Walter Jones, a billionaire had planned on opening up a resort for the rich and famous, but was killed before his dream could be achieved. It's up to Detective Jack Norm to crack the case by interviewing the people on Sinking Island to get valuable clues.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (67 reviews) - 73% of the 67 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 4, 2007

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About This Game

At the base of a cliff on Sagorah Island, 82 year-old American billionaire Walter Jones is found dead next to his life's work; a massive Art Deco tower he had dreamed would become an elite getaway for international jet-setters. The only clues found at the scene include his wheelchair, abandoned at the edge of the cliff, and multiple scratches on his face. One of these scratches appears to have been made by a woman. Ten people were present on the island at the time of his death, among them the heirs to his vast fortune and legacy. Was his death an accident or murder?

Players assume the role of Jack Norm, a federal agent turned private dectective, who is taking a break in the atolls of the Indian Ocean when an old friend requests his assistance with the case. Jack has just three days to complete 10 gameplay missions, collecting valuable clues and storing evidence in his PPA (Personal Police Assistant). He will interrogate each of the 10 unusual suspects, using his keen deduction skills to determine who among them may have the most to gain from Walter Jones's death.


  • An engaging and innovative game.
  • Choose between two styles of gameplay to carry out your quest: Time Mode or Adventure Mode
  • Another classic adventure game by French author Benoît Sokal
  • Interrogate each of the 10 unusual suspects, using your keen deduction skills to determine who among them may have the most to gain from Walter Jones's death.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card 3D, 64 Mb
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card 3D, 256 Mb
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (67 reviews)
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37 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
I started playing this game after the patch that fixed the issue with game stopping after 60 minutes. The game is working for me with no problems. I am playing with Windows 7 64-bit operating system.

I am a big fan of Benoit Sokal's artwork ever since playing Amerzone and the Syberia games. The artwork is what gets me playing these games, the story is secondary. I do wish I was able to skip over some of the dialog. In Sinking Island you play a detective so there are lots of clues to collect and people to talk to. The "personal police assistant" (ppa) takes some getting used to but I'm getting the hang of it. You really have to look at and compare all the clues.

Still, I'm enjoying the game for all the pretty scenery. I love the art nouveau decor very Mucha (hehe).
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32 of 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
This game is, in my opinion, extremely underrated. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing and playing it can feel oddly like taking an actual vacation. The story is solid. Making progress in a few of the later "key question" resolutions is the most troubling point worth mentioning -- one of these in particular requires an extremely counterintuitive selection of evidence to move the story forward. However, this comes late enough in the game that only players who are enjoying themselves enough to forgive it are likely to hit it in the first place.

It must be mentioned that this exact version, newly released on Steam, seems to suffer from some puzzling new bugs. The most problematic (the one hour crash) seems to have been fixed, which is great. However, lip syncing still seems to be conspicuously absent. I have an older version of the game installed on my PC simultaneous with the new Steam version, and the older version manages both of these points just fine. I'm unclear on how or why these things ended up broken. Assuming they're all fixed as quickly as the first bug was, this game will be perfect for fans of the adventure game genre.
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 4, 2015
I bought this game after the 1 hour bug had been fixed, and everything else seems to work as it should.
As a fan of this type of adventure game, I thoroughly enjoyed playing sinking island. The scenery is beautiful and the storyline kept me interested right until the end. The use of a special police computer system, used to track where suspects are on the island and collect evidence among other things, was an interesting idea and set the game apart from similar games in the genre.
I only encountered two points in this game which detracted from the enjoyment. The first was that none of the characters are programmed to move their lips when speaking. This leads to a quite comical scenario involving audio playing over an animation of the characters gesturing wildly, which can be a little distracting.
The second point I disliked was the phone you carry with you, which rings at seemingly random moments, causing you to go back to your room and have a conversation. Moments of frustration happened at times, as I was just about to solve a puzzle and -ring ring- got teleported six floors below to listen to a phone call and then walk all the way back up.
Despite a couple of problems however, this was an overall enjoyable game and well worth the money.
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
This game is amazing, it may be old but the graphisms still impress me. The plot is fluid and clever and everything is made for the player to feel like a true detective, from the clues management interface to the way you can collect evidences and talk to the suspects.

Definitly a very good adventure game.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
As a detective game, it fails in the most important aspect of that genre: Logic and puzzle solving. This review is a long rant just about that, nothing else.

At first, I very much liked that you can ask anybody about almost anything, and gathering much information even before you know you need it. However, this leads to some problems, because - given that design - the dialogues, and their logging as usable hints, and their value as hints have to be thoroughly checked for consistency to avoid the following situations:

- You can get the same story from several different people, however the games wants you to pick a specific statement of a certain witness as the relevant cue in the formal puzzle soving part, though multiple ones are logically valid. That means, you either have to check every possible combination of cues hoping its the ones the game expects, or look it up in a walkthrough. Even sometimes the information you get told isnt logged / available as cue for the formal puzzle solving part though it is identical to what other witnesses said. An exact copy but cant be used as such. That means, valid information cannot be used, because the game does not accept them all, just a special subset and number of them. Seems to me like the programmers / designers filled holes in the dialogues by other dialogues, making them copies but not acepting these copies as valid in the puzzle solving. I have made the exact answer to some puzzles, but using some of the other redundant cues and not the ones which are (invisibly) formally defined as the vital ones.

