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|1 Cup||Not serious entertainment|
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Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator Case 3 - The Sorceress of Smailholm
About this gameThe tiny Scottish village of Smailholm has seen better days. Two local children have been murdered, and the villagers suspect it's the work of witches.
Ben Jordan is called upon to get to the bottom of this mystery, but he may soon find himself in over his head...
Won, Best Original Story 2004
Won, Best Player Character 2004
Won, Best Tutorial or Documentation 2004
Nominated, Best Dialogue Writing 2004
Nominated, Best Music 2004
AGS Panel Review
"This time our awkward hero is pitted against forces far beyond his reckoning. A definite high point in the series, the story is strong and the ending will leave you wanting to play the sequel. A must for fans of the series."
18 people commented on this game (newest first):
Pros: Great characters, good plot, multiple paths, gameplay allows for a greater challenge.
Cons: Hmmm....honestly I can't think of any.
I always like multiple endings; it is really worth redoing to get the “good finale”.
The music was a brilliant match to the game. It’s worth playing just for that.
Atmosphere was constant, remarkable compared to its predecessors.
I found the cryptology puzzles fun to do.
Having visited Smailholm on holiday the one thing I would against it is the remarkable dissimilarity in reality.
I'm so addicted to Ben Jordan and this game was so worth the time!!
The puzzles are a little bit more challenging then in the previous two games but still not that very hard.
This game also have two paths at the end with two different endings where only one of them will give you a full score while still leaving some questions unaswered so you need to play both paths to get the whole picture and all question answered.
All in all it's a very good game even though I hope that the next Ben Jordan case will have a little tougher puzzles for us to solve.
Starting off, you are immediately introduced to the story, and a handful of characters. This really helps to make the player feel immersed into the game, and gives them information that will make it easy to figure out what do next to progress through the game. This concept is fairly consistent throughout the game, and you're rarely, if ever, left completely lost in figuring out what do to; One of the game's strengths.
But it's also the game's weakness, as you never feel like you're being challenged. I got through the game with barely a pause to figure out what to do next. Everything is more or less out there in the open, with the story often telling you what to do or where to go next. Puzzles aren't very challenging, either, with just a little common sense being used (sometimes along with hints provided in the game) to solve them. In fact, I think the only challenge for me was realizing that some of the things I found in the game were just red herrings, leading me to believe there might be more to do. This is all good and fine, but I would have preferred something a little harder.
One other thing I feel is worth noting, is the extra work put into the game by providing a small "handbook" to read outside of the program itself. It fleshes out the paranormal aspect of the game a little more, and provides some tidbits to use at certain points in the game. Not that big a deal, but I really do appreciate little things like this that further involve you in the story and the puzzles.
All in all, this is an excellent adventure game, with a solid story and sense of purpose to keep you playing through it. But diehard fans of the genre might not be too impressed with lack of difficulty. Regardless, this is one game everyone should check out.
I have long been completely in love with Ben Jordan's debut case, the Skunk Ape, and I really enjoyed the longer second case although it seemed to be missing some of the incredible atmosphere of the first game. Not so Ben Jordan 3.
I could tell I was in for a treat during the games opening moments. Ben's arrival in Scotland during a ferocious storm was positively cinematic. As I continued to play I was inecapabley drawn into the creepy conspiracy and was determined to play until the end in one sitting.
The graphics, as always, are delightful and the range of characters superb. MILD SPOILERS: there is the new angle of a love interest and the superb idea to include a sceptical British detective who is investigating the same case as Ben and wishes he would stay out of the way SPOILER END. There are also multiple endings to the game depending on whether the player performs one key action. SPOILER: Both endings are based heavily on a popular horror film classic which many players will no doubt appreciate SPOILER END. The music also keeps up its high standard.
Basically, if you loved the other Ben Jordan cases you'll adore this one. It marries the perfect atmosphere of the first case with the length of the second and the brilliant characterisations of both to create Ben's best case yet. I can't gush much more so just play the damn thing!