Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer intrigued me from the get-go because it wasn't just your ordinary hidden object mystery game. It was based on a true crime that happened in 1977, hence the title. This fact can turn off a lot of people right from the start.
I mean, one reason why people turn to games and to a virtual world is to escape from the real one, right? Even for just a little while. And to immerse yourself in a world where an actual life was actually taken feels too heavy and too intense to be made into a video game.
Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer begins by giving you a quick summary of the story behind the game. The story runs fast, with computer-generated images zooming in and out of focus as the text unfolds at the bottom of the screen. It was written well, but it was also chilling once you realize that what you're reading isn't just a figment of the game creators' imaginations; all of this actually happened in real life.
In this hidden object game peppered with a story bordering on a
mystery thriller, you play as Detective Jennifer Lourdes who has been
assigned to the case of the Unicorn Killer, Ira Einhorn. The veteran
detective, Alan Michaels, guides you through the case and feeds you some
further background information on the case.
Before his court trial began, the Unicorn got out from prison on bail and disappeared. It's your job to find him and put him where he rightfully deserves for the murder of his girlfriend: behind bars. Your task is to search through 22 locations (which are all real again, by the way) for clues and objects that might lead to his capture. There are a lot of mini-games all throughout such as Go and cipher-cracking. A few matching games and puzzles are also thrown into the mix.
The Good and the Bad
I chose to mix these points for this review, just for this game. The concept behind Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer is an original one, given the fact that it was based on a true story. That said, crime and history buffs will find this a very interesting game to play because there are a lot of researched facts and information about the actual case integrated into the game-play. However, as I have mentioned earlier, this fact might also give others a queasy, uneasy feeling. It's hard to take the game purely on an entertainment level because murder is never something that is to be taken lightly. I'm sure that the game developers also do not intend to make light of the crime that happened but the seriousness and heaviness of the story-line makes the game a bit too intense, in my books.
If you take the game just as it is without considering the concept behind it, then it's just a hidden object game at its very core. One negative thing about it though is that it runs too short and if you're a skilled player, then you will be able to finish this one in just a couple of hours.
Looking on the plus side, the game can also educate people who may not be aware or know of the crime, considering that it did happen over thirty years ago.
Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer gets points for originality but I'm not sure how well this game will sit with a lot of people.
You can get Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer here: Amazon.