Review: Deadly Association (PC)
by Josh Sprunger on March 7, 2013

Deadly Association
Genre: Hidden Object/Adventure
Developer:Microids
Publisher: Anuman Interactive
Release Date: 06/05/2012

Deadly Association only has one mode to choose from, which is pretty normal from a game of this genre. You follow two NYPD detectives as they solve a series of murders involving a computer programing company. The writing is par for the course for a hidden object game. There is a bit of humor in the main character being addressed as ‘Inspector’ through the game – you gotta love the British. In all honesty, you’re not going to play this game for the story. The story serves its purpose as a backdrop for the different puzzles with fans of current television crime dramas feeling right at home here. Fair warning: there is some graphic content here, due to the nature of murder scenes. But if you’re comfortable with the depictions of deceased bodies on shows like CSI and Bones you’ll have nothing to worry about.

deadly-association-scene-500x375The graphics are about what you would expect from a title of this caliber. Menus are a bit rough-looking on a computer monitor, though this looks like a port of an iOS title so that’s forgivable. The ‘Meat and Potatoes’ of this game looks great with the hidden object puzzles illustrated with some imagination. Overall, this won’t be winning any awards, but looks rather nice.

Like the graphics, the sound isn’t anything unseen from other games like this. The ‘Help’ button has a siren when clicked that pairs nicely with the general atmosphere of the title. At times the background music reminded me of Matt Uelman’s work from the Diablo series, but I must admit that almost any classical guitar theme does this.

While it would be easy to just gloss over the gameplay by saying it’s par for the genre, I will say that I was surprised by how some puzzles were presented. At times I was given a puzzle with no explanation on how it works, let alone how it should be solved. My favorite puzzle was when you’re putting a circuit board back together. The fact that the game was developed in the UK is apparent quite frequently. I assume that this is also something that is common in these types of games. But when you’re learning that a ‘tumbler’ and what you would call a ‘plastic cup’ is what’s keeping you from progressing, it gets a bit aggravating. There are some interesting uses of an active inventory and interaction with the surroundings that deserve attention here (finger printing comes to mind here). Fans of hidden object/ adventure games will enjoy this title.

There would not be much reason to return to this game after completion. Deadly Association isn’t hurt by this fact, as most puzzle games aren’t something one comes back to again and again. What’s here is worth the cost of admission, whether you play it twice or not.

I found no fault with the balance in this title. I personally find hidden object games to be hard but only in that it’s annoying to look through rooms full of what the world would look like if hoarders took over the world. While trying to find items, randomly clicking in a certain space will darken the screen for a moment. They have offered a Hint Button for those times when you don’t see the difference between a spade and a gardening fork. Even this button is in on the art style of the title, as a siren plays and a ‘Cop Light’ will appear on the item.

deadly-association-scene2The overall concept of Deadly Association is well done. Puzzles involving computer components and finding evidence are done with some thought to them. But a bit of effort with localization would work wonders.

After a few times trying to get through this game, I think I can safely say that this game is not going to keep you playing once you start. I would mainly blame the storyline here, as the only driving force to continue playing is to see who committed the murders.

As I said earlier, fans of current television crime dramas and hidden object or puzzle games will love this game. There is definitely a laser sight on the demographic and anyone who isn’t interested in either of these elements should look elsewhere.

I’m going to be completely honest with you, because that’s why you’re here right? I’m not a huge fan of either crime dramas or hidden object games. I found this game to be of good quality with only some minor issues that negatively affected my playtime. These were mainly due to the translation of common items and a general lack of knowledge on puzzle games on my part. This didn’t make me dislike the genre but it also didn’t win me over either. For under ten quid, this looks like a good buy and worth the time.

Short Attention Span Summary

The story serves its purpose as a backdrop for the different puzzles with fans of current television crime dramas feeling right at home here. Menus are a bit rough looking on a computer monitor, though this looks like a port of an iOS title so this is forgivable. The background music reminded me of Matt Uelman’s work from the Diablo series at times. There are some interesting uses of an active inventory and interaction with the surroundings that deserve attention here. The overall concept of Deadly Association is well done. There is definitely a laser sight on the demographic and anyone who isn’t interested in either of these elements should look elsewhere. Deadly Association doesn’t reach for the stars and doesn’t find itself in the gutter either.



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