Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Persian Carpet doesn't have an individual Wikipedia entry unlike almost all of Frogware's Sherlock Holmes games. This is because the game is nothing but a horrid mutant sibling that the family kept locked in the basement out of the eyes of the world. For $10, you'd expect it to be at least similar to the other Sherlock Holmes games. Wrong.
The game was designed to be a casual take on the Sherlock Holmes games. Given the price and tedious gameplay, this game wouldn't even suit mobile phones. It feels more like a forgetable flash game that you found on the internet but with a price tag. It is nothing but a shallow attempt to emulate the classic Sherlock Holmes stories. The story is simple. A painter was found dead and wrapped up in an expensive Persian Carpet and the Holmes/Watson duo must solve the mystery. The story is however minimal. At the beginning of each level, Holmes explains to a mostly silent Watson that they need to look around somewhere to get closer to solving the case. Watson, we need to check the theatre. Watson, we need to look at the garden again. That's it. The story is told through the witness testimonies and clues you find across the game. But you don't get to take a second look at most of the clues and if you try to critically think about the crime, you'll soon enough forget it due to the incredibly frustrating gameplay. Don't worry. There is no bad ending. The final puzzle will explain it all.
The gameplay of The Persian Carpet is made up of two parts. The first is the puzzles which are fairly challenging and enjoyable. There are unfortunately a few frustrating ones that you can use your limited "Skip Puzzle" tokens to get through. One such puzzle was stroking water over a picture and then sponge it to reveal the image. The cursor doesn't read well and you have to spend minutes having to stroke every square until the game decides "Good enough" and finishes it for you. The second part is the most infuriating element of the game. You're sent to a room where you have to play I Spy for clues. But I Spy is fun. Many clues are either camoflagued with the environment or almost the size of a grain of sand. Even in my years of experience with all kinds of adventure games, this game has the most infuriating pixel hunts I've ever seen. I spent 30 minutes in a room trying to find this door plate that turned out to be the same color as the floor and that I came across by rapid clicking.
The game is thankfully short, only 1-2 hours in length. It doesn't help that the entry price was $10, the same price as most of the Sherlock Holmes games on Steam. Just after finishing the game, I went on to Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silver Earring (thankfully a much better game). But I soon discovered that some of the scenes were used for the Persian Carpet game. It turns out that Mystery of the Persian Carpet is not only shallow but lazy, stitched together with images from other games like a braindead Frankenstein monstrosity.
It's very disappointing to see The Mystery of Persian Carpet worth the same price as the Case of the Silver Earring. The Case of the Silver Earring has great voice acting, great graphics, less pixel hunt frustration and a much more interesting story. The Case of the Silver Earring came out in 2004. The Mystery of the Persian Carpet came out in 2008. The opening cutscene of The Case of the Silver Earring alone is much better than the entire Persian Carpet game. How did this mess happen? Perhaps I should send a letter to 221b Baker Street to have them investigate how such a terrible game was made and sold at equal price among its superior siblings.