Step aboard the 1914 Orient Express in this award-winning mystery adventure from Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner. Described as one of the best adventure games of all time, The Last Express is an intrigue-filled adventure set aboard the luxurious Orient Express.
User reviews: Very Positive (86 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 31, 1997

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Buy The Last Express Gold Edition

 

Reviews

“A mix of Indiana Jones and Alfred Hitchcock... A winner.”
CNN

“Exquisite design and a literary story... A trilling ride.”
Newsweek

“Intelligent writing, complex characters, unpredictable plot twists and some of the most convincing voice acting ever heard in a game... Remains intriguing all the way to the spectacular ending.”
Gamespot

Feature List

• 20+ hours of game play: interact with 30+ characters, move in real-time and converse with them
• Your actions affect other characters’ behavior, making every play-through different
• Rewind feature allows you to back up and choose a different course of action

NEW “GOLD EDITION” FEATURES:
• Advanced hint system
• New more intuitive UI & improved inventory
• Challenging achievements to test your sleuthing skills
• Cloud Saving (Steam)
• In-game bonuses (unlock characters biographies and more)

About This Game

Step aboard the 1914 Orient Express in this award-winning mystery adventure from Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner.

Described as one of the best adventure games of all time, The Last Express is an intrigue-filled adventure set aboard the luxurious Orient Express. In July 1914, on the eve of World War I, as the train departs on its final journey from Paris to Constantinople, the player steps into the shoes of Robert Cath, an American doctor with a mysterious past. A fugitive from French police, Cath boards the train in answer to an urgent telegram from his best friend – and plunges into a maelstrom of conspiracy, romance and murder.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
70 of 71 people (99%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Released in 1997 during the final stages of the golden age of point-and-click adventures, the game was eventually a commercial failure and out of print nearly a year later. It was extremely expensive to make at the time, and a lot of effort was made to make it as historically authentic and convincing as possible. They even found an old abandoned Orient Express stowed away for 50+ years on a rail yard somewhere in Athens giving them first hand sources to make the legendary train come to life.

The game itself in a nutshell is a murder mystery. You have received a telegram from your friend Tyler Whitney to meet him on the train to take a journey from Paris to Jerusalem, as he has found something that might interest him there. Unfortunately the protagonist misses the train thanks to unforeseen circumstances with the law, and the only thing Tyler is greeted with is patrolling police on the lookout. Still that doesn’t stop the protagonist from boarding the train thanks to a friend and her motorcycle. On board you are free to explore the train, but your first task is to reunite with your friend whom should be waiting in his compartment. As you open the door you are met his mutilated and clawed up body. Determined to find out what happened you hide his body, take his identity ready to seek out and find the killer of your friend.

What makes this game so unique and not like anything you have ever previously played is how the whole game is played in real time. The clock is always ticking on the Orient Express and you have both passengers and crew going about their own things no matter if you’re there to catch them in the act or not. By making it this way you never feel like the game is tailor made for you. Just sitting in the smoking car eavesdropping as the passengers babble on might give you important information or clues to your case or impertinent discussions about anything 1914 related topics or just ordinary daily life stuff - which is still very interesting mind you thanks to some of the most realistic and deepest characters I’ve ever seen in a video game. Never have I played a game with this level of historical authenticity, you are immediately immersed in this game and convinced that you are a passenger on the Orient Express on the eve of World War 1.

Being in real time you will obviously miss tons clues, discussions, dialogue and events the first times playing it. Every time I come back to this game I always find new and undiscovered information. You are of course still able to rewind or fast forward the game at your leisure if you feel like experimenting with different routes. The game features a bunch of endings and only the most determined will make it all the way to Constantinople and find out the truth about the fate of his friend.

