Remedy is the first game in the Carol Reed mystery series developed by MDNA Games, and although it has been out for quite some time, it’s only recently been released by several of the larger game portals. While graphically Remedy isn’t as good as later games in the series, such as East Side Story, it still measures up in the gameplay and story departments.
The heroine of the story is Carol Reed, a young twenty-something girl on vacation in Sweden. While there, she discovers that a long-time detective friend of hers has passed away. She learns that Conrad was working on a case when he died and resolves to finish the case and solve the mystery of his death.
In this first person mystery adventure game, you play as Carol and move through various locations searching for clues to unravel the mysteries. The game uses a point and click mechanic that is very easy to learn. Different mouse cursors indicate what actions are available at any given time. The arrow cursor indicates when you can turn or move in certain directions, left, right, up or down. A magnifying glass shaped cursor means that you can examine an object more closely. The hand cursor shows you that you can manipulate objects like door handles or cabinets.
When the game begins, you find yourself in a friend’s apartment in Sweden, housesitting while the friend is traveling abroad. You can explore all of the rooms and items that you can find – including the bathroom – for clues and objects that may be useful later on. Eventually, you will discover a package near the front door that will launch you into the mystery and start the adventure.
Throughout the game you will collect various items and clues that will be placed in your inventory to use later on. To access your inventory, simply move the mouse to the top of the screen and a small bar will appear, showing the icons of the items currently in your inventory. You can pick up the items, combine them with others and select them for use from this bar. Notes or letters may also be stored here and can be reviewed by right clicking on them.
The game play is very similar to the other games in the series – as in, largely non-linear. You are free to move about the locations at will, though certainly locations will only become available after you have completed certain tasks within the game. This can become frustrating at times, as your next course of action will not always be immediately obvious, but if you pay close enough attention to the dialogue with other characters and clues found in each location, you should be able to figure out what to do easily enough.
Almost every action you take will impact the story, however there are things that can be done that aren’t necessary to advance in the game. For instance, while rummaging around Conrad’s apartment, you can collect a bottle, fill it with water and water the plants, but this is not a required action to progress in the game. There is also a piano that can be played in the church, but again, this is not necessary to advance.
The graphics in Remedy, while pleasant to look at, are not the high-quality photographic images found in later games in the series. The scenes consist of images that appear to be photographs that have been altered to look more like paintings. An incredible variety of scenery keeps the game interesting as you move through the different locales. A soothing musical score, consisting of 22 original tracks, adds to the overall feel of the game and helps to keep the player relaxed when faced with some of the challenging puzzles.
Any fan of East Side Story and the other mysteries will surely enjoy Remedy. Although it’s a bit more "rough around the edges" as it is the earliest game in the series, the in-depth storyline and mystery will grab any Carol Reed fan!