It smells like moider‘And Then There Were None’s’ biggest strength is its storyline. If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie spin-off then it will be this tale of murder and intrigue that will keep you ploughing through this otherwise dawdling detective adventure. Though the character acting leaves a lot to be desired, the dialogue has been fairly well written, and like the novel, the tale unravels slowly and clues begin to expertly fall into place. If you’re a fan of whodunits you’ll enjoy the captivating storyline, and fans of the book or film will be glad to know that, despite it following the same path as the novel, there are multiple endings, so you won’t necessarily be able to second guess how things will end up. Unfortunately though, the storyline is about as good as it gets.
Unlike many point-and-click adventures, including other title’s with a ‘serious’ theme, such as the Broken Sword series and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, there’s a severe lack of humour throughout this adventure. Yes I know it’s a murder mystery so we should expect some degree of seriousness, but a little bit of humour here and there would have made the gameplay a tad more interesting. Sadly, when you click on most objects it simply gives you a solemn and boring explanation of what they are rather than offering any witticisms.
The lack of humour doesn’t really effect the ‘meat and veg’ of the story, which is the main reason why I’ve personally continued to play through to the latter chapters. Admittedly, I have enjoyed that side of the game, but even so, the interactive dialogue with the characters could have handled far better. Throughout the story you get the chance to speak with the guests in order to gather clues. You’re given multiple choices in order to drive the conversation, but sometimes they’re rather flat in tone and context. In one segment you’ll speak to every single guest and ask them exactly the same two questions and despite being given multiple choices it always feels as though the conclusion will be same whatever you ask; the dialogue has a mechanical feel throughout.
Aside from a few timed puzzles, the pace of the game in general is extremely slow. The first chapter took me approximately one hour to complete and in that time the only action/puzzle I had to do was to fetch a bag for the doctor; this was simply a case of remembering which room he’d left it in and then plodding off to get it. I spent the majority of the time just listening to reams of dialogue, rummaging through drawers in the many rooms of the mansion, reading letters, clicking on objects that weren’t game-related and building up a huge inventory of objects, by picking up items such as matches, glasses, a torch, silk sheets and anything else that wasn’t nailed down. (Bizarrely, you can click on every radiator in the game and listen to the same dialogue over and over again, yet not once will you use the radiator in a puzzle).