Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

There's nothing of interest down there

Holmes' new adventure requires the Ageia software drivers, which is exciting. Is there going to be a puzzle where you have to drive a remote-controlled car through a load of tiny boxes? Perhaps Moriarty turns out to be a skyscraper-tall mech, and you have to swing demolition balls into his shins.

Occasional physics puzzles there may be, but The Awakened is primarily a first-person point-and-click, so Frogwares win double-kudos for giving Holmes his first mission in which he strafes around a dockyard.

The storytelling and acting are fine, the script isn't terrible, and there's a drunk piratesque character with a hook-hand who scratched his worm-infested derriere with the wrong arm. Anyone expecting an "alimentary, my dear Watson" joke, hang your heads. He really hurt himself.

Frustration comes quickly. There are stages where you have to enter a word to continue, and the inflexibility with the game's rejection of synonyms is nothing short of infuriating. Harbour, Thames, Dockyard, Jetty, Wharf? If these moments weren't an impenetrable barrier to progress, it wouldn't be so annoying.

That's the beef. This game suffers from awkward trigger points - you'll be rudely hobbled until you've pointed-and-clicked at everything. Despite that though, there's a gentle, frustrating satisfaction to be had from playing The Awakened.

It's nothing more than average, and occasionally nothing less than irritating, but snakes do come out of a dead guy's guts. Fans of the genre should play this, maybe after most of the others.

The verdict

Point, click, ponder