In the heady world of murder mystery, Agatha Christie is queen. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, she's the best-selling fiction author of all time. One of her most famous characters is the portly Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and one of her most famous books to feature the moustached sleuth is The ABC Murders. No wonder, then, that a video game version is coming to the Nintendo DS. To find out what's what, we exercised our little grey cells with Dreamcatcher's Vassiliki Kontoulis.
VideoGamer.com: What is Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders and why is it great?
Vassiliki Kontoulis: AC-The ABC Murders is based on the original book by Agatha Christie herself. The original book was published in many countries and the exceptional reviews made it a superb candidate for a game. AC-The ABC Murders is an adventure game at its core with puzzle-based elements offering additional play options. Players navigate through locations via the touch screen in a similar fashion to the recent “Professor Layton and the Curious Village”. Players can question suspects that are found in the various towns and then use the information collected to formulate a final announcement of the killer. Dialogue and interface play a large role in the player experience as they interrogate new witnesses and collect new information.
VideoGamer.com: Why was The ABC Murders chosen?
VK: The form of the original novel is unusual, combining first and third-person narrative; this unique feature, along with the fact that the novel is very well known around the world was the deciding milestones for creating an interesting game. In the game, players control Captain Hastings as they live the mystery of ABC Murders.
VideoGamer.com: How are the DS' dual screen touch controls incorporated into the game?
VK: Players can confirm options, examine locations, choose or write responses to questions via the interface located on the touch screen of the DS. The upper screen showcases a location or character and the lower screen showcases the puzzles to be solved.
VideoGamer.com: Does the game follow the book to the letter, or have you been able to incorporate some of your own ideas?
VK: The main story has been followed according to the book; however by collecting various hints the game can be finished with a different suspect than the one from the original novel.
VideoGamer.com: How have you made the game interesting for those who have read the book or seen the TV show? Won't knowing who did it spoil the mystery?
VK: For those already familiar with the novel and/or the movie, the game will be a new approach of the original story. For those not familiar with the novel or the movie, the game is a chance to approach Agatha, her way of thinking, enjoy a very interesting game with different endings and learn even more about Agatha herself, her other books and inspirations.
VideoGamer.com: What puzzle are you most proud of?
VK: It is very hard to point out only one puzzle; the simple old kids riddles, the sharp mathematic puzzles are all very good to choose from.
VideoGamer.com: What is it about the DS that makes it perfect for puzzle adventure games?
VK: The best thing with DS is that you can always take your game with you.
VideoGamer.com: Have you played Professor Layton? What do you think of it?
VK: I have partially played “Professor Layton and the Curious Village”; the simple style visuals from Miyazaki and the rest of the characters made the game look like a playable storybook. A similar 2D design was used for ABC to promote the feeling of early 30s Europe. Also the bonus features/extras gave the player a nice break from the story and the each time the game was loaded a small recap occurred reminding the player where they were at in the story.
Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders is due out on the Nintendo DS on October 30.