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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (65 reviews) - 72% of the 65 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.

KEY POINTS:

  • 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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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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Overall:
Mostly Positive (65 reviews)
Recently Posted
[DoN] Vader
( 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
hermetico
( 12.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
Recommended.
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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Willibald
( 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sholliday
( 32.8 hrs on record )
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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Elena ÖZER
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 2
Mükemmel bir oyun!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CannaWeed
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: December 15, 2015
An old but great detective game. Sinking Island has a enjoyable storyline that starts off small but develops more and more as you find clues. And on top of that, the island is sinking!(no ♥♥♥♥ sherlock) The game is quite slow-paced due to the speed of the character and the weird layout of the rooms at times. Nonetheless, the game remains a great point-and-click detective game with a beautiful look and feel.

The NPC's are quite stiff(lips never move) and the dialogue is a bit laughable at times, but overall the immersion is still pretty good for the time/genre it was released in. The game can be quite difficult at times, as it wants you to connect the exact series of clues, which is obvious at times but not all the time.

I recommend this to fans of games like Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes, or if you enjoy storylines where the mystery unravels along the story.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Audz
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: October 26, 2015
I purchased this game on special and im so disappointed Very slow game the whole walking slow through everything is annoying would not recommend it at all
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ExtremeBoyX
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: September 29, 2015
Pleasantly composed story, cool climate with the tower being relentlessly immersed by the sea through the game, and piece of information gathering is entirely fun when the signs aren't excessively arbitrary. On the negative side, getting around is a genuine irritation. Relatively few areas, yet you are always needing to backtrack through the dozen or something like that rooms and stairs and lifts. In the event that you get stuck, I wouldn't be modest about utilizing a walkthrough. I truly question anybody could complete this without one, since there are some irregular things you need to get that mix in totally enough in the foundations to be fundamentally undetectable, and a piece of information's percentage choices towards the end to finish the riddle steps appear to be really subjective.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ForsakenMermaid
( 6.0 hrs on record )
Posted: September 25, 2015
I got this thinking that it would sink from what I saw, but actually playing the game I found that it's an excellently crafted story. I engaged to what was going on with the story, and the mystery of it all really hooked me. I'm not a big of prerendered CGI stuff, so that threw me off at first, but eventually I got used to it. It's just it's so weird looking.

But really, it all comes down to the gameplay. It's simple and fun, that's all there is to it. Nothing super complex since it's a point and click adventure, so it relies heavily on the story and puzzles, and it does that. I always liked puzzles, so the ones in this game got me. They're a bit tricky at times, but I don't think they're overwhelmingly difficult.

Honestly, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a brain teaser here and there.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pastor Menis
( 0.0 hrs on record )
Posted: September 23, 2015
A nice little adventure game that sets up a grand mystery. For any person who likes the air of mystery and the old style of point and click adventures, this is for you. The game sets up interesting CGI backgrounds that seem to be a relic of the past; although, some might find this ugly, I find it rather charming. But again, this is the type of game that's not for everyone. This is a niche game that fills a gap that a lot of players want to be filled.

First of all, solving murders is fun and a great puzzle element to the game. Putting together clues and solving the puzzle is where this game gets its A+ recommendation. Just remember, that with adventure games, the logic is completely on the developer, and some people might not be able to follow that chain of logic. This is normal for those who play these types of game, but this is a heads up.

My only major complaint is that there's no option to switch the screen display or resolution, but I got over that quickly. Overall, this is a great buy for those who want to solve mysteries.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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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29 of 33 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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7 of 8 people (88%) 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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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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
Recommended
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 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 21, 2015
Nicely written story, cool atmosphere with the tower being steadily engulfed by the ocean through the game, and clue assembly is quite fun when the clues aren't too random. On the negative side, getting around is a real annoyance. Not many locations, but you are constantly having to backtrack through the dozen or so rooms and stairs and elevators. If you get stuck, I wouldn't be shy about using a walkthrough. I seriously doubt anyone could finish this without one, since there are some random items you have to pick up that blend in completely enough in the backgrounds to be basically invisible, and some of the clue selections towards the end to complete the mystery steps seem pretty arbitrary.
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