Castle is this crime drama TV show on ABC that's been running for several seasons. It follows mystery novelist turned investigator Richard Castle and homicide detective Kate Beckett.
Apparently it's pretty popular and has won many awards.
I've never seen it. I can't even remember the last time I watched network television. Nowadays I just netflix everything.
It's kinda weird that I decided to play through this game then. This feeling of weirdness isn't helped by just how bleah the direction of this game is. Licensed games are a crapshoot. Usually they're trash or have little to do with whatever it is they're licensing. NJABBIC is the latter.
Like I said earlier, I've never seen the TV show, but I'm going to assume that it has capable writers that help bring the characters to life. Everyone in this game has cookie-cutter dialogue, most of the jokes are stuff you've read/heard too many times, and there's just no personality. Even the sub-title of this game makes me feel a little ill. Never Judge a Book by its Cover? Oh... Castle is a novelist..so books..covers..There is a mystery and...BARF.
Aesthetically, the game isn't much better. The technology is available, but I think more effort was spent on having the characters only slightly resemble their real-life counterparts. Also no matter the situation, everyone has the same facial expression. People are getting murdered and all of the characters have this perpetual smirk. "Look at me! I'm so smug! I'm solving a murder mystery!" The TV show is apparently really good, but this game gives a really bad impression. To be fair the mystery itself is actually pretty decent. It could be the plot for a solid two-parter.
This is probably my first foray into the hidden-object/puzzle genre. This resulted in even more weird feelings than originally thought possible. In the very beginning of the game, Castle has to collect some stuff from his den. I walk in and it is the biggest mess imaginable. He's got gloves, shoes, watches, belts, horses, cats, dogs, fruit, vegetables, and all sorts of other crap just lying around. I go somewhere else and it's the same damn thing. Apparently that's normal for the genre? Wow. It's pretty entertaining finding all the hidden stuff, but the massive leaps in logic is...normal for the adventure games I grew up with.
This game is a master-class in "adventure game logic". Everything you pick up is used once and then discarded, even if it could be useful in the future (like a screwdriver). Instead Castle will find another object that achieves similar results. Some of these puzzles are laughable in their absurdity, like everyday houses having strange locks that require intricate jewelry or random objects. This is some Resident Evil-level ridiculousness. If you ever stop to think about what you're doing in this game, your head is liable to explode.
At one point you have to get some tongs that have fallen in a hot grill.
-Don't ask how the tongs got under the grates.
-You have to cool off the grill to get the tongs.
-This grill is located on a porch, but you can't use a water hose.
-You have to buy a soda from a machine located in a storage facility.
-Castle is a successful author who lives in a loft in New York City. His rent must be over $10,000 a month. He doesn't have $2 to buy a soda.
-He has to solve puzzles to find $2.
-WHAT THE ♥♥♥♥?
Thankfully, there aren't any ways to totally screw yourself. In other words, there is nothing you can do that would result in an un-winnable game. If you get truly stuck you can access a handy skip button.
Finally there are the logic puzzles. No hidden objects, no finding things to open other things, it's just you and a puzzle. The puzzles in this game are all pretty good, although a couple of them (wires) it's much faster just to solve via process of elimination.
That's the extent of the game really. If you're a fan of the show, don't expect to enjoy this game more than a non-fan. It's possible you might even enjoy it a little less, just because of how poorly-written the characters are. Still, if you happened to acquire this game via a bundle and have a couple afternoons to kill, it's not bad at all.
Now I'm tempted to go through my Steam library and see if I own any other Hidden Object/Puzzle games.