• Interpol is the latest XBLA game from TikGames. It’s a tricky little game to pigeonhole because it’s part point-and-clicker, and part observational-style gaming.

    The evil Dr Chaos, anarchistic destructive master criminal, has evaded police and government agents in several countries so you’re called in to track him and his cohorts down, bringing them swiftly to justice.

    The general idea is that you’re an Interpol agent using your keen eyes and detective nous to sift through crime scenes, looking for vital clues. Sounds exciting and complicated? No need to worry because the core gameplay is very simple indeed, requiring you to identify several items in a scene and click on them. Though it sounds easy and probably lacking in serious challenging gameplay, it’s actually quite an engaging idea and though most people will be able to pick out the more easily identifiable objects in a scene, you try picking a USB Storage Key out of a room full of scientific research junk.

    Your quest begins in North America, and the screens are presented as a very graphically rich interactive environment. Using your crosshair, you need to read the list of required objects at the top of the screen, highlight them, and click on them to “erase” them from that scene.

    Interpol

    As mentioned before, this can be quite tricky because, even on a decent sized HD telly, you’ll be straining to identify the tinier and more obscure objects – and later on when you’ve got the bonus hidden number challenges to solve, you could find yourself reaching for the Optrex. Thankfully the game does help you out by providing you with a magnifying zoom lens so you can sift through the finer details of a scene with more accuracy.

    All challenges are timed. The more time you have once you’ve picked out all the objects, the better your score. Limited hints are provided if you get really stuck, and bonus items and “Calling Cards” are scattered throughout each scene allowing you to gain extra time, hints or bonus achievements.

    The game’s geared up for multiplayer too, if you fancy teaming up with your kids or some friends to pick through each scene. A nice touch and one that gives Interpol a little more family-friendly appeal as younger kids will certainly enjoy trying to find each item (some cleverly obscured and very well hidden in background details in certain scenes).

    Each time you clear a particular “City”, investigating several locations in each, you get a little closer to your final confrontation with Dr Chaos, and the chance to outwit him.

    Interpol isn’t the longest game in the world. A seasoned gamer could polish it off in a couple of hours. But each scene does give you a fairly random selection of objects to identify so it’s not always the same game twice. Eventually though, you’ll know instinctively what to look for once you’ve seen it all before, and that does hollow the experience out for long term appeal.

    A nice relaxing and simple XBLA title that shouldn’t offend your Auntie Nellie, and has enough “one more go” appeal to see you right through to the end of the game. Not scintillating and exciting, but certainly not a lame duck either.

    Score: 6/10

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