- Filling dialogue holes with valid information leads to an even stronger problem: Sometimes it is the less informing cue you have to choose in the puzzle solving part. For example, for a certain puzzle, two statements were given by the same person [maybe its due to a translation mistake in the german version, however, I translate back into Englisch, but dont know what the exact english phrasing in the game is] :
1. Generally, he wears his necklace at all times.
2. I remember him wearing his necklace that evening.
So which one is the more informative if you need to know if he was wearing his necklace on that evening? Well, according to the game you have to choose the less specific version 1 to solve the puzzle... seems like the dialogue hole unfortunately wasn't filled with something irrelevant, but with something more relevant than what they thought it should be.

- Sometimes, these presumbly filled dialogues lead to situations where a witness / suspect contradicts himself very bizarre. Again, it is about the necklace again, an happened within seconds in the same interrogation:
Q: Did you remember him wearing the necklace that evening? A: No.
Q: What happened to the necklace? A: I took it from his neck that evening.
Alright, have fun now with figuring out how to solve a puzzle with this. In that subpuzzle, you have to pick that he took the necklace from him, along with several other persons that told you that he is normally wearing his necklace (but only the general phrase, not the specific one for that evening which one of them gives).
So, to "solve" the puzzle, you have to ignore that suspect x cannot remember if he was wearing the necklace as well as that he remembers taking it from his neck, and you choose the latter option (taking it from him), and you have to additionally add as cue his fingerprint on the necklace (which would be alone enough to answer the question the puzlle wants you to solve).

- To make this all worse, there is bar that tells you if you have all the information needed. However, it isnt correct. I had a full bar, meaning I should have all information, and was trying out all the possible combination in the hope to find the one that the game expects from me. After having fiddled a long time, I gave up and looked it up in a walkthrough. Guess what: I was still missing a cue. Thank you very, you ♥♥♥♥ing game, you are telling me that I have all the cues I need, but you won't let me solve the puzzle because I am missing a cue. Perfect. You took the ♥♥♥♥ out of me another time.

Concluding, there is both reduncacy as well as contradiction in what you are told (resulting from presumaby filled dialogue holes and dirty programming), but absolutely no exchangeable cues, no mercy, no nothing when you have to choose the one and only exact hints to solve the puzzle part. All of the hints are identical screws, but only some of them fit. The game wants you to be exakt when it itself is fuzzy as hell.

Great design idea, but pretty much messed up by quick and dirty writing of the dialogues.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
119.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
[NOTE: Don't be mislead by the amount of time Steam says that I spent playing this game...I work long hours and often fell asleep with it running. There's no telling how long it *actually* took me to finish.]

THIS was a good detective game. Very involved, complex, but not to the point of confusing.

I loved that the characters each had unique, developing personalities and opinions on freakin everything. And the player character, Inspector Jack Norm, was refreshingly friendly and spirited, instead of the smug, jumping-to-accusations sort of detective that are so common in pop culture these days.

Only real annoyance in the game: getting around.
Moving about the island and the tower seems to take forever as the player has to click across one screen after another to get anywhere. You've got to have a little bit of patience for that.

Fortunatley, the detailed scenery is non-stop breathtaking, so even that isn't so bad.
(Kudos to the talented artists and designers behind the game. You guys really did your homework with all that Art-Deco architecture.)

In short: Great mystery game. Buy it, savor it. Look everywhere, touch everything, talk to everyone. Twice.

....The ending cracked me up though.
"What's going on, Norm?"
*turns around*
Oh hey huge sudden group of people.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2015
I liked this game very much. As usual, Benoît Sokal's backgrounds are breathtaking and the scenario complicated (in the good sense). If you don't mind walking back and fro among the island, then in the gigantic hotel looking for clues, this is for you. The story is quite detective-style, a lot like the Sherlock Holmes games, with the same qualities and the same flaws.

Unfortunately, in this kind of game, I find the conclusive clues very subjective: you might think that a broken chain is a proof but the game decides that it's the picture of the missing link that is decisive. So succeeding to the next chapter is, sometimes, pure hell (excuse my french). One might prefer to look at a walkthrough instead of constantly changing your conclusions, blindly, hoping for the best.

Beside that little inconvenient, the game is still quite addicting, with no bugs at all, and I got the chance to buy it at 2,19 CND$.

I recommend it highly.
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16 of 26 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
12/8/14, game has been fixed and I am able to play again.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
Recommended for fans of the genre. Not for the typical gamer.

This is a murder mystery game. The story is quite good, and the solution is revealed step by step. You won't guess it right away.

