Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring
It’s hard as hell to write an introduction for Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring without falling into clichés! No-one will catch me saying “Elementary my dear Watson” of giving away a piece about the famous writer of the Sherlock Holmes stories: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The only solution is therefore to get right in it and take on the game with my faithful looking glass and the accompanying pipe ready for action !
The concept of this game is luckily a lot more original than my introduction! Where you expect a classic adventure, you’ll get a true detective game served which takes some well-known elements of the genre but also adds quite a few others aswell.
The biggest difference is in the gameplay as the movement, the controls and style of the graphics aren’t completely in line with what we’re used from this suffering type of games. You’ll move through the world with the proven Point&Click system. For most of the game this is efficient but in certain parts you’ll need to start sneaking, fast and precise. I guess I don’t have to tell you that the rather clumsy way of moving isn’t really appropriate for this type of action scenes. In fact, these are the least fun parts in the game and I wouldn’t have minded if those had been left out.
Most of the time you’ll be doing classic detective work with Sherlock Holmes or his faithful assistant Watson (you get to play both). This constists out of talking with different characters and questioning them. Most of the time this means listening and choosing a couple of answers from a list. Not really exciting but the voice-acting and dialogues are very enjoyable. Next to that you’ll be watching the screen for tips and clues necessary for the investigation (but those are sometimes hard to see). Another part of your assignment is collecting different things on which you can do experiments to discover new stuff. From time to time you’ll also get the classic adventure puzzle but the emphasys is clearly on the investigational work.
And that’s necessary as you have to solve a… (drums) murder ! The pre-war standing clock of Holmes shows the year 1897 and our piped friend is invited to a gala of Sir Bromsby, a rich industrial that’s celebrating the return of his daughter. Just when the man wants to address the crowd, he drops down and the main suspect is his daughter. Consternation all over and of course you can check out what really happened !
The storyline is the biggest pro of this product as it’s been put together very well and complex enough to keep entertaining. The end is also very nice so you won’t be disappointed while watching the final movie.
To solve the mystery you’ll have to run through some sort of quiz at the end of each of the 5 days. Here a couple of questions will be posed concerning the plot which you need to answer with yes or no. You do need to support your answer with the necessary clues you’ve collected while playing. This is certainly original but not really exciting. Also, failing the questions does not mean you get to know which ones you answered incorrectly which can lead to a lot of frustration.
The surroundings are very beautiful, colorful and detailed. Also the accompanying Victorian atmosphere is very well done but it’s a bit of a shame that the models of the characters are too stiff and makes them fall out of context. Also the lipsync could use some work and since there’s a lot of speaking going on in the game, this is extra sad. As said, the voices themselves have been very well cast and the soundtrack with pieces of classical chambermusic pleases us a lot.
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring isn’t a classic adventure filled with puzzles but on the contrary the game tries to approach the genre from a detective angle. This gives a refreshing appearance but the lack of true puzzles gives the impression that there’s too much talk and too little thinking of your own. The excellent story and good graphics and voice-acting make up for a lot but that doesn’t suffice to pursuade me of the quiz principle and the gameplay. True detective gamers of people looking for a refreshing concept in the adventure genre will have a lot of fun with this game but saying that this Sherlock Holmes adventure is a must have would be way too much.