DINNER WITH MORIARTYReviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
Dinner with Moriarty" is a mental challenge that you will enjoy. This is the sequel to “Sherlock” but brings to the table a lot more gameplay variety. “Moriarty” successfully scales six different levels of increasing difficulty. This family-friendly game has no violence or foul language, but will keep you glued to your seat!
A similarity to “Sherlock” is that each location will have a small icon for the possible items until the known item is chosen. As you deduce locations, you can remove a particular item from that location if it can't possibly be there based on the clues. The clue types can be one of the following:
Don't let that scare you off. Within the game, as you move your mouse pointer over each clue, there is a window box that describes the clue in exact language for you. As you learn them, you will find that you ignore the explanation box. Further, the game has an excellent hint system that gives you and informative explanation of how to apply a clue or interpret the game screen. Plus, closing the hint causes the action to happen (like selecting an item for its place setting or removing a possibility of an item from its setting).
Even though “Moriarty” can be viewed by some as more challenging than some of the other EKS games, an excellent tutorial is provided within the game. When you initially launch "Dinner With Moriarty", you will be presented with it. For a more in-depth introduction, just look within the help file.
For you bargain hunters, “Moriarty” may entice you. It has six different puzzle types! Each gives the game a slightly different flavor. The easiest puzzle type numbered one is a small table with only four place settings and only four possible items at each setting (guest, plate, drink, and food item). Perhaps this is the young assistant professor Moriarty prior to getting tenure and only living in an apartment? Puzzle type 2 expands the table to six place settings but still the same four possible items mentioned for type 1. The same six place setting table is used for puzzle type 3 except now each setting can have six items (the two new ones for the default graphics is what hat the guest is wearing and their favorite number). Puzzle type 4 is a reprieve since the table is once again only four positions, but now the four corners of the table have one of four possible items. For puzzle type 5, the six position table is back (but the hat and number are not present) and there are two possible items on the corners (a napkin has been added). Finally, the grandfather of them all is puzzle type 6. It is a six position table with six possible items at each position. On the four corners are four possible items (serving utensils and spices added). However, you can work yourself up to this challenge slowly.
“Moriarty” retains all the useful game features like the undo button and an auto notifier if you make an inaccurate deduction. Depending on your adjustable handicap setting, a certain quantity of the items will already be revealed at the start of the puzzle.
The game screen is made up of the table and the item possibilities. Surrounding it are the clues logically grouped together. The screen varies depending on the puzzle type selected. Because of that, this reviewer will not describe them all in detail. Download the shareware version to experience it for yourself.
When you find all the item locations, that puzzle is won and you are treated to a nice reward like a fireworks display with the icons or a tiling of the icons. Like other EKS games, there are more puzzle possibilities than you will ever be able to finish! The game keeps track of your time, so you can see how you improve.
From the EKS web site, registered users can download different image sets if you don't like the default, built-in one. A neat looking set is from McDonalds. You will want to pick the image set that allows you to quickly distinguish between the items.
Year of Release—1999
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