Carol Reed 10: Bosch's Damnation


Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:  MDNA Games

Released:  March 2014

PC Requirements:  see review below

Additional screenshots   Walkthrough



by Jenny100


Carol Reed 10: Bosch's Damnation 

For those who haven't played any of the Carol Reed series of games before, Carol is an Englishwoman living in the Swedish city of Norrköping. You play as Carol in first person point-of-view (through Carol's eyes) and never see her onscreen. Carol doesn't encounter as many puzzles as Nancy Drew, but like Nancy, she solves mysteries. Unlike the Nancy Drew games, the Carol Reed series uses photographs of real people and places instead of pre-rendered graphics. The photographs in Bosch's Damnation are clear and do not have the "painted" look of the early Carol Reed games. (This "painted" effect was used less and less in successive games and was gone by the 7th installment of the Carol Reed series -- Blue Madonna.)


Bosch's Damnation is the tenth installment of the Carol Reed series. The game starts during the Christmas season. Carol's apartment is decorated with gingerbread houses, lighted stars in the windows, and blooming amaryllis plants. Carol receives a text message from a man who works as a cleaner for the wealthy Stierngranat family. He's worried about them because they left on 10 day skiing trip, but haven't returned -- even after 5 weeks -- and he wants to be paid. During the course of the game, Carol's missing persons investigation turns into something more serious.

Game Mechanics

Like the rest of the Carol Reed series, Carol Reed 10: Bosch's Damnation is a 100% point-and-click game. The game starts with an optional tutorial that shows you how to move around, zoom in on things, and collect and use inventory. In my game, subtitles were turned on by default, though they can be turned off in the game options. You can't die in the game.

The game includes a Hint system. Puzzles aren't overly difficult, but it can be confusing about where to go next. The Hint system will help you out there, suggesting what you can do next. Using the spacebar reveals inventory and other active hotspots on the screen. The game has a map that allows you to visit important locations in the game. Locations may disappear from the map after you complete the puzzles and investigations that are associated with those locations. 

Puzzle types include use of inventory, pattern matching, color matching, and decoding -- mainly associated with locked doors and boxes. Most puzzles aren't difficult to solve as long as you've located the correct inventory or clues. However clues may be found far from where they're actually used.

There are 100 save slots.

The music was not distracting, and the volume of the music can be adjusted separately from the rest of the game volume in the game options. There are separate volume adjustments for speech, music, and sound effects.

Carol Reed Features

One of the things I like best about the Carol Reed games is that they take place in real places and Carol often visits historic areas in Sweden. Bosch's Damnation features locations important in the history of Swedish entrepreneur Malte Stierngranat (1871 - 1960 according to Swedish wikipedia). Besides visiting the Stierngranat Museum and learning about his life, Carol visits his unusual pyramid tomb (and solves puzzles to get inside). Within the context of the game, the father of the missing family is the son of Malte Stierngranat. Also in the game, Malte Stierngranat was an admirer of the work of painter Hieronymus Bosch. Carol has to decypher a code based on two halves of one of Bosch's paintings, the title of which is where the game gets its name. Whether the real Malte Stierngranat actually collected Bosch paintings I can't be sure, because there is very little about him online that is not in Swedish. Also the game seemed to suggest that Malte Stierngranat died many years after 1960 (he can't have written his granddaughter a letter so many years before she was born) and the real life Malte Stierngranat doesn't seem to have had a son named Erik. I couldn't find anything about a brother Sten either. But the pyramid tomb is real enough, as was Malte Stierngranat's interest in railroads and art.

Besides the historic areas, the Carol Reed games show glimpses what it's like to live in Sweden. For example, at the start of the game, Carol sometimes seems to be investigating at night. But that's because Sweden is so far north that it's dark for most of the day during the winter. Carol is apparently also an avid gamer. She has a room devoted to games, many if not most of which are adventure games. She has bookcases full of them, and you can identify some of the individual games on her shelves. Though the game starts during the Christmas season, most of the game takes place the following summer. During the course of her investigations, Carol visits her allotment (a plot of land out in the country where she can grow flowers and vegetables that she couldn't grow in her apartment).

Some of Carol's old friends are back, though you don't see as much of them as in some of her previous games. Carol visits Stina in her shop. Later she has coffee with Jonas. Poor Jonas doesn't get much attention in this game though, as Carol is too busy with her investigation. We also see Bigge again (the bearded fellow with the tattoos).

There were a few humorous touches. For example Carol's friend Stina wonders about Carol not remembering where the Blood Falls are, and remarks that Carol has been living in Norrköping for over 10 years now and has visited the falls before. And then the game developer, Mikael Nyquist, includes himself in the game in the form of a not-so-flattering brochure article where he's accused of megalomania. Also a video game company mentioned in the game was called Lame Samba, a name suspiciously close to Lace Mamba -- a game publisher that became infamous for not paying developers (Google Lace Mamba lawsuit for details).

Grade: A-

System Requirements

Like other Carol Reed games, the system requirements are very low. The game should work well with computers both old and new. As with all games, there may be a conflict with some antivirus, but I had no conflict with Windows Defender in Windows 8.1 and no technical problems to speak of.

Minimum Requirements:

Pentium 1000 MHz or higher

128 MB RAM

video card with 16MB video RAM

800 MB hard drive space

Windows 98, XP, Vista, 7, 8

I played the game on a computer with:

Windows 8.1 Professional, 64-bit

AMD Phenom II X4 905e processor 2.51 GHz


AMD Radeon HD 7770 with 2 GB VRAM

ATI High Definition Audio Device (onboard sound)

widescreen monitor


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April 2014

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