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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1996, Mike Oliphant

Gumshoe is a relatively short but fun detective text adventure. Although the plot could use more intricacies and the writing more detail, Gumshoe is still fun enough to compel you to the end. As a private investigator, you have been hired to prove that a client’s husband is chearing on her. The game is linear, and the puzzle are nicely integrated into the plot. You are never left wondering what to do next. The game is very linear – perhaps too linear for some, since it means you can explore only a handful of places at any point in time. However, I find the linearity to be refreshing and a good design choice in this case, since it allows the player to focus on events and characters more than deciding where to go next. The cast of characters is small, but well-designed: I especially like John the disloyal husband, the PI’s secretary Marge, and Detective Boggs.

Fun puzzles (especially those that require you to take photos at the right time) and colorful characters make Gumshoe a lot of fun to play. My only gripe is that the game leaves quite a few strands of unresolved plot elements at the end. If you like a short but enjoyable detective adventure that won’t tax your brain cells too harshly, this underdog fits the bill. It even has some of the coolest music in text adventures ;) Two thumbs up!

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