Written by  :  -Chris (7565)
Written on  :  Apr 04, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars

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Captures the spirit nicely.

The Good

Considering that most Sherlock Holmes adaptations on TV or in the movies are rather bad, The Lost Files has earned special praise for capturing the spirit of the stories. Eccentric genius Holmes and his decent companion Watson come to life in a pleasingly credible way that will fascinate even players who haven’t read a single line of the novels; those who did will find their imagination visualised, and discover countless details and allusions. The game has found its ideal setting in 19th century London -- cold and foggy, yet distinguished, well-mannered, a world in which even the criminals are gentlemen.
If you’re not acquainted with the methods of Sherlock Holmes, you’ll find the deductive conversations and scientific methods of the master detective to be an interesting alternative to the common whodunits. Very nice is the possibility to pick up several trails separately and see where they lead to; if one trail seems to be a dead-end, you can choose to investigate other clues first until you gain new insights. Don’t be afraid, though: at its core, The Lost Files is a fairly straight-forward adventure game as you’re used to. Still, it cleverly conceals its flaws beneath a excellent atmosphere and opulent graphics and sounds so that you will rarely notice them.

The Bad

As said before, The Lost Files does not revolutionise the genre in terms of puzzles or plot. Few tasks exceed the common “Go there, find that” style, but equally few are boring or annoying. The standard verb interface, although convenient, is a slightly troublesome when it comes to inventory management. Also, you shouldn’t stop playing the game for too long, or you’ll risk forgetting details of the tortuous plot. All in all, these are but minor flaws that are easily outweighed by the high-quality design.

The Bottom Line

There are few crime story games out there, and even less good ones. The Lost Files is a thoroughly solid, atmospherically dense adventure. Worthwhile for anyone interested in an entertaining hunt for clues; a must for Sherlock Holmes fans.