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Private Eye Reviews
Author: David Whyld
Date: 2005

Reviewed by DIY Games (April 2005)

This is a superbly written interactive fiction game, which I highly recommend to everybody, but particularly to less experienced players. Unlike most other IF games, this one doesn’t require you to type in any commands; the interface only accepts numerical inputs, just like the “Make your own adventure” gamebooks. You play a private detective in the most clichéd film noir setting you can imagine. Surprisingly, the setting really works, and even the most overused phrases and sentences somehow sound authentic. The story offers enough content and twists to keep you occupied for a day or two.

Reviewed by Robert Rafgon

In this game you are a private eye, as the game title indicates, and you have been hired to investigate a kidnapping. Unlike the other games in the competition, this is not a traditional IF game, it is a gamebook style game, where instead of typing in commands, you get to pick which option you want. As mentioned in the "about" section this means there are no guess-the-verb problems, which was a relief after A Day At The Seaside. 

One of the best features of Private Eye is the numerous different choices and paths through the adventure, so there is lots of replay value to this game. The setting captures the noir detective genre, and it allows the author to showcase his normal sense of humour, which is always entertaining to read. 

It was a bit annoying on the first time that I was presented with six choices, but the only one that worked was staying at the office. However, as this was mainly due to my sub par detective skills, I was soon fired from the case anyway. I would have preferred not to have all of the potential choices mocking my poor skills though. Even when I had one of the other choices as well, it would be better if the invalid choices were not included, although of course this is much more difficult to program. 

Unfortunately I did find some occasional places where the game behaved strangely, such as: 
* One time the game refused to accept any numbers when the Feds came in during the kidnapping. 
* Near the end the game would not let me go back to find Kavallon after knocking the person out in the cell. 

I will admit that gamebook style games with this many paths are hard to make work though, so the author has done a good job to rid the game of most of the bugs. 

Overall this is a fun game, which I enjoyed and voted as the best of the competition. 

SCORE - 7/10 

Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.


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