The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
King Art Games
To Catch a Thief is a great little Hitchcock romp,
stylish, sassy and with a real eventual princess to boot. John “The Cat”
Robie, ex-jewel thief now retired to the Riviera, makes a pact with
Lloyds of London when a series of burglaries in his neck of the woods
have all the hallmarks of being done by him. Only a thief can catch a
thief, or at least he hopes so, in order to prove his innocence and go
back to his grapevines.
I mention that because it was brought to mind by this.
Rather than a cat, we have The Raven, a thief who spent the 1950’s
stealing every precious thing worth stealing. It’s now the 60’s and a
jewel known as the Eye of the Sphinx has been stolen from the British
Museum. It must be the work of The Raven, except he is dead…isn’t he?
Must be a copy-raven.
There is no Lloyds of London but we do have a Swiss
Constable and a French Inspector, and instead of a princess there is a
Baroness. It isn’t at all the same, but I nonetheless found myself
watching the 1955 classic, and if you never have you probably should.
But back to The Raven.
It’s a jolly globe-trotting romp, all pointy and clicky
and collecting thingsy. Collecting and examining and solving will result
in achievements along the way (Helper, Houdini, Crime Scene
Investigator) and the final achievement of either amateur, advanced or
master detective. Points are also scored, which can be spent on clues or
hotspot identification. The Constable’s notebook contains current
objectives, and information about what you know so far.
It looks good, and sounds better. Character voices are
all pretty well done, and while some of the many people you meet are a
little clichéd, there is a good deal of depth to most of them, and
fleshing them out and uncovering their stories is part of the gaming
It isn’t difficult, which keeps the story moving along,
and the non-inventory based puzzles (you get to play shuffleboard for
instance) provide some variety. By and large the solutions to the
puzzles are fairly ordinary, by which I mean that if there is something
to be done it won’t involve making fire with a fish and three banjos,
but is more likely to require some flammable substances, and a little
bit of ingenuity (and then receive the Prometheus achievement). Which is
a good thing.
It does come to a bit of a sudden stop, but it is part 1
so perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising. Some sense though that it was
drawing to a stop would have been preferable, but then again the sudden
surprise fits with what happened, so perhaps forget everything I just
The five or six hours it will take you to get to that
stop will be largely spent on a train and then a boat. Not just any old
train mind, but the Orient Express, on which the mystery writer Lady
Clarissa Westmacott is also travelling. Should that not mean anything,
google the name for a nice little homage which will give you a good
sense of the style of this adventure.
Constable Zellner and Inspector Legrande are nice
counterpoints to each other, one slightly shabby the other somewhat
up-tight. They both have their reasons for being on the train, beyond
simply catching a thief. They are in fact a quirky bunch of travellers
all round, with their little idosyncracies and mannerisms, well suited
to the slightly lumpy character modelling. They are a chatty bunch too
(so be prepared to converse) and not beyond a witticism or three. As
with any good story, it’s best not to tell.
As you would expect, the travelling is not just about
getting from A to B. Like all good train and boat trips in a mystery
world, murder most horrid is afoot. As are bombs on board, and things on
fire, and whacks on the head. Even the champagne is best left alone!
The game play is standard point and click, in the
third-person persona of Constable Zellner. If you have played anything
adventury recently, you won’t find anything operationally complicated
I confess to enjoying this first chapter of The Raven
quite a lot. You have seen it all before, but like the movie I started
with it has a charm that Miss Marple would be proud to be a part of.
Which pretty much says all you need to know.
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
GameBoomers Review Guidelines