With what appears to be a bit of a FMV game renaissance going on the moment, gracing us with great titles such as Her Story and Contradiction that show the genre still has a lot to offer, Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode 1 hopes to grab the attention of gamers and take them on a thrilling cinematic adventure.
Sporting some stellar acting and some genuinely brain teasing puzzles, it’s an absorbing title that is only let down by its rather brief running time.
Awakening chained up in a dingy room, you mainly spend your time playing as David Newcastle, a husband and father that has been kidnapped and held captive. Confused as to his current surroundings, David has to quickly come to terms with his predicament and think on his feet if he is to escape his mysterious captor. For a short while you’ll also assume control of Detective Lambert, a man that is investigating a spate of kidnappings across the city. With its almost Saw-like premise, the story grips you from the outset and doesn’t let go until you’ve reached its explosive finale.
Essentially, Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode 1 is a point and click game. With some rather accomplished video scenes stitching the gameplay elements together however, it feels quite unique. The cinematography is fantastic, featuring convincing sets, solid acting and dramatic camera angles, which all come together to make the experience feel like an interactive blockbuster movie. Additionally, the game likes to throw in some reaction-based challenges that are seamlessly integrated into the video clips too, requiring you stay alert at all times.
Like any point and click adventure, the biggest draw of the game is its puzzles, and in this regard Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode 1 does not disappoint. From simple tasks like finding useful items in the dark using a torch, to real head scratchers, like opening drawers in the correct order to obtain the instruments of your escape, each puzzle is logical and rewarding to complete. It’s also quite an achievement that there’s a sense of urgency to the puzzles despite there actually being any. You really feel for David’s plight and want to resolve the barriers before him as quickly as possible in order to see him escape.
If you’ve got your thinking cap on and breeze through the puzzles that Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode 1 places in your path, you’ll breeze through it in less than an hour. Whilst this may seem extraordinarily short, its £2.79 asking price means it’s not necessarily bad value for money, especially considering its high production values. For me, it was just disappointing that the experience ended so quickly, as I was enjoying it so much. Regardless, with more episodes planned, I eagerly await their arrival so I can find out what’s next to come in David’s and Detective Lambert’s tale and tackle more ingenious brain teasers. For a story driven point and click title, surely that’s all the praise you could ask for.