I highly recommend this game for any fans of point-and-click adventures who wants to try something different. It contains a compelling story, excellent characters and great voice acting who all speaks in their natural language; may it be Russian, English, German, Serbian, Arabian or French. The graphics are cartoony, but very stylish – I think it fits great for this game. All the characters are based off real actors who were mo-capped into the game so it still contains a very realistic look despite having cartoony colours.
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
A fantastic adventure from Paris to Constantinopolis. A unique gameplay where every action count. Robert Cath's story on the Orient Express can stop at every station. You will need to play it a few times if you want to know every detail about Tyler Whitney's plans and past. I never finished the game like it should when i was a kid so i'm really glad they made this Gold Edition.

There's really nothing to dislike about this little gem. All i'm hoping is that Jordan Mechner will make a sequel/prequel so Smoking Car Productions rises back from their aches like a firebird and make us a real adventure game. Not some mash button party.

It's such a unique game. There's no reason not to buy it!
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
One of the best games I ever played with unique mechanics, memorable characters and touching story which is also history lesson of a kind.
A real gem!
I'm really happy to finally see it on steam!
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
The Last Express is a classic adventure game with a riveting story and brilliant atmosphere, it is perhaps my favourite story told in a mystery adventure rivalled only by some of the LucasArts classics.

I've played through this game multiple times over the last decade and I always enjoy the experience, it's like watching an excellent mystery movie, with interesting narrative and likeable characters and conversations which stick with you even after the game concludes.

However.

DotEmu has sacrificed what made this game a 'must have' in any collection, marred the game play with tool tips and icons which ruin the atmosphere of the game.

Sure, it plays in a higher resolution, and has compatibility with newer operating systems, but in the process DotEmu seem to have removed sound effect files such as the bustling wind from the carriage windows when they're opened.

I know it seems silly to nitpick on such minor details, but these minor nuances are what made me fall in love with this game.

Back on the subject of tool tips, the achievement icons that pop up in the middle of the screen when cinematic are playing.
And these can't be turned off. Not at all.
There is no option to turn off achievement or character bio/unlock popups, and they linger on-screen for up to 10 seconds.

The inclusion of (but to merit the ability to disable) tutorials is an insult to this game. Sorry you had to take the time to write them into the game, sadly they don't scream "GOLD EDITION" when the original title was a test of wits and observation skills, rather than telling you that the person you needed to talk to was currently having breakfast and you should annoy them.

I wouldn't recommend this VERSION of The Last Express solely that there are better, unadulterated versions available from other distributors, and simply put the term GOLD EDITION only exists because of a unlockables screen, which ultimately ruins the experience.

If the above could be toggled on/off or even removed, or even a purist setting, which disables on-screen prompts and hints, I would instantly regard this as the best version of the game available.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
This game is and always has been fantastic. Definitely play it if you haven't. It is a timeless classic. However, DotEMU, the company that has done the Steam version has made some misteps - the menus, hud, and inventory are not as good as they used to be. There were also a lot of little glitches throughout the game that were not present for me before, but nothing game killing I was also disappointed to see that the closing credits have been axed. (those who played the original release know what I'm talking about.)

The game itself though gets a 9.5/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Ah the last express! A masterpiece when it came out, hundred years ago... But it kind of still is a masterpiece, and now it looks like a real peace of antique art. It does have something great to offer though, if you can see past the technical aspects.

You are on the last voyage of the famous train the oriental express, just before the first world war breaks out. You arrive on the train just after the departure, finding out your friend has been murdered. Slowly you learn about the passengers and their complex stories and motivations, who all seem to intertwined. You really feel the tension of the situation and the looming war. It is a great murder mystery that you would snuggle up with in your sofa, but this time, you are really there, seeing and experience the train as the main hero.

Well, sort of. Due to restrictions of computers back then, scenes are more like gifs with few colors. I think the whole game was filmed, and then more than half of the frames had to be taken out in order to run well and save space.

But the style, and especially the colors work in favor of the game. It reminds of how commercial posters were designed at the time. The characters and writing is well done. It is particularly refreshing that people speak their languages, instead of everything being in English. Your character knows a few languages, and in those cases, subtitles are provided.

