Reviewed on PC

SHERLOCK

Reviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
STAFF REVIEWER
GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Everett Kaser Software
Price Range: $20-25
System Requirements: Win 3.1 or better, min. 8mb RAM, 3 mb disk space

Genre: Puzzle/Logic
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
   (excellent)
Violence: 5 of 5
   (none)
Adult Content: 5 of 5
   (none)

"Sherlock" is a fun and mentally challenging puzzle game. Didn't think those types of games existed any more did you? This family-friendly game has no violence or language, but be warned, it is addictive!

'Sherlock' banner graphic

Every one of Everett's puzzle games (including "Sherlock") are rated 'Exceptional' with Shepherd's Staff, a Christian Rating site for PC Games.

Game description from the EKS Web site: "Sherlock is a computerized version of logic puzzles, where you're presented with a series of clues that help you to determine the exact locations of 36 different images in a 6 x 6 array. Each of 6 rows contain 6 different images of the same type (faces, houses, numbers, fruit, street signs, or the letters "HOLMES"). The computer scrambles the locations of the items in each row (without showing you their locations) and then presents to you a set of graphical clues that describe the physical relationships of different images. You use the clues to deduce where things can't be (and where they HAVE to be) until you know where all of the images are located."

No one knows more about logic and puzzle games than Everett Kaser! Everett Kaser Software (EKS) is a professional master at creating addictively enjoyable puzzle and logic games! Few shareware authors achieve the quality that EKS consistently delivers. This reviewer challenges you to give the games a try (http://www.kaser.com). It would be very surprising if you did not thoroughly enjoy at least one of them! How can this be accomplished? EKS has a great variety of games that are different in game play. Let's focus on "Sherlock".

This reviewer's favorite game from Everett Kaser Software is "Sherlock". It offers a good balance: not too complicated but enough there to be challenging. "Sherlock's" screen presents a grid that you work from to deduce where each item is located (there are 6 specific items of 6 different flavors). Within each cell of the grid are small icon representations of all the possible items. Your task is to eliminate the ones that can't be there to deduce the one that must be. To remove the item's small icon, you simply right click on it (there is an undo button and also an auto notifier if you err). Depending on your adjustable handicap setting, some of the items may already be revealed at the start of the puzzle.

Surrounding the grid are both horizontal and vertical clues. The vertical clues are along the bottom. An example one may be the letter “L” is in the same column as the number "5". If either the “L” or “5” are known, then its complement can be chosen immediately since it is in the same column. If neither is known, the clue is not worthless. Examine all your columns. If any are missing the “L” or "5", you can deductively remove its partner since they “must be” in the same column. After they are found, you can remove that clue from your view by simply right-clicking on it (don't worry, you can quickly see the removed clues by clicking the “Other Clues” button). Another possible vertical clue type is what was described, but one of the icons have the universal “no” sign (red circle with a slash) over it to show that the one item is NOT in the same column as the other item.

'Sherlock' small button To the right of the grid are the horizontal clues. These are a little more complicated. One example is an item's icon with a left to right arrow and then another item's icon. Let's use the red house and the Stop Sign with the house being on the left. The clue is telling you that the red house is to the left of the stop sign. Or, for right handers, the stop sign is to the right of the red house. You can then examine your grid and see if that tells you the location of either or, at least, eliminates some possibilities. Another horizontal clue might have the letter “H” between the two icons. These are especially valuable as this still tells you the red house is to the left of the stop sign, but it also says that the letter “H” has to be between them!

Once you find all the locations of the items within the grid, you win that puzzle and move onto the next one. Before moving on, you are treated to a nice reward like a fireworks display with the icons or a tiling of the icons. Sound easy? You plan on just playing through all the puzzles right away? That is doubtful! In fact, this may be a game that takes you over a year to finish all of the puzzles! Why? Because there are over 65 thousand combinations.

Don't worry if the game sounds confusing. There is a built-in hint system that you can click on at any time (and it only costs you time, but you should generously use this when first learning to play). The game keeps track of your time spent in solving each puzzle. It averages all your times and keeps a running average of the last 100. It is nice to see the running average to shorten as you learn and improve at the game.

Sherlock Clue-Do set image From the EKS Web site, registered users can download different image sets if you don't like the default, built-in one. This reviewer prefers the “Clue-Do” set image, based on the board game clue. You will want to pick the image set that allows you to visually pick out the items the easiest.

In short, give “Sherlock” a try. The shareware version is a free download from EKS. If you don't like it, delete away. However, if you are addicted, registering it is reasonably priced. It only costs $19.95 (and $2 shipping within North America, $4 elsewhere). You can purchase it on-line for immediate downloaded to avoid the shipping charge.

Year of Release—1991 (DOS version); Windows mid-'90s



User Comments   [ Send Yours ]


A good one to replace the solitaires of all kinds - requires a bit more of logic and carefulness. And it is always nice to sit and try one after another combination :) My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Srebrna, age 21

An excellent game to spend a few minutes with. But I warn you, you might spend more time than you expect and then keep on playing even after realizing that. This is a hazard to your social life. I got the DOS version a long time ago and I still am enjoying playing it for more than 5 years, beating any other game I've played. This is a game of logic. You can finish a puzzle from 1.5 minutes to 5 minutes average. But don't worry, there are 65535 possible combinations of this game. So it would take years for you to play all these puzzles. And then even after you've solved all the puzzles, there's no stopping you from playing all over again since it's impossible for you to memorize every combination. Nothing offensive to Christians, except maybe for their friend, partner, child spending too much time engrossed in this game. There's a bit of a high learning curve. But once you learn the rules, it's addictive. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Marvin Bruce Galero, age 25

I totally agree. This is a fun game that teaches deduction and reasonings. It teaches logical thinking in a visual way kids will understand. The icons are fun and kids can make create their own icons and game pieces if they wish. The music is also very catchy. Because the developer is a small operation, this game isn't found in stores. I downloaded a free limited version and then loved the game so much I sent away for the full-version. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Carole McDonnell, age 40


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Review supplied by Christian Spotlight Guide2Games, a ministry of Films for Christ. Copyright © Films for Christ. Spotlight's URL: http://ChristianSpotlight.com E-mail usMailing address: PO Box 1167, Marysville WA 98270-1167, USA • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

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