Review | Real Crimes: Jack the Ripper
Format: PSP | Genre: Hidden Object puzzler | Publisher: PSN | Developer: Sanuk Games | Release Date: 01/09/2010 | Price: £3.49
Peter Willington delves into the murky world of REAL CRIMES: JACK THE RIPPER.
REAL CRIMES: Jack the Ripper is a hidden object game…
..still here? Well now that 90% of potential readers of the words herein have left this article to go and read Daniel Lipscombe’s spot-on Halo Reach review or Greg Giddens’ fascinating discourse as to whether games can teach here at Resolution Magazine, the more casual minded can really rap as to whether this is one to add to your collection.
If you’re one of the even smaller minority of readers who are merrily consuming these letters and punctuation marks but aren’t aware as to what the genre consists, HOGs are the 21st century equivalent of Where’s Wally? albeit slightly more diverse in so much as there are several items to be found per scene, not just a hapless burke and his dog wandering through increasingly incredible scenarios.
Players are provided a list of things to find, some relevant to the grim, real life, fact based plot of the murder of five women in London – such as case notes, bones and knives – plus some a little less relevant and often downright goofy, which somewhat jars with the fairly serious context of the world in which RC: JTR is set. It’s all well and good providing variety in this kind of title, but when you’re on the search for a fish at the scene of a vicious murder, it all seems a little distasteful to the memory of the handful of human beings that met a gory death at the hands of Britain’s most famous uncaught killer.
In addition to finding pictures within a picture, the game also has a few other types of puzzle to provide a bit more variety to the guts of play, you’ll play ’spot the difference’, a shape arranging mini game and, god save us, a sliding tile puzzle number amongst others, but it’s all very standard stuff. It’s entirely possible to essentially ‘game’ the game, that is to say that you can move the cursor around the screen hammering the X button and you’ll most likely find every object required with no penalty. While this means that, should you not be able to find an object due to a lack of clarity on what the title is asking you to find – does ‘brush’ mean ‘paint brush’, ’scrubland bush’, ‘instrument to clean the floor’? – it also rips out any challenge there might have been.
The case itself is presented reasonably well, with elements of the case proper shown to the player through a series of well drawn still images, atmospheric sound effects and text, with a few good quality transitions between scenes and, on a technical level, the game runs smoothly and boots quickly whether on your PS3 or PSP, perfect for whenever you have a few minutes of play at your disposal and are in the mood for something simple.
Real Crime: Jack The Ripper’s simplicity is its greatest asset, never trying to blow you away with any aspect of its presentation or gameplay and in doing so is left to concentrate on hitting the key beats required from its audience, namely a you-know-what-you’re-getting, no nonsense picture puzzler. It doesn’t try anything new, but what it does do it gets right and ultimately, that’s what anybody still reading this wants, isn’t it?