpriced and over here.

May 1991 · Amiga · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) N/A

As an experimental product, The Colonel's Bequest has plenty to offer. It is a well-rounded entertainment experience with hours of exploratory play value. Where it falls short is in traditional terms of challenge, problem-solving and strategy. Dedicated puzzle-solvers will cry, "Pablum!" at the game's ease-of-use and automatic advancement of the storyline. Although it is certainly easier to say than to design, one hopes that future products will offer something of both worlds: stories that progress without complex puzzles and an alternative scoring system that could take advantage of complex puzzles within a sub-plot. The bottom line, however, is that Sierra has forced gamers to shift their attention once again. In a product with plenty of color, "chrome" and sound, garners will find both an entertaining story and a pleasant interaction. Roberta Williams has courageously and successfully broken out of the King's Quest mold.

Feb 1990 · DOS

Alle PC Spiele N/A

Leidliches Miss-Marple-Imitat von Sierra, bei dem trotz zahlreicher Morde keine rechte Spannung aufkommen will. Zu unlogisch sind die einzelnen Handlungsabschnitte und oft kommt man nur durch Zufall oder durch stundenlanges, nerviges Probieren der Lösung nÀher.

1993 · DOS

Player Reviews

There's plenty to do in this top-notch detective game

The Good
Anyone who grew up playing computer games in the Eighties may have played the first four KQ games, and may have fond memories of playing them. Roberta Williams, the series' creator, said that she likes mysteries, and this should have been more apparent when she released Mystery House, Sierra's first game for the Apple II. So, just before she started work on the fifth KQ title, she released The Colonel's Bequest but she wanted her detective game to be huge.

The game is set in the Twenties, and we are introduced to Laura Bow, a student studying at Tulane University, right in the heart of New Orleans. Laura's friend Lillian comes and invites her to a family reunion at the old plantation house by the bayou. There, she gets to attend the family reunion and to hear what Lillian's friend, the Colonel, is doing with his will. She is also given the chance to meet the other guests staying at the house.

The game is, in some ways, similar to Mystery House, in that the game opens up by introducing each character, who are murdered one by one during the course of the game. But there's a lot more involved. You get to see characters interact with one another and eavesdrop on their conversations, as well as looking at objects up-close with a magnifying glass. All these things are important because the game gives you a rating on how well you performed, and you will see that rating when you completed it. The game is split into eight acts that last for one hour, and certain events only occur in that act.

I admired the game's copy protection, which kicks in at the start of the game. You see, it requires you to identify a fingerprint belonging to one of the game's characters instead of looking up a word on a certain page. Unlike most copy protection methods, this one is slightly difficult since all the fingerprints are too similar to one another. However, I found that the easiest way is focus on the center of the fingerprint, and see what figures you can make out. A bird can be seen in Clarence Sparrow's print, for instance.

You spend most of the game exploring the plantation house, noticing anything unusual like objects being transported from one location to another. Graphically, the plantation house is laid out nicely, with the different rooms on the ground floor, and the bedrooms on the floor above them. You have to do some tasks outside, which is a gloomy environment complete with dark clouds and lightning. To add to the dark atmosphere, wind, thunder, and insect noises can be heard in the background.

As I said, The Colonel's Bequest rates how good of a detective you were, and you can read notes based on the conversations you listened into, objects being transported from one location to another, whether or not a character has a crush on somebody, etc. Anything you have missed will how up as an incomplete list. but the game doesn't tell you what you missed. The game can be replayed by anyone who just wants to find everything.

There are a few moments that I like, including watching the fight between Rudy and Clarence near the end of the game. I also like the way there are two endings to the game, so if you viewed one ending already you can watch the other one by loading the game to a point before them.

The Bad
One thing that annoyed me was trying to unlock something with the only key you find in the game. You have to be very specific at what you type in the parser if you want Laura to unlock it, otherwise the game would complain that it's the wrong key when it is not.


The Bottom Line
In conclusion, The Colonel's Bequest is a well-done murder mystery, from the creator of the King's Quest series. It has everything a good detective game should have, such as investigating crime scenes, eavesdropping on other people's conversations, and looking at objects up close.

