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I run a famous puzzle site, and I've played Hotel Dusk, Again, 9 Hours, Trace Memory, Time Hollow, the Professor Layton series, and the Phoenix Wright series. A puzzle game will depend on both the puzzles and the presentation.
The Puzzles In the opening scene, where you arrive at the studio, take your own picture, and fill out a contestant form, one 3D puzzle is given, where a plant with multicolored leaves must be twisted to find a particular viewpoint where a number can be seen. Shortly thereafter, a set of 12 puzzles is given to you in a Jeopardy format. Solve puzzles until 80 points is scored, with bonuses for not using hints. The Hint system is excellent, much like the Layton series. After the game show, host takes you out for a drink, but an FBI agent comes to ask for help with puzzles found at a murder scene. Then there is more back and forth -- gameshow puzzles, crime scene puzzles. These are good puzzles, and excellently presented. Puzzle creators include the best in the world: Oscar van Deventer, Andrea Gilbert (clickmazes, River Crossing), James Stephens (puzzlebeast, Anti-Virus), Tom Jolly, and the Grabarchuk family (Big, Big Book of Brainteasers). They get credit in the end titles.
The Presentation I was reminded of the DS game Again. Live actors are filmed, and dropped into stylized sets which are made of 2D layers. The puzzles come about as fast as in the Layton series (and much faster than in 9 Hours). Each time a puzzle is solved in the Show, there is an applause scene, which gets old fast. But otherwise, I thought the stylized version of 1961 was done okay. The story is still on the thin side, and I finished it in 4 hours. But I've only needed to solve about a quarter of the puzzles to get to the end of the game -- I have about a hundred more puzzles to solve.
production values are dirt low. fmv is horrid when not done well. puzzles are OK. but this game is NOT worth full retail price. bargin bin bound this one is. TC is a puzzle nut, and looking him up i respect the TC(after Google!), but Hes too biased towards puzzles. . apparently hes an awesome puzzle guy, but this game needed more work in between. Ubisucked again. defiantly worth 15-20 or so, as i imagine you will see after the holidays.Better off with Layton.
I don't watch television. If you are the ones who do, shut up, you're brainwashed. . 5412-9925-5942
I'll second slaysme's comments. This is a bargain bin version of a Layton game that is no where near as enjoyable. There are some occasional controll issues too when it comes to some puzzles and I think there were one or two I encountered that I frankly found unfair. That said, as far as puzzle games go, I found this to be one of the easier ones out there to complete and it is VERY short. No need for a guide and there are no apparent penalties for guessing.