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M (Mature)



July 2007



- A literary crossover that makes total sense

- Solid adventure game, which nails most of the conventions of the genre



- Not being able to make deductions and logical leaps by yourself



Review: Indigo Prophecy (PC)

Review: Post Mortem (PC)

Review: The Moment of Silence (PC)



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Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

Score: 7.0 / 10


sherlock holmes          sherlock holmes


Literary crossovers don’t seem to happen that often, but here we have the logical meshing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovercraft – Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos – in a pairing that dovetails perfectly into an adventure game.


Playing alternately as Sherlock Holmes and the invaluable Dr. Watson, The Awakened is an adventure game in the same vein as Myst – the locations are fixed in place and the area can be viewed by moving the mouse in a distinctly “fishbowl” fashion.  Even with that restriction the presentation feels somewhat flat throughout the adventure, which is the exact opposite that such a fixed




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perspective should allow – a high concentration on detail.  The effect it has is that possible clues stand out more.


The general guidelines of the adventure game genre are present throughout – this is good – but what isn’t so hot is that the plot is restrictively linear.  As fiction’s foremost consulting detective Sherlock Holmes 


operates on deduction, logic, and careful observation.  But the player is never allowed to exercise this logic to any degree.  The player may know exactly what the next step is by careful deduction but until the next prescribed step is taken there’s nothing you can do about it.  This is more a nit than anything because I realize that any implementation of a true Holmes detective story would require a massive infusion of cash and creative vision – if it’s even possible.  Holmes is used here to give the game a sense of time and place.


sherlock holmes          sherlock holmes


Narratively, the Awakened has enough going for it keep adventure fans on-track and the locations are varied enough to avoid a ton of back-tracking.  It’s also not for the squeamish.  If you’re comfortable with some gore, as seen in The Indigo Prophecy and Post Mortem, the brutal murders investigated as Sherlock attempts sort out the killings that are tied to the Cthulhu cult, won’t make you wince.


I’d like to say, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is good clean fun but it isn’t – it’s gory, but it is a solid adventure game without a reliance on mini-game padding or extended periods of backtracking.  Good stuff for adventure fans.


- D.D. Nunavut

(August 16, 2007)


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