This is one of those games that made me interested in gaming: a chance to participate in a movie, an event that you have dreamed to be a part of. The whole idea of not just watching a murder mystery happening on this beautiful train, but to actually be the hero was what really drew me in.

What really makes this title even more special is that all passengers have a deeper story that happens with or without you. Instead of just running down a corridor, while a normal game would feed you events in specific order, in this game you can explore the train at your own leisure. You listen to people in order to understand their motivations and backgrounds. All the passengers have their own agenda and the game feels alive. Great AI considering when this game was developed (1997). You have to behave, think and act like you were really on the train. You have to think: "What would they do now? Where are they now? How can I get to them? What are the consequences?" It is not about just finding objects and pulling levels. Also, you could argue there are multiple endings. In my mind there is only one good ending, but then you can end the game in other ways as well.
The game has a nice chapter system, and instead of saving, the story has "time". You can rewind the clock if you mess up.

The game is also not trying too hard to entertain you constantly with music and fantastic events. You are on a train, that behaves like a train. People behave like passengers from the time. But it is not boring at all, there is a real mystery going on of course. I for example love it how you can choose to interact with your romance interest. What would you do in real life?

So what is not so good about the game?
Well, the game is a sort of a port, because the original would not work on today's PCs. It is quite buggy. It crashed a few times, and the language files don't work as I write this. No matter what you select in the menus, the game will set the language to whatever your OS language is. There is a hint system included, which is both good and bad. It is good because the game does not behave like a normal game, and there is no hand holding, which can be confusing. Some help might be welcome. It is bad because you can just look at all the hints and the game offers no challenge what so ever. I recommend you don't use the hints, and just rewind the time if you mess up, it makes you interact more with the game like you are there. There are some quick time events. Not too many thank God, but they are not forgiving and some of them you end up doing 20 times before you win.
And, this title is not for everybody. This is a great old piece of art which really focuses on atmosphere, immersion and story. It is not a "gamey" game which feeds you constantly in fear of you being bored. You have to assume what to do yourself. It is more of an interactive story, and I think younger players are not going to dig it very much. It has nothing of what newer games provide (of course).

I'm not pushing the "older games were better" cliché, because it isn't true. But I miss these kinds of elements this game offer in newer games. I would love it if someone did a reboot on this one, with today's technology. Or if there were more games like this where you are in a specific situation with developed NPCs, where the game assume you are not a complete idiot.

Recommended.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
The only thing i disliked about this game are the controls as they are a little outdated but overall its not that big of a problem and you get used it quickly.

I found myself intrigued by the characters throughout the game always wondering what else i could discover about them and how they may be related to the situation at hand. The game is played in real time and there are many different endings to the game which make it fun to keep rewinding and tackling situations from different angles to see what the outcome may be.

This was my first point and click adventure game and i really liked it!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
The Last Express is, surprisingly, a unique point-and-click (P&C) adventure game in first-person perspective taking place on the Orient Express train, journeying from Paris to Constantinople in 1914; only a few days before the First World War starts. While it is an adventure in its own right, it combines genres such as murder mystery, suspense, romance and an Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes like adventure all together in one solid package.

The story starts off with Robert Cath, a young multilingual American doctor, getting a telegram from an old friend, Tyler Whitney, about a recent discovery he made while Cath was retreated in Paris after a firefight involving Irish nationalist and British policemen. The proposition is to meet on board of the Orient Express going to Jerusalem, but just when Cath manages to get on board illegally (since he was followed by policemen), he soon discovers his friend was murdered in his own comportment. From this point on, the game begins as a simple murder mystery case, but the plot thickens as the story progresses. With Tyler gone, Cath takes Tyler’s identity throughout the journey as means of disguising himself, making his task of finding the murderer a lot easier and safer without anyone else knowing he actually died. This is where the game shines because it always provides something fresh and keeps the player invested in the plot. There is always an unexpected twist just around the corner, and you will eventually discover that everyone on board is not who they seem to be at first glance; a solid inceptive to find out what is actually going on. In fact, almost all characters are related to the main plot to an extent, like a big masquerade. Ultimately, from start to finish, this is one heck of a journey. Something big and eloborate is behind the plot and Tyler's death is only the catalyst. A memorable adventure throughout the 10-hour plot, at a normal pace.

