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Atari Black Friday
Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington Windows The title screen and main menu follows a series of company logos. The Find All option is greyed out because it is unlocked when the main game has been completed

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Description

Agatha Christie 4:50 from Paddington is a single player, hidden object adventure game with puzzle elements. The game is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name and follows the original plot very closely in which Miss Marple investigates when a friend reports seeing a murder through a train window.

The majority of the game is based on hidden object scenes. Among the items to be found are a few key items which are shown in a different coloured font. When these are found the text in the dialogue box changes thus advancing the story. The game has three modes of play, the first time through the player can choose between the carefree or a timed modes of play, the gameplay in each case is identical but in the timed mode if a player fails to complete a chapter in the allotted time they must replay it and in the replay the list of hidden objects changes. Once the game has been completed the Find All mode is unlocked in which the player can return to each location and try to find all the hidden items therein.

The game is played with the mouse though a keyboard is required if a player name is to be entered. The game autosaves at the end of a chapter.

There is an unusual in-game map feature where the player starts with a base location and no more. As other locations are referred to in the story the player must manually locate them on the map using the clues provided before they can access a new scene and progress the game. For example at one point the player is asked to find Miss Marple's house in St. Mary Mead which is somewhere between Bristol and Swindon, at another point they are told that an address is 'a couple of blocks south east of Hyde Park' and the player must click blindly on the map until the location is revealed.

The game also has bonus puzzles at the end of each chapter, these are optional and can be skipped at the cost of forfeiting a 'well done' badge at the end of the game.
  • The first puzzle type simulates searching for evidence, one instance is set in a lady's handbag and another is in a forest floor. This kind of puzzle consists of multiple overlapping photorealistic objects which the player drags around the screen to reveal other objects hidden beneath and eventually the item(s) being sought
  • There are occasions in the game where the player has to reconstruct documents that have been shredded. Finding all the pieces is part of a hidden object scene but reassembling the document by positioning and aligning the paper strips is a separate puzzle
  • Some people are made ill, or killed, by poison and this triggers a chemical analysis puzzle though no knowledge of actual chemistry is required. The player is faced with a number of suspect items together with eight test tubes with different coloured contents and must correctly match one test tube with one item. As a mini-game it plays a bit like a Mastermind variant, over a series of rounds in which the player attempts to deduce the correct sequence they are shown symbols indicating whether an item/test tube pairing is correct, a 'near miss' - i.e. his test tube is used but with another item, or this test tube is not used at all.
  • At key points there are plot summary puzzles. These consist of a grid of plain, wood effect tiles each containing a fact about the case. The tiles are shown face down and are linked by entangled strings or threads. If the player correctly selects two conneccted tiles and an animation shows the thread of evidence being followed between two related facts.
  • Finally, at three key points the player is asked to name the murderer. At this point all the dialogue from all the preceding chapters can be reviewed to search for clues, see who is lying and so on

Screenshots

Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington Windows Initially there are just two modes of play
Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington Windows At three points the player is asked if they can identify the killer
Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington Windows Switching to full screen mode produces black bands.
This is one of the end of chapter puzzles where the player must match up related clues
Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington Windows An in-game load screen

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piltdown_man (209676) added Agatha Christie: 4:50 from Paddington (Windows) on Sep 19, 2020
Atari Black Friday