The game is split up into eight acts, with certain events only occurring in specific acts. Each act gets more intense as you discover more and more dead bodies. Nearly all the guests are murdered, which makes you keep thinking that you are next.

The gloomy atmosphere blends in with the detective nature of the game, and the copy protection is superior to the other methods Sierra used in the past. The points system is replaced by what I call the 'performance monitor', in which your actions are recorded and written down in a notebook that you can view at the end of the game. It provides you with hints on what you missed, so if you feel up to it you can replay the game to achieve a good detective rating.

by Katakis | ă‚«ă‚żă‚­ă‚č (43057) on May 28th, 2013 · DOS

The embodiment of Roberta Williams' virtues and flaws

The Good
Unlike other reviewers, I have a lasting affection for this game. "The Colonel's Bequest" is built around the kitschy, mid-1920s atmosphere of an Agatha Christie novel. The unusual structure and limited locations place emphasis on plotline rather than discovery, and this seems to be one of the things that annoys people about it. As things progress, though, as the guests at the mansion start dropping, as the rooms become deserted and you're wandering around with an ever-decreasing circle of suspects, the game comes into its own. The (surviving) flaky characters become more real, and the dark, windblown island becomes an eerie wasteland.

The Bad
Take away the atmosphere and structure and you're left with typical Roberta Williams; lightly drawn cliches for characters, bad jokes, and moments of frustration as the difficulty level periodically soars. The take-it-or-leave it Sierra mentality also shows through, with several highly logical actions being made impossible.

The Bottom Line
The Colonel's Bequest doesn't have the near-universal appeal of, say, Hero's Quest 1. People who are even slightly irritated by Sierra humor or Roberta Williams will probably dislike this game intensely. Having said that, if you accept the game's faults and compromises, if, in other words, you achieve the necessary suspension of disbelief, you may find great enjoyment in an old, Southern murder tale.

by Colin Rowsell (43) on May 15th, 2002 · DOS

You had to have been there.

The Good
Back when this game came out there just wasn’t that many serious adventure type games out there. Most games were either simulations or SimAdventures. Part sim part adventure game. (I.E. Police Quest) This game was very unique. The main role was played by a Woman, and was based on mystery.

 When I started playing this game I became totally hooked.  My heart would beat a little faster when the clock advanced or I saw that another guest had been murdered.  I actually began to fear for Laura's safety!   I was in total love with the excellent graphics and music that this title had.  (Note: it was released in 1989)  When the game ended I felt that I had experienced something special.  If I had to rate games on just that emotion alone then this game would be in my top 3 games of all time!  I played this game over and over again just to try to recapture that feeling.

I have lots of fond memories of this game. I am sure that many others do too.


The Bad
...Well, when I read the other review of this game I felt that he had a point. When you look at this game from the point of view of today, then it looks very different. I imagine that it would be hard for a person to pick up this title and play it today. The graphics are over 12 years old, some of the action is predictable, and generally it would feel old. But that is what it is. I doubt that new gamers of today would find this title as enjoyable as I did 11 years ago, but that is the way of things.

The Bottom Line
Give this game a shot, but remember it's 12 years old. Don't expect it to be fresh and original.

by William Shawn McDonie (1130) on Jan 25th, 2001 · DOS

Suspensful non-stop rollercoaster riding murder-mystery adventure game!

The Good
I loved this game from the first 10 minutes after installing and playing it. The game was very different from the usual Roberta Williams designs. The game is set up like a drama play that you are actually participating in except that the choices you make during the game effect the outcome of it all. It was probably one of the first of it's kind. The atmosphere of the plantation is downright errie, scenes ranging from a creepy "Chucky-Like" doll house, an abandoned chapel, mucky swamps and of course the main attraction, the huge mansion! All around you and throughout the game, there are people conspiring and plotting with and against each other trying to rub each other out for the Colonel's inheritance. As you move through the game (or through acts), you must take notes, interrogate people, spy on people, eavesdrop on conversations and solve puzzles to find out who-dunnit. There are some pretty creepy scenes you sometimes stumble on to which adds to the suspense. Another great thing about this amazing game is that there are multiple endings! and a meter guide to tell you how well you did as a detective... this game is a one of a kind. Roberta Williams did it again!