What is unique about The Last Express is the real-time simulation mechanism. Nearly all the events happen in real-time, giving the player a certain amount of time to complete tasks non-linearly on board of the train. These can range from talking to characters, eavesdropping conversations (which can provide invaluable information on characters’ backstories) and searching compartments for clues. Time does indeed pass in the Orient Express, with every single clock tick. Moreover, all the NPCs are excellently programmed as well, since they go about their own things in real-time, so there is always the possibility of missing out on their acts in any playthrough.

It is correct to say that everything can be approached non-linearly within a time gap in the game. However, there is at least a certain point in the game which may require the player to do the specific tasks in an exact order since otherwise you end up to a dead-end due to a bug, I believe. In my case, avoiding any spoilers, I was supposed to put a certain briefcase (what is in the briefcase is for you to find out) which I retrieved in my own comportment but due to the chronological order I approached things, the briefcase would always disappear from my inventory when I was entering the comportment. Nonetheless, the simulation is nothing I have ever seen in an adventure game before and it is entirely functional and, yes, revolutionaly.

And this leads to another interesting thing which is the number of possible “deaths” the game can offer. Since tasks are meant to be done in a certain time gap, failing to accomplish them can result in different outcomes ranging from simply being killed to getting arrested (in different circumstances). Most of these trigger when you are too late since time never stops. For instance, at the start of the game, you have to find Tyler before anyone else on the train, otherwise they will find the corpse and stop the train to check every passenger on board, ultimately discovering that you do not have a ticket, leading to your actual identity. Thus, in a way, it is rather interesting to see the different ways you can “die” and increases the tension without actually being a frustrating experience. There is almost never that feeling that you are running out of time, forcing you to rush. How come?

Well, even if you die or made a mistake, The Last Express features a functional and unique Rewind button which always you to go back to whatever point in time you want. This way, you can approach things differently without getting the game-over screen. It works like a save file, albeit much more immersive. In reality, it works like in Prince of Persian (2003), but instead of seconds it can range from minutes to hours. And this is not a surprise since the same person who designed Prince of Persia also designed The Last Express, so the similarities can be spotted in this rewind feature.

The bottom line is that the player can take different paths in the game, leading to different final endings. Thus, chances are no two people will play the same game, increasing the replay value. For example, without any major spoilers again, there is a point in the game where you can either run away with the briefcase or hand it back.

The puzzles are definitely not hard to solve and the hint system in the Gold Edition is useful if the player ever gets stuck. In general, the puzzles are adequate but hardly a strong point of the game. Not because there are poorly implemented or illogical, but because they are less memorable. Actually, there are not that many puzzles in the game in the traditional sense of combining inventory items and placing them on things to see what happens. If applicable, the puzzles are mostly of “be there, at the right time” for the event to trigger.

While The Last Express shines brightly as an adventure game with a great plot and believable characters, it is visually outdated by today’s standards and did not age well. While the character drawings are acceptable, it might put off a number of people used to more realistic 3D graphics by how pixelated they look. Since the game back then (in 1997) used up 3-CDs, it can be clearly noticed that the developers had to compromise in the animation department to save up space. For example, travelling in the game is more or less static, along with the cutscenes. But bearing in mind the circumstances, being a 17-old game at the time of writing this, I strongly believe it does not break the overall immersion and spark if you accept the fact that the game is old. In fact, it might have been a great looking game back in 1997 on the 640x480 resolution monitors given that the developers tried creating characters which look more human than some cartoony sprites like in other old P&C adventure games. I respect that. Also, there are some fighting scenes with required QTEs which can be frustrating at times though. Lastly, one last grip might be the advertised length of the game. On Steam, it says the plot lasts more than 20-hours, however myself and other people completed it around 10-hours. While it is still a relatively lengthy game, especially for when it was originally released, I personally felt a bit disappointed by that because I always had the impression that there would be more stories to tell by the time you arrive in Constantinople.

