Oberon will soon be following up Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile with a new interactive adventure based on Christie’s classic murder mystery Peril at End House. The game will once again combine an intriguing whodunit story with “hidden object” style gameplay.
The story, told through comic book-style sequences of drawings and text, is told from the point of view of beloved detective Hercule Poirot in a charming early 20th century setting. Poirot is supposed to have retired to Cornwall, England, but he can’t resist becoming involved in the affairs of a young woman named Magdala “Nick” Buckley who owns a nearby mansion called End House. After learning that Miss Buckley has narrowly escaped a series of strange “accidents” (including falling boulders and faulty car breaks), Poirot becomes convinced that someone is trying to kill her. But who, and why?
To get to the bottom of the mystery, Poirot must investigate the various rooms of the mansion, and several locations surrounding it, to search for clues that will reveal information about the secrets and motives of Miss Buckley’s associates. Each of the more than a dozen scenes will be littered with random objects, it’s your job to comb through the scenery and pluck out specific items that are on Poirot’s list by clicking on them. A handful of these items will prove to be valuable pieces of evidence, like a bullet, fur coat, photograph or letter – that will reveal a new detail in the story.
Sometimes the game throws you more complicated clues. For example, you might have to find four butterflies or two pairs of scissors, or you might have to pick up a series of objects and put them where they belong by clicking on them and dragging them to another location, such as tulips in a vase, eggs on a platter, or figurines on a shelf.
You must find all of the clues in each location before time runs out, with about five locations to search per investigation and a total of thirteen investigations. If you find yourself stumped, you can use a limited number of hints to reveal a hard-to-find object – but there are only five hints per round. Clicking on incorrect objects too often will shave some time off the clock.
Clearing a room of clues might yield an important Clue Card that represents a small snippet of conversation with one of the suspects. These can be analyzed in between rounds in the Clue Room as the story progresses.
And the end of each round, you’ll also have to complete a bonus mini-game that might involve piecing a newspaper clipping back together, cracking the locking mechanism to a safe, or filling in the blanks of an incomplete letter from Poirot’s secretary, Miss Lemon, that will reveal valuable new information about the case.
Miss Lemon isn’t the only beloved character from the books who makes an appearance in the game. Chief Inspector Japp of the Scotland Yard also turns up to help, as does Poirot’s companion and Watson-like “sidekick” former private detective Arthur Hastings.
Whether you’re an Agatha Christie fan, a hidden object game enthusiast, or simply love to sink your teeth into a good story, Agatha Christie: Peril at End House has all the bases covered. Fans can look for the game to launch later this month.