The Bad
The copy protection was terrible. It was annoying having to distinguish between those blotchy finger prints.

Sometimes it was hard to know what to do to trigger the next event, sometimes leaving you aimlessly wandering for awhile.

The Bottom Line
A great one of a kind mystery adventure game that was the first of many detective adventure games that were soon to follow. A must play for all adventure game lovers..

by OlSkool_Gamer (88) on Jan 4th, 2004 · DOS

One big cliche but still fun

The Good
The music was some of the most spooky music in a PC video game at the time. The graphics really helped set the mood. The addition of time to the game (time only passes when you trigger a certain event) adds a new dynamic, even though it's only a cosmetic aspect of the game.

The Bad
The classic Sierra problem of "you can't continue until you do X" problem might leave you totally stuck in the game. At back when this game came out 15 years ago, there was no Internet/AIM/IRC to turn to for help, you would HAVE to call for paid help or buy the hint book.

The Bottom Line
A classic for it's time, and it seems to have aged fairly well. Playing this game brings back memories.

by Travis Owens (6) on Oct 12th, 2004 · DOS

Top mystery game.

The Good
| Mystery |
The game starts casually but immediately pulls you into the web of intrigues, danger, and suspense. You play Laura Bow, a young girl whose friend calls her to come at a spooky old mansion to keep her company with all the oldtimers that will be on the gathering. She doesn't know why they were all summited, but she convinces you it just might be more interesting than studying for biology exam. And indeed it does become, the moment you sit on the table with the rest of 'family', and plot starts ticking while suspects and 'victims of accidents' are piling.

| Meet Laura Bow, the Noise Detective |
The whole game starts kinda late, I believe it was 8pm or so, and consists of about eight acts. Each act lasts one full hour in the game, and is triggered as you witness specific elements. However, that is only to make the game easier. But if you wanna be a full-time detective, you must try to gather all the clues and to connect the strings eventually, since once you finish the game, you get to see a nice set of what all you did discover, and what all you missed. So don't play to end, like I did, but play to understand. However, being an outsider of the family ring, people will not run to your aid or likeness, so you'll basically have to do everything on your own. Just to be greeted by surprising twist in the plot, highly unexpected and well fitted, for whichever ending you choose, and there are more than just right one.

| Parse This You Sonovagun |
This was the first game to add to my collection that had something else than just mouse user-friendly interface. It has text-parsing, and I enjoyed using that even more than just clicking with a mouse up on a certain object of a person. And parsing was fairly well done, and overall entertaining. Not too hard even for newcommers like me (hey, don't blaim me for being too young in the time of text adventures). Combining your own wit with your sight is what makes a real detective out of you, and gives you all the answers.

The Bad
| I Wanna Play |
Well, one thing does make a trembling annoyance in the distance. You can collect clues, proofs, ideas, and what all not, but you cannot share them. I mean, you can, but it's just as talking into the wind. You can easily die in the game, yet you cannot try and stop any murder in particular. You cannot do any action that might even the odds.

The Bottom Line
| Technicality |
'Tis an outstanding mystery game with lots of adventuring on a rather small ground. I always found fascinating topics in "whodunnit" style, and this game really made a miracle out of it. It has great graphic, especially due to fact it uses 16 colors only. Uses either mouse or keyboard for character movement and interaction with objects and NPCs, and has neat sound effects and music samples whenever they appear. Plus, it offers intriguing story that will keep you guessing and probably second-guessing until the very end. Whatever more can you expect from a decade old game (duh, rethorical).

by MAT (235982) on Mar 15th, 2012 · DOS

Plus 68 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Jo ST, Tim Janssen, Jeanne, Patrick Bregger, Trevor Harding, Scaryfun, Karsa Orlong, Narushima, Terok Nor, ИггО Đ”Ń€ŃƒĐłĐ”.