Conclusively, as an adventure game, despite being visually outdated due to its old technology, The Last Express is an amazing game and a true masterpiece. It has everything: a great branched plot with many twists, well-written and voiced cast of characters, realistic circumstances with a choice-and-consequence mentality, and most importantly a unique and revolutionary real-time simulation mechanism to advance the plot. Easily one of the best adventure games ever made. If only the visuals were to be remastered accordingly, I would easily see this game wiping the floor with most other similar games out there, new or old. And to hear that the game flopped commercially at launch, it breaks my heart!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
If you like point-and-click noir-style adventure games, then this one might be worth checking out. It was made in 1997, but as i was playing I found I didn't notice that fact as much as I thought I would. I think it's the combination of the unique art style and the solid voice acting that drew me into the story and distracted from any graphical shortcomings. The gameplay stands up on its own as well, and though the clicking system can be a bit clunky at times, overall it's a fine interface once you get used to it.

Another strong point of this game is the cast of characters. Over the course of the journey, you come to know each of your fellow travellers and have to piece together the mystery that, as you proceed, you realize everyone else has a hand in as well. Despite the fact that the characters all come from different backgrounds, for the most part the tired stereotypes are avoided inasmuch as they can be in this style of noir investigation. If the game doesn't create all new archetypes, then it fulfills the existing ones very well.

Overall I'd say this is worth the asking price, as it will probably occupy a good 3-4 nights of gameplay for the casual gamer, all while offering a new perspective and a rather unique gameplay experience, the likes of which are rarely seen in titles today.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
There are many paths to a good game. This game found its path by taking a realistic approach to an intriguing story. Beautiful atmosphere. Interested in reading more? Check out the full review here:

http://www.thecareandfeedingofnerds.com/2014/10/guest-post-last-express-gold-edition.html
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
When you think about how long ago this game was made it really is a classic. Some of the things that take place are far ahead of there time and really worth your time if you are interested in where it all started. I was amazed by how alive the world is and the voice acting is still some of the best I have ever come across in any videogame thus far.

A true love letter to all the great adventure movies from back in the day. This game is by far one of the best point and click games money can buy, despite the aged graphics and animations. If you are a lover of adventure games, this is a must own title from one of videogames legandary creators. I got this on sale and maybe that is why I am over the moon about it, yet if you are a point and click gamer, this is still a no brainer.

The story is well written and keeps a nice pace from start to finish. The voice acting really does shine and has to be the best part about the game. It is as if you are watching a film sometimes and every now and the game just looks amazing for when it was made. The world around you functions without you having to set all the events into motion. The way things play out is very entertaining and you are rewarded for searching the entire train.

There are a few bugs here and there for windows that you might notice. These are not at all gamebreakers, just a bit annoying. Your character from time to time will get stuck in an action, for example you might move too many paces ahead of yourself and have to turn around. Also, the icons to move and interact with things get mixed up from time to time. These bugs can be fixed with a quick reload and don't happen often enough to destroy the fun.

