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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 1:40 pm
by davidw
Selma's Will by Mystery

Selma's Will opens with you arriving at the house of your aunt, the late Selma, in an attempt to find her will before her house is sold off by auction. There's an amusing introduction involving Selma's other relatives as a group of money-grabbers intent only on their own personal gain and then the game is fully in swing.

The first thing that struck me about the game was its logical nature. Items are very easy to come across and merely by speaking to the large number of characters in the game it quickly becomes obvious just what it is they want. Not everything is this straightforward, there are a few items that had me baffled for a while and a few that seemed like the logical choice for the occasion but turned out not to be. I found this both interesting and annoying at one and the same time; interesting because you would sometimes speak to a character, find out what they wanted and then search in a few logical places and find that item, and annoying because this seemed to comprise the majority of the puzzles in the game. As such, Selma's Will isn't a difficult game by any means and as it's very hard to actually get yourself killed it doesn't take a lot to finish it. Even if you are having problems, there's a nice hints system to help you out.

But it does have more going for it than a simple "find the item, give it to a character, find another item…" set of tasks. As mentioned above, there are quite a number of characters in the game to interact with and while most of them seem to be of the money-grabbing variety they are nicely thought out all the same. They can all be interacted with and have their own little story to tell. However, one thing I would have liked was for the characters to move around the house a little. After all, they're searching for the will of the game's title yet seem to spend the entire time searching in just one location. Allowing them to move around would have made the puzzles involving finding the item and then finding the correct person to give the items to a bit more of a challenge as well as adding a nice realistic edge.

Locations in Selma's Will are quite lengthy and detailed, and I guess it's a credit to Mystery's writing skills that a game set 99% in a house doesn't suffer from uninspired descriptions. Quite clearly effort has been made to avoid the use of tired old descriptions along the lines of "you're in a room… yep another one". I always found it paid to read the location descriptions carefully as [spoiler alert] quite a number of the items you need to finish the game are found lying around on tables, chairs and the like.

There are several different endings in Selma's Will depending on whether you happen to find the will or not. Needless to say, the best ending is when you do find the will but the others are equally interesting as they go into amusing detail about what happens to the other characters in the game.

This isn't a game that will occupy your attention for months on end (it's too easy for that) but it's nicely written, has some interesting puzzles and is original enough to keep you playing right through to the end.

Logic: 9 out of 10
A nicely logical game. Everything seems to be easy (perhaps too easy) and straightforward.

Problems: 9 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
I was warned about a potential hazard on the stairs before the potential hazard was there but other than that there were no problems.

Story: 7 out of 10
A fairly original idea.

Characters: 7 out of 10
A fair number, all of whom were well written.

Writing: 7 out of 10
Definitely above average and aside from a few typos hard to find fault with.

Game: 7 out of 10
An interesting idea for a game and nicely thought out puzzles made this well worth playing.

Overall: 46 out of 60