Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds
Another hidden object game from Floodlight Games is available for the genre fans now. Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds has a few really nice touches. The game is polished in its story and graphics and the challenges for the players.
The mystery, involving the death of a
philanthropist's teenage daughter, is smart and well written.
You follow two detectives, newly assigned to the
SED, as they investigate the death of young Carmody Phelps. Nobody in
her life, it seems, is above suspicion; her parents, her ex-boyfriend,
even her best friend from school all seem to be hiding something.
You'll swap between detectives as they follow leads, and also process
evidence as the forensic technician. Apart from figuring out clues like Carmody's diary and bullets, you'll
have to interview witnesses and suspects; make sure you pay attention
to what they say, because you'll need that information to solve puzzles
later in the game.The object searching comes into play during the
detectives' investigations. They'll comb scenes not only for vital
clues – which are thankfully referred to only as "Clue" in your item
list – but also other random objects.
The locations are beautifully and realistically
drawn, but there is a mild amount of repetition in the collections of
things you need to locate. You're constantly being asked to track down
gloves (both alone and in pairs) and flashlights. It doesn't happen
enough to diminish the fun of the hunts, but it is a minor irritation.
A few puzzles are mixed in with the object
searches, and they vary from the simple (finding a keyboard and mouse
so that you can use your computer) to the more complex (assembling a
ring puzzle to unlock a safe). They're all skippable after a waiting
period, but none of them are too difficult or obnoxious, so you'll
probably want to work through them all.
The gameplay of Special Enquiry Detail is
top notch, but what really sets it apart is its well-crafted story,
which would be right at home in any crime show.
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