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A writer has died. His daughter seeks the help of you, Ord Salamon, to find his secret last novel. During the search, questions will emerge. Did her father really kill himself? What is the secret novel all about? What is going on at the island of Fardo?
Release Date: Mar 20, 2014
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Buy The Samaritan Paradox

$9.99

Reviews

“It's well worth a play for anyone looking for an intelligently told, challenging story”
4/5 – Telegraph

“Puzzle enthusiasts should definitely check the game out. The journey towards the finale is a very entertaining and interesting one”
8.5/10 – Capsule Computers

“A political thriller whose hardcore puzzling and mechanics will greatly appeal to old school adventure gamers”
79/100 – RageQuit (Greece)

About the Game

A writer has died. His daughter seeks the help of you, Ord Salamon, to find his secret last novel. During the search, questions will emerge. Did her father really kill himself? What is the secret novel all about? What is going on at the island of Fardo? Crack codes, decipher secrets & find a lost fortune in this exciting adventure for Windows PC.

+ Old-school style point & click adventure
+ Full English voice acting, 2000+ lines
+ Hand-drawn art & animation, 60+ rooms
+ Original soundtrack by Lannie Neely III, 45+ mins
+ Additional languages (text only) included, EFIGS

The Samaritan Paradox is set in Sweden in the 80's. Ord Salomon has agreed to help Sara Bergwall find the book her father, Jonatan Bergwall, wrote before he died. During the course of this treasure hunt, he learns that Jonatan was investigating the weapons industry, and more specifically some covert affairs with foreign dictatorships.

But more questions arise. What is the book about, and why does Sara want Ord to find it for her? Did her Alzheimer's-stricken mother know the secret before she grew too demented to share it? And how did Jonatan actually die?

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: XP
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Debian 7
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Debian 7
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
75 of 81 people (93%) found this review helpful
322 products in account
11 reviews
17.9 hrs on record
So I bought this game solely based on the fact that it was published by Screen 7, the same company that published The Cat Lady, a fantastic point and click adventure in the same vein as this one. Despite this my hopes weren't set too high. See, I don't play these puzzlegames very often. And if I do, I mostly look up solutions if I don't find them myself within a certain amount of time, depending on how patient I feel that day. I couldn't do that here, so at points it was a scramble to find somebody who could help me(which I am ever so grateful for, grateful to the ones that helped me in moments of desperation). At points it was mindlessly trying every possible combination of items and move-sets to get things to work. This game was hard. I mean, it switched between real world logic and videogame logic in a way that really kept you on your toes - or made you bash your face repeatedly into a wall. This game is intelligent, especially when it comes to puzzle design. Every puzzle I didn't get at first, but later figured out(when I did it on my own), made me impressed by the way the game designer set it up. It wasn't a case of finding out what you missed and then feeling like an idiot(not as much as some games make you feel, at least).

There are parts of this game where I felt the need to write down symbols to crack a code, in real life. One could say I got invested into my character, immersed, even! Although I am not too sure how necessary it was, but post-FEZ I have a tendency to write down ciphers games give me. I truly love how games give you a mindset that you can use throughout the whole game. Where there are audial timings, visual timings, that takes play in the puzzles. Which is useful to have in mind during the whole game. The Samaritan Paradox doesn't drop parts of itself. It's a neat parcel. Puzzlegames can easily feel contrived at points, but this game didn't suffer from that same nuisance. Everything felt organic and was explained through story and environment.

The story:
We play as the suitably named Ord(Ord means Word in Swedish). He is a cryptologist working on his Ph.D, only he's lost all momentum. His life is boring, he spends the days vacantly listening to the vapid, dull voices coming from the TV. As we get reign of his movement, we decide to check the newspaper. A famous author committed suicide! It happens to be the same author that our friend (Magnus) conveniently gave us a book from, making us recognize the name. We call Magnus and tell him about this code we found in the first page of the book, you know, being a cryptologist and all, it happens. Not contrived. He suggests we should contact the authors daughter and let her know of this amazing find! "There's one more", as in one more posthumous book from said author. Ord contacts her and with his trustful face, gets her(Sara) to hire him, as her very own professional puzzle solver. With a supportive friend, and his well-meaning wish to give us back our lack of momentum through deadly adventure, we are unstoppable.

