Reviewed: October 24, 2007
Released: October 27, 2007
Agatha Christie: Evil Under The Sun is the third installment in The Adventure Company’s Agatha Christie series. In Evil Under The Sun you play as the famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, once again, who shows up on Seadrift Island for a bit of relaxation. But alas it does not last long. You are thrown in the fray of yet another murder and must put your little grey cells to work to solve the crime. You are charged with finding the murderer of the famed actress Arlena Stuart.
Evil Under the Sun Features:
The gameplay in Agatha Christie: Evil Under The Sun is of your standard third person point and click adventure fare. I haven’t played any of the other Agatha Christie games, but I can only assume that they operate in much of the same manner as this game. I have however read the book that this game is based on and so far I like what I see.
In Evil Under The Sun, there are over 20 unique individuals that all have their share of problems and issues. At times I was asked by characters to aid in these matters such as a missing typewriter or building a blind. Evil Under the Sun does have a different way of presenting its story, and I like it. The game takes place after the mystery has been solved and Hercule and his friend Hastings are visiting one another in Hercule’s residence. Hercule challenges Hastings to solve the crime as if he was Hercule himself.
As stated in Evil Under the Sun by Hercule, you are given access to only the important information that is needed to solve the case. There are several features in the games that I thought were nice touches to Evil Under The Sun. Among them are the Stopwatch feature and the Fast Travel feature. First off, I will explain why I like the Stopwatch feature.
Now when I first read this game used a stopwatch I was like “Oh great, now I have to walk from one location to another like thirty times to get the times right”. But that is not the case at all. All I had to do was go to the starter location and click on the drop down Stopwatch icon at the top of the screen and Hercule went there. The screen fades out and Hercule is there. Then the screen fades again and he’s back to where I first clicked the stopwatch.
The other feature that I liked is what I like to call Fast Travel. Since this game is a point and click adventure you obviously point and click to move your character about the screen. The Fast travel feature is used by double clicking on the edges of your current screen to move quickly to the next one. This sure beats moving your character a little bit at a time.
Another feature that is fun is the Shadowing ability. Say if a certain person is being particularly weird, you can follow them at a safe distance to see what they are up to. You are also allowed at times to eavesdrop on your fellow guest to help you figure out the events to come. When you talk to anyone of the 20 characters in Evil Under The Sun, you are given a list of dialogue to go through. Sometime depending on the characters answers you are given even more questions to ask them.
Evil Under the Sun also feature an automatic journal recording that logs every important clue you will ever need to complete this mystery. Evil Under the Sun also features secondary mystery, which you try to solve as well as the main story. The secondary mystery involves the Finger of Suspicion, a device that looks like a severed finger in an ashtray. The Finger of Suspicion uses individual little cards with character names on them. You simply place one of the cards in the center of the tray and Poirot say a few words and the Finger points to one of the several actions that you can do. One of the most enjoyable things about Evil Under The Sun was, perhaps the added ending that was not in the book.
Visually, Evil Under the Sun is quite beautiful. It’s not as gorgeous as some adventure games I’ve played but it is still very well done. The hotel in which you are staying is done in Art Deco, which captures the essence of the Poirot universe. Actually everything in Evil Under the Sun captures Monsieur Poirot’s world to a tee. The scenery outside is beautiful and peaceful and if you are near the water, which is to say most of the time, you can enjoy watching the moving ocean water.
In a lot of games the background and foreground don’t move at all, but not in Evil Under The Sun. Since you are on an island it is only natural to have a see-blown breeze flowing across the island. This is captured by the plants and bushes swaying in the wind. The only thing that really bothers me a little bit was the characters. Don’t get me wrong, they captured them perfectly but I think the graphics are lacking a little on the models.
Several time throughout your adventure, you are presented with nicely done cutscenes. These cutscenes usually give you an insight to what is going on between your fellow guests or leads you into doing another favor.
The sounds and background music of Evil Under the Sun is well done. Since you are on a nearly deserted island, due to the war, there is little noise other than birds, and insects. This is fine by me; I wouldn’t expect it to be noisy. When inside the hotel, when you walk across a hardwood floor footstep can be heard, but when you transition to carpet little or no footsteps can be heard.
One of the greatest assets to the game is the voice acting. I don’t know whom they got to do Hercule’s voice but he sound exactly like the guy in the Agatha Christie movies. The entire cast in Evil Under the Sun is fantastic and I can’t express enough how much a good voice cast makes or breaks a game.
Agatha Christie: Evil Under had me from the very beginning. I’ve been a big fan of the books for years and when I got a hold of this game to review it I couldn’t wait to play it. You will be playing this one awhile. Sure the murder doesn’t actually take place until half way through the game but getting there is half the fun. AWE and the Adventure Company took a different approach from the rest of the series, and it worked nicely. Evil Under The Sun retails for $30 dollars and is worth every cent.
At the end of the day, Agatha Christie: Evil Under The Sun was a very intriguing experience. Several times I found myself stuck and going to that Finger of Suspicion to help me out. If you have played the other two Agatha Christie games by The Adventure Company, and liked them, then this game is for you. If you have never played an Agatha Christie game, then now is the time. Evil Under the Sun should be appeal to the detective in everyone.