Positive points:
+ Good story. Actually quite sophisticated and nuanced
+ Everything is voice acted, and the voice acting is pretty good
+ Different and unique kind of game. You won't find something exactly like this
+ Great mood due to artistic visuals and music
+ Cool game mechanic where you have to put together clues to solve subplots
+ I really like the end sequence where the crime is being wrapped up

Negative points:
- You walk around a lot. Some people will hate that
- You basically ask every single witness/suspect about every single thing you discover. Some people will also hate that
- A bit old, so it doesn't look like a really cool modern 3D game. Some people will also hate that.
- One or two times I simply couldn't find a missing clue because I had to notice a very small clickable area somewhere

But if you are OK with the negative points and really just want a great crime story, this might be a game for you.
It took me 10 hours to complete. I think I was a little bit fast, but I would say the game will take 8-14 hours for most players.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
65.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2015
Would like the clues to be left in place when they are correct. Also would to stay still and listen to the characters speak not be allowed to walk off and miss the conversation between the characters. This makes the game more interesting.
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Recently Posted
Mr. Taruf
4.5 hrs
Posted: September 29
I haven't played a proper (ie: game that hooked me) adventure game in a long time.
The "action" starts quick and puts you in the shoes of a detective investigating a murder. Fans of Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes like myself will enjoy this greatly.
The plot is uncovered by talking with suspects / witnesses, gathering and crossing evidence. This is actually an interesting mechanic, where the player isn't limited to finding clues, he also needs to analyze and cross them.
Enjoying it very much so far.
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14.2 hrs
Posted: September 11
Well, I must say I liked the game a lot, because it did not consist of inventory puzzles like other adventures, and instead focused on police work - gathering evidence and clues, comparing statements, formulating hypotheses and trying to prove them. The story, the setting, and the art are superb, but the execution of the game is quite terrible.

The shoddy English translation took a lot from the charm of the game. I am quite sure that a person who commits murder is not called "homicide author". The line delivery is crude, probably because the voice actors themselves did not know what are they talking about.

"Excuse me, I am distracted. I have everything I need, I will talk to you later" - what a terrible solution of telling the player that the NPC has nothing to tell him, instead of for example deactivating the talk option. Repetitive questions sometimes ignoring the fact that the context is totally inappropriate, together with missing lip synch and wooden gestures and improper facial expressions give the impression that Jack Norm is suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer.

The deductions are nice, the problem is that there were often multiple statements with similar meaning, but the game accepted only one of them.

Ocean rising from a rainstorm to swallow a whole island just does not make any sense. It's true that Malediva islands will sink due to global warming, but not as a consequence of a single storm.

I give the game 7/10 - if it was better executed, with cutscenes depicting the events after each day, with more lively dialogues, functional lip synch and most importantly, proper translation and voice-overs, it could have been a huge hit.
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7.6 hrs
Posted: August 23
Good game, good story, you always have to look for the tiniest details in order to find clues. It would be better if mouths were moving during conversation. Also the looks on the suspect faces during interogation could be somewhat better. But it's a very old game and I doubt anyone would try to make it better now. I had fun playing it. It's very good for this price range.
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18.8 hrs
Posted: August 11
Product received for free
I liked this game. I tend to go for the type of game with mysteries in them and this was one of them. I would totally recommend this game to anybody who has a desire to solve mysteries.
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1.3 hrs
Posted: August 8
Wonderful game which brings me back to one of my favorite genres of all time. It is very reminiscent of Blade Runner by Westwood or Syberia, but less of a classic LucasArts vibe. The storyline is intriguing, and putting the clues together is challenging enough to make it enjoyable but not frustrating. I highly recommend this game!
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0.1 hrs
Posted: July 10
I tried to enjoy it, but the mouths don't move when they talk.

Plus, I had just finished a Frogwares Sherlock Holmes game, so my expectations were probably too high.
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12.2 hrs
Posted: May 1
The game itself is good but very difficult.
The approach is very interesting: to collect different types of evidences to answer the key questions around a crime.
However, already used evidences doesn't disapear, once solved the ridle and, which evidences to choose to solve it isn't as natural or easy as it can seem.
The overal look is like in Syberia. Scenarios with lots of transitional screens, that add nothing to the game and make you to go across a bunch of non-sense screens, 3D rooms with 95% of nothing to interactuate with...
On the good side, the story is interesting enough and, the game maintains that mistery level, making you to change the suspicious several times during the investigation. This aspect was really good designed and implemented.
So, it's recommended but, you will probably need a walthrough guide during the story, specially to solve some ridles and, some patience to walk across good for nothing rooms and screens
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32.8 hrs
Posted: January 11
This game had all my favorite elements: critical thinking, finding clues, keeping inventory, following my own logic to the next location/person/item, searching rooms, opening doors/drawers/etc., fingerprints, questioning suspects and absolutely zero mind-teaser puzzles. Jack Norm is investigating a murder on an island that is sinking. I chose the adventure mode so I could relax and enjoy the game. You get to explore a huge, luxury hotel and it's grounds. Keep your eyes peeled because you will keep finding more clues, items, or new conversations - so re-explore.

The graphics are amazing. The conversations are well planned. The voice actors were perfect. I knew before I bought the game that the character's mouths wouldn't move, but I didn't even notice it after awhile because I was immersed in the game play.

I am so glad the game designers left out puzzles, cultic elements, bad language, violence, and nudity.

Great game. Thanks.
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