The Samaritan Paradox, it's all in the name really. Being this righteous, ivory tower-moral guider, being this way because of guilt. Making it the Samaritan Paradox. One is only good because of the blood that has already been drawn. It takes an act of evil to become lawful good. And when this moral highroad is nothing but a series of half-baked ideas and semi-researched claims, what good is the actual good side? The game doesn't say much beyond this, I suppose it doesn't have to. The game does leave you with a lot of questions, is the momentum from this adventure enough to fuel his thesis? Will the emotional damage Sara runs away from never come back to haunt her? Will suppression and delirium make reality less pungent? What happened with Magnus and the dinner date? What about the thesis? And the unpayed bills? I guess thinking too much about it doesn't change what's actually there. In the games universe everything ended happily ever after. The mirror image of reality based gameplay with reality based story would be nice, to me. But then again, only for the sake of symmetry. At times things may work out, lives can be lived happily in worlds of violence and corruption. Just try not to be cognizant of them. Spewing vague criticism is so much more fun. It makes you a good person. Everything is starting to feel like a paradox now.

This game is a corroborative delight. A hard and frustrating delight. Piquant visual style and, in truth, at points beautiful. Clever writing and puzzles that are always challenging are to be expected. I was not let down by this purchase. It took me the whole day to complete, and what a day it's been. It was exciting, truly. An intriguing detective story mixed with a fantasy side-story paralleled with the real one. A metaphorical storyline beside the real, adding a whole new layer to the game. A nice escape from the mundane cityscapes, it kept the game fresh and provided some real nice landscapes.

Apart from some of the voice acting(which is to be expected from a lower-budget title), everything was excellent. If you are not too put off by the pixel art I would wholeheartedly recommend this game, it's cheap and it has at least 8 hours in it, if you solve puzzles quickly. Enjoy!

By the way, be aware of some bugs that could make progressing weird, save the game as often as conveniently possible, if things seem wrong, they probably are.
Posted: April 19th, 2014
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23 of 23 people (100%) found this review helpful
386 products in account
39 reviews
13.2 hrs on record
The Samritan Paradox has many good points, but has quite a few negative ones too. I actually considered using a "pros and cons" list for this review simply because it has many points on each side. I can't bring myself to do so, however. So...I guess I will try to keep it short (I won't. I don't think I have the ability to do so. TL;DR at the bottom.), but give you both sides.

Overall, I do consider this a solid entry into the point and click adventure genre. It has its flaws, but I enjoyed the game none the less. The story is OK, and has an interesting split to it where you are in the real world and you have this book that you are searching for in which you (the player, not the actual person in game reading it. That would just be silly :P) warp into it and play the character of the fairy tale when you read it. This sounds way cooler than it is, but it does offer you a different setting, and ultimately is the place you find the twist of an ending. You solve clues throughout and are on a search for more chapters of this book as well as dealing with the mystery of a dead author.

It has what I would call a bit of a "schocking" and almost asinine ending to it that I think most will consider worthwhile anyways. It definitely will make you say "WTF" when you get to it. You might be able to see it coming, but I think they tend to hide it fairly well so it should be quite unexpected to most. Whether you like it, or not is another matter. I'm not sure I liked the way it was handled for the subject matter, and the reveal is something that I think you can call "shock value". Probalby won't make you think much as the depth isn't there. Subject matter is worthy of discussion, however.

Sadly, the dialogue and the voice acting in the game throughout are fairly weak. Voice acting is very monotone, and the dialogue is passable, but feels more appropriate in a cheesy detective story most of the time (not in a noir way, or clever way, but cheesy like I said). Of course this game is pretty much a mystery/detective story most of the time, but I'm not giving it a free pass for that because the dialogue is quite weak otherwise even if you consider it being a mystery. It's not a smart dialogue either way.

The puzzles can be quite difficult and offer a nice bit of variety ranging from riddles, cross-referencing game materials and items in smart ways, poetry, and some extra thinking about just what some of these puzzles mean that are sometimes a bit difficult to pinpoint. It has a few puzzles that use symbols and the riddles probably require you to write them down to remember them well enough to figure out the codes they represent. The Samaritan Paradox definitely deserves praise for having solid puzzles that aren't way too easy like most adventure games these days. They are more on the level of a game such as Syberia (difficulty and depth, but not necessarily as intuituve), so fans of the genre I think will be quite satisfied with the effort here.

