Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds HD from G5 Entertainment is a hidden object crime game that is filled with mystery. The game centers around two detectives, Brody Lamonte and Cathy Turino, who have been assigned to a new unit by the chief of SED. The first case surrounds the Buckley family who have recently had the shocking news of their daughters death. The captain of SED has informed you that you must solve this case quickly and discover the murderer.
As detectives you must investigate the crime scene and recover clues. As the player, all you know from the cutscene is that a dark stranger enters the daughters bedroom from a window and distant screams can be heard. The first thing you must do is investigate the bedroom, where a body lays on the bed and a pool of blood lays on the floor. Has this person been moved maybe?.
You’re given a number of hidden objects to find on a list, as well as interrogate all the suspects that maybe involved. The scenes are static, although some areas are highlighted, indicating that you need to investigate more. Players will gather evidence and progress through a storyline from one room to the next. Once you’ve recovered hidden objects from the list, they are crossed off. The objects are cleverly hidden in this game and although you strain to look in every nook and cranny on the screen, you may find yourself getting stuck. There were a few times when I needed a hint. I had searched one area for what seemed an eternity, because the objects are hidden so well.
Hints can be used through the lieutant badge, which once filled can show you where the item is. The interrogation of each character is done simply by tapping them on the upper left hand side of the iPad. I really enjoyed some of the puzzles within the game and how well you needed to interact with the evidence and interrogation. The puzzles included such tasks as piecing together torn up paper, to rewiring a connector box. Other puzzles included working out a formula and dodging your way around a busy corridor without being detected. Some of the puzzles can be tricky, but the game does give you the option to skip a puzzle if you feel you can’t complete it by simply tapping a button to solve it.
Special Enquiry HD gives you a nice selection of characters and locations to explore. The game feels extremely interactive at times, such as when I had to take a bullet out of a wall with a pair of tweezers, or playing around with a camera. The reason I liked this so much was the fact that the game needed you to work out how to construct a camera, find an SD card and even how to take fingerprints. For me personally, I thought this was a brilliant concept which allowed me to feel in touch with the game and automatically feel a part of it.
During the investigation, you’ll think you instantly know who the murderer is, but the game takes you through a few surprising twists and turns along the way. The cut-scenes in-between investigations are illustrated beautifully, allowing you to have a welcome break from all the hidden object searching. The storyline is well presented allowing the player to feel like a proper murder investigation is taking place. Players can engage with objects through evidence that has been obtained and have the opportunity to work with forensics at various points throughout the game.
The game is simple to play and enjoyable to watch, although I would have liked more items and objects to investigate. I’ve played many hidden object games over the years, but this one provided a good balance of interaction that I thoroughly enjoyed. Once you’ve discovered who the murderer really is, it unlocks a find all objects mode. This allows you to return to all the locations and discover more objects that you may have initially missed first time round. The game finally rewards you with some achievements such as how fast you discovered objects and finding all the facts to the related crime. All of these achievements can then be posted to Face Book, which you can share with your friends.
Overall I really enjoyed Special Enquiry HD as it offers a great crime story to casual gamers. It’s highly addictive as you pursue the killer and ultimately piece together this very cleverly orchestrated crime.
Special Enquiry Detail is available to download for free on the App Store for both iPhone and iPad. The full adventure can be purchased from within the App at £2.99 on iPhone and £4.99 on iPad.