The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes Preview

By Erin Bell |

If you’re in the mood for a mystery to really sink your teeth into, look no further than The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, this upcoming puzzle adventure / hidden object game boasts not just one, but 16 original cases to solve, all of which are crafted in the style of the beloved Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

"Come Watson, the game’s afoot!" With that classic phrase, you’ll be launched into the world of the eccentric pipe-smoking detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend and assistant, Dr. Watson as they investigate cases of forgery, espionage, theft, murder and more in 40 unique locations around Victorian London.

At the start of each case, Holmes and Watson must search the scene of the crime for clues that implicate various suspects by complete a spot-the-difference challenge that involves comparing two almost identical scenes side-by-side and identifying which objects are different or out of place.

After Holmes has established his list of suspects, there’s a hidden object round to gather more evidence for the case. You can use Holmes’ magnifying glass to examine spots up close, and you can find and click on bonus items like Holmes’ pipe and hat to unlock extra hints and a bonus chemistry mini-game.

The scenes aren’t just limited to seek-and-find; some of the items are also puzzles including anagrams, cryptograms, jigsaw and memory. For example, when you find a jewelled collar belonging to the spoiled cat Empress of Purrsia, the jewels have fallen out so you must replace them by matching the right jewel into the correct slot. Other challenges include solving a lock puzzle to open a box, and arranging bundles of rope in a basket so that none of them touch.

Once all the suspects have been identified, Holmes and Watson return to the apartment at 221b Baker St., where Holmes formulates his opinion of who the culprit is. This stage of the game is a Sudoku-style logic puzzle that involves arranging pictures of the suspects in the correct order so that the descriptions given in each row and column correspond. If a row says "Female," for example, then all the pictures in that row must be of suspects that be women. Columns have different description to match, like "Black clothes," "Glasses," and "Wears scarf."

Finally, you must narrow down the suspects in a memory game, where all suspects are shown paired with the clue item that belongs to them. After memorizing them for a few seconds, the suspects are shown again but one item is different. You must pick out which one is different to eliminate that suspect, until there’s only one left and you have the culprit.

With a giant map of London to guide you, fully voice-acted cutscenes, appearances by well-known characters like Holmes’ brother Mycroft and Inspector Lestrade, and delicious case titles like "The Vanishing Actress," "The Dockhands Spy," and "The Mystery of the Billiards Blackmailer," it’s easy to see why The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes is the first computer game to be endorsed by the estate of its author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Look for this title to launch in a couple of weeks, and stay tuned for our full review and strategy guide.

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