The technical side of the game has one very major annoyance to it that I can't leave out. If you have played games like The Cat Lady where it has the item bar at the bottom of the screen you will be familiar with it when you see it here. Unfortunately, The Samaritan Paradox has a sort of "floating" item bar that simply gets in the way far too often. With many interactive locations and objects being near this bar you will see the item bar jump up a bit for some reason so that it gets in the way. It does this because SOME exits and other objects are actually under the bar as it sits in the active video screen. You can deal with it, but the game would have been far less annoying if it had a fixed bar and the active screen was just fixed above it with no interaction between the two.

The item bar is by far the most annoying thing in the game and nothing else is even bad by comparison. The graphics are acceptable, but nothing special. Settings were average with a spatering few scenes that looked inspired to any degree. Definitely not a game that will make you oooh and ahhh over the animations. Character models are generic in game, but the dialogue models are decent.

I got this game in a bundle for very cheap so I was quite happy with it at that cost. I don't feel the price for the game is unreasonable if it were maybe on a 50% off sale at $4.99. I don't think I would pay $9.99 for it. The game offers a decent playtime for an adventure. I'm not sure how long I played as I left it running for a while one time, but I would say it definitely should give you 5 or more hours. Considering some of the puzzles you may need to look for help on, and some walkign back and forth to figure things out you could easily put in 5 hours or more. Replayability I would say is very limited as the main part of the ending is the same every time, but there is one other small thing that can be changed in the ending to give you a slightly different one. This only requires about a 20 minute step back to achieve (I beleive it has an achievement for both sides) so it isn't something that changes the game much at all.

TL;DR: Above average adventure game, very good puzzles, shock ending, and mediocre dialogue and story overall. Still a solid adventure game that is worth playing for fans of the genre. 7/10
Posted: August 5th, 2014
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
41 products in account
5 reviews
13.3 hrs on record
Good old fashioned pixel hunting game with some fiendishly difficult puzzles.

Story: The storyline is divided into two: you play as Ord, and as the heroine of the last book written by the writer. The first gets more and more complicated as you search for more book chapters and delve deeper into the writer's life. The part you play in the book has a fairy tale feel to it which offers a nice contrast. There were some surprising twists towards the end but I thought the game concluded with the loose ends tied up neatly.

Graphics: reminiscent of earlier LucasArts' titles.

Music: subtle and well-matched for the different sections of the game.

Voice acting: I thought this was very well done, as all the voices were convincing and no overacting. Ord Salamon sounds just like a mild-mannered cryptologist/PhD student who is described by his friend as "the police use the photo of your face to calm rioters".

Gameplay: I spent around 5 or 6 hours so far on this game and only just got to Day 3. But I am getting on in years so perhaps the whippersnappers will get through faster.

Overall: highly recommended if you like a good detective thriller with challenging puzzles.
Posted: April 22nd, 2014
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
469 products in account
46 reviews
8.4 hrs on record
It must be a natural law that well storied point-and-click adventures have to have bad graphics to be seen as serious stuff. The Samaritan Paradox is one of these. A resolution of 640x400 must be enough (and on D3D9 its even half size lol)

Actually you play two different stories:
One takes place is Gothenburg, Sweden in the 80ies with a murder crime scene and you as the cryptologist Ord (yeah, that's a name) searching for three chapters of a mysterious book hidden by the victim, a famous writer. The second is the story of the book: A medieval fantasy story with dragons and wizards. In there you are a female named Freya. Somehow there are some parallels between the fantasy story and the real world as you imagine.
Alltogether It's really amazing how innovative and various the riddles in this game are. Sometimes there are fast click actions where you must hide quickly behind doors. Another times you rebuild star constellations on a dame chess board. You must find combinations of items, transcode messages and working as a hobby detective. Highly enjoyable!
The final conclusion is, you'll see then, the irony which the samaritan paradox means. Somebody how is helping poor people in the third world but in order to hide his illegal business activities. And someone who slayes dragons and poison people to find the love of his/her life and pretend to the people that he/she saved them all.
In the end remains just one question: Who does seriously take care of the sea otters?
Posted: August 16th, 2014
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
20 products in account
1 review
13.9 hrs on record
A very nice old-faschion adventure, I really like the story and how the McGuffin has been used. The graphics is a little bit too static, but very bound to the 90's! The riddles are good and not too hard to solve. I hope there will be a sequel, because I liked the idea of a cryptologist as main character.
Posted: May 3rd, 2014
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