Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy

 

 

Developer:    Frogwares

Publisher:    Wanadoo

Released:   2002

PC Requirements:    IBM PC or 100% compatible, Pentium II-300 or higher, 64 MB RAM, 100% DirectX 8-compatible 8 MB Video Card,  Windows-compatible sound card (100% DirectX 8-compatible), Quad-speed (4x) CD-ROM drive, 200 MB free disk space, 100% Windows-compatible mouse and keyboard.

Walkthrough

 

 

by Witchen =O)

 

Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy

(first released in Europe as Curse of the Mummy)

Story

You are Sherlock Holmes. You are urgently beckoned by a distant cousin, the lovely Elisabeth Montcalfe, to find her father Lord Montcalfe, who is a famous archeologist specializing in ancient Egyptology.  You arrive at the Montcalfe mansion, which also serves as a private museum, sans Doctor Watson. Oddly enough, Watson does not accompany you on  this particular investigation as he's off on seemingly more urgent business with Mrs. Watson.

Upon your arrival at the mansion you are greeted by a rather stunning array of ancient Egyptian artifacts and, later, a mind-bending miasma of puzzles, timed and not so timed, and a virtual maze of hidden chambers, alcoves, niches, compartments and conundrums, along with other secrets real and imagined.   

The entire game is played within the confines of the mansion/museum.  It becomes obvious early on that the disappearance of Lord Montcalfe is linked to his harbored illusion of having released a dreaded mummy's curse. This apparently occurred during the course of acquiring the ill-gotten mummified remains of an ancient Egyptian royal.  Our missing host, delusional with the effects of the drug laudanum and his obsession with retaining his ancient treasures, has planted lethal booby traps all over the mansion.  So, valiant Sherlock, beware as you search for Montcalfe, unravel the mystery and finally meet with good old Watson at journey's end!

Graphics/Music

The music provided in the game is appropriate and ties in well with the production and the action taking place. I found it to be pleasant and neither repetitive or distracting.  The graphics are well done, but also tend to be quite dark at times.  It was necessary to lighten my monitor in some areas; a particular wine cellar and storage room.

Game Play

Sherlock Holmes: Mystery of the Mummy  is a first person, point and click adventure that proudly sports fluid 360 degree navigation, including full vertical. The navigation is intuitive and highly responsive. No complaints here.

The game was developed in five distinct levels.  There is no danger of missing something as you progress through the levels. You will not be able to proceed to the next higher level if a missing piece is not revealed, or a puzzle is not unraveled.

The cursor ordinarily displays an ornate Sherlock type pipe for general navigation. A magnifying glass (appropriately enough) is displayed for access to close ups, and a crescent wrench cursor appears for potential interactivity with other items.  The museum is replete with notes, letters, and documents of all kinds that after reading, will be stored in your "letters" inventory,  which is separate from other accumulated hardware and paraphernalia. Mummy provides a veritable inventory jubilee.

The story is logically moved along by frequent text and narrative comments from Sherlock and cutscenes interspersed at frequent intervals. Although the cutscenes provide clues during the interaction between characters, there is no text option provided here.

There are several extended timed sequences in the later stages of the game, but I found this to be of no concern whatsoever. If you save often and move at a good steady pace, you should have no problem.  Although you can "die" often in the game there are no action sequences. The timed sequences provide sufficient quantities of "chill factor."

Puzzles

This game is absolutely loaded with puzzles! Solving a conundrum, where you are rewarded with entry to another section of the museum, or by gaining another necessary inventory item, is presented almost literally every time you turn around.  In the beginning of the game, the puzzles are quite simple and the logical progression of the game is accomplished easily and obviously, in finding proper solutions.  However, as the game develops, the puzzles become more difficult, often requiring multiple, seemingly unrelated objects from separate areas to find the answer. The two most difficult puzzles in the game involve finding the single correct sequence to open a stoned-in doorway and a timed sequence involving a complex Japanese (Conceptis/Gridder) pictorial puzzle, which changes from game to game.  Both of these engaging and challenging puzzles required significant quantities of time to solve along with some outside help from my friends to find the solution.

Pros and Cons

Mystery of the Mummy provides a good solid mystery story, though it does not compare with the intricacy of the comprehensive prequels; particularly The Rose Tattoo.  However, and as some critics have attested, Tattoo may just have offered too much story for some, as well as being epic in length. 

Mummy's  production design is appropriate and very well done, in keeping with the Victorian era of gas lamps, Persian carpets and heavy tapestries.  Being of claustrophobic persuasion, this author would have enjoyed even a brief mystical trip (laudanum perhaps) to Egypt's open plains, or maybe just a short exploratory jaunt around the mansion's garden during daylight. 

Sherlock addresses his charter during the course of the game with his usual objective point of view, leaving little room for emotional involvement with the deeds or destiny of this infamous sleuth, or the other characters in the game. Sherlock is cool, calm and collected the entire time.  Voice acting for Sherlock, provided expertly by John Bell, adds cryptic narrative as you progress through the game.

There are only six save game slots. I found this a little disappointing in a game that seemingly welcomes other technological attributes. Additionally, the game automatically inserts the time, day and date to record your save games. Although a popular trend, I much prefer entering a personalized title for each of my save games.

Mystery of the Mummy plays entirely on a single disk. The game has excellent technical integrity. It plays as smooth as silk. I had no technical glitches or bugs whatsoever. This fact is duly noted and was highly appreciated!

Bottom line:  I recommend it!

My System:

512 MB DDR PC 2100 DDR

2A GHz P4 Processor

40X CD ROM

Windows XP (Home)

copyright 2002 GameBoomers

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