If you are a lover of the classics and have some money to throw at this gem, then do just that. It won't let you down unless you allow the age of the animation and graphics bother you the entire time. Everything you need to get invested into a story is right here. Enjoy your adventure.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
I keep travelling back to the old school and the next stop is "The Last Express", an adventure game by Jordan Mechner, who is most famous for creating the original Prince of Persia. In "The Last Express" you play a man who answers the call after recieving a telegram from a friend who is bound for Istanbul on the famed Orient Express train. That's as far as I'm going plotwise because it would be doing a disservice to future players because it's one of the best things about this game. It's like a historical spy adventure murder mystery with some romance thrown in. The story, voice acting and music are all top notch. The graphics are "rotoscoped" and are early examples of all that sensor wearing/green screen technology so common in movie making today and they work very well. Another thing of note is that the game runs (mostly) in real time. The passengers will go about their business so if you miss something, you'll really miss it. However you do get a lifeline with a "rewind time" mechanic which allows you to run back the clock. It's pretty helpful when you make a bad decision. Unfortunately you will do quite a bit of wandering waiting for the next action to occur and the train isn't terribly big but you will know the layout very well by the end. Some of the QTEs are somewhat wonky but you get used to them fairly quickly. If you're an ADD type player looking for quick satisfaction, then you may want to look elsewhere. But if you savor slow burn, plot driven games where you take your time then this is for you. The story gets a 10/10 from me. Overall an 8/10 though.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
By far... One of the best games I have never been able to finish. I've purchased this twice on cd-rom, again on android, and now again on steam.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
This game is cool. It is more like a moving comic than a detailed game. But the game is fun because time is always ticking and the stuff you do impact what happens later on. I did complete this game after a few tries. When you realise in the future you have missed something in the past you can rewind time and do it which changes the game when you reach where you were before. If you enjoy puzzle adventure games you need to play this.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
76.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Favorite Pc Game ever. Since i was 6 lol
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
**minor spoilers for the beginning of the game ** This game has a lot of positive reviews, and I must admit there are some interesting and unique aspects to it, but I cannot recommend it unless you get it extremely on sale and are very curious. This is supposed to be a point and click adventure game where you are tasked to solve a mystery, but what I found while playing it was that you wandered around trying to find things to click on while hoping that said things didn’t suddenly and inexplicably end the game for you. This happens a lot. “Oh, that’s the E-break to stop the train? Guess I should have left that alone, but it was so shiny and clickable!”
The animation style is unique and it might appeal to some people. It looks old-fashioned, and since the game is set on the Orient Express, that’s probably on purpose. The gameplay consists of wandering around the same five or six locations while trying to “catch” people in conversation to further the plot, or sometimes people simply show up and talk to you. Often times I felt like I performed an action and had no idea why until the game explained it to me. For example, very early on in the game you come across a dead body. You have no idea who it is but the only thing you seem to be able to do with it is throw it out the window. If you do nothing, the game ends on your failure to act so I threw the body out the window and wondered what the heck was going on. Later on, the game finally told me who that was and why I threw him. I don’t feel like I’m actively solving a mystery when the game has to explain to me why and what I did after I already did it.
As I said, some people might enjoy this game. It’s a bit of a curiosity and it’s not a bad game per-say, but I could not enjoy it because I didn’t feel like I was solving a murder mystery (especially when I threw the body out the window).
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Seemsl ike an interesting game, but this port is terrible! It crashes every five minutes or so rendering it unplayable. Stay away.
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5.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
This game is the best.

A mystery on a train with genuine characters and a great plot.

Makes most triple-A $60 games look like the overdone nonsense they are.
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4.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
My favourite adventure game ever (and I've played 'em all). It is such a shame that this game is so little known and was not a commercial success upon release. I can only imagine the successors we might have been treated to.

You're solving a murder mystery on the eve of the First World War, confined to an oppulent train filled with an array of suspects representative of all the various factions and ideologies of the period. Being a history buff and a mystery lover, I was in heaven! There are some puzzles, there is some point & click, but the main puzzle of The Last Express is the train; the train, its passengers and their various (often conflicting) relationships, motivations & desires. You'll spend the whole game trying to figure it out. Brilliant.
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8.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
This game is unique, interesting, and well-written. It is also somewhat buggy, so be warned. The game is perfectly playable if you don't mind infrequent crashes, and audio glitches.
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