SECRET FILES: SAM PETERS

Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Animation Arts

Publisher:  Deep Silver

Released:  October 2013

PC Requirements:   see review below

Additional screenshots   Walkthrough

 

 

 

by gremlin

 

What is it?

Spin-offs are common in books and comics; they happen in TV and movies from time to time, with variable results, but they're not all that common in games. At this stage, it would not be wise of me to spoil the adventure ahead by judging the success of the spinning off of Sam Peters from the Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis, because we have a game just for her in Secret Files: Sam Peters, developed by Animation Arts and published by Deep Silver, the same combination as produced the previous Secret Files games, and Lost Horizon.

Is there a plot?

When Sam Peters was last seen in Secret Files 2, she was stuck on an Indonesian island with an erupting volcano set off by terrorists. And so we begin Secret Files: Sam Peters. She's still on that self same island, trying to get back to civilization. Of course, it's nothing as simple as 'find a boat, and putter off into the distance,' no you've got to repair the boat first, only then can you 'putter off into the distance.' Once Sam is home in Europe, her publisher sends her off in search of a team of German cryptozoologists - people who search for creatures whose existence is not proven, like the yeti, sasquatch or Loch Ness monster. This leads Sam to Ghana in Africa, via Berlin, where we're introduced to the legend of the Asanbosam of Lake Bosumtwi.

How do you play?

Secret Files: Sam Peters is a point and click adventure - there is no use of the keyboard at all. The game begins with a very short graphical tutorial that shows you how to use the mouse, inventory and menu buttons, but really, it's pretty obvious once you're into the game itself. You right click to examine, left click to use, click and drag and drop inventory items on each other or the scene to use them. Then the four menu buttons give you the main menu (Load, Save - with no apparent limit on save slots, Options, Exit, as you'd expect), access to Sam's diary with a summary of the action so far, a help function with guidance on your current objective, and a 'show hotspots' button if you need a little hint as to what you can do in a location. In addition, you can right click to skip dialog and the cut-scenes. This is handy if you're replaying more than half the game to get to the second ending, having not bothered to save very often ... the voice of experience, there, I must admit.

I have to note at this point that the story is not tremendously long: there are only three locations in the game, although they are each made up of a few scenes. This is not a deeply involved story. Sam has a simple plot-line to follow, and the puzzles she is faced with are not overly complex either. In fact, all the puzzle solutions are to be found close by the location of the puzzle, and are very logical. You know? Use the screw-driver to unscrew the screw-type solutions, not use yesterday's newspaper to waft the smell of roses into the vampire's bedroom to make him get out of bed-type solutions!

My favourite puzzles in the game were the assembly mini-games, where you have to put more complex machines or objects together from their components. Two warnings however: you need to catch fast moving things at one stage of the game, so some twitch-ability would be useful, and there is a maze of twisty passages late in the game.

Throughout Secret Files: Sam Peters, Sam herself does most of the talking, though there's a nun and a German scientist who also get a look in. The voice acting is professional, but the is no character development and only a little emotional content to the story.

The graphics in the game are similarly of a professional standard, and there is plenty to look at in the environments, even if some of the hotspots are on the small side - especially the 'fast moving things' I've already mentioned. An alternate solution to that specific puzzle would have been a good idea; one that didn't involve speedy mouse action.

The sound track is all there - various ambient sound effects as appropriate to location, and background music that stays where it should: setting the mood, but remaining unobtrusively in the background.

Conclusions

I think my abiding impression of Secret Files: Sam Peters would be 'short and sweet'; a bit like this review, I hope. It's a good diversion for a few hours with some problem solving and a good little story, capped off with a bit of a modern moral dilemma. A longer game with a more involved plot would have garnered a better grade.

As for the success of the game as a spin-off of Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis, I'll have to leave that to others to decide as I've not played the original, but having played and enjoyed Lost Horizons (another game by the same company and publisher), Secret Files: Sam Peters certainly fits their style and standards.

Grade: B-

What do you need to play it?

Minimum Requirements

OS: Windows Vista, 7, or 8

Processor: Pentium IV 2 Ghz Single Core equivalent or higher

Memory: 512 MB RAM

Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible Graphics card with at least 128 MB RAM

DirectX: Version 9.0c

Hard Drive: 750 MB available space

Sound Card: DirectX 9 compatible 16 Bit-Sound Card (optional)

(I used a home-built 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium (SP1) PC running on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual 5200+ processor, with 6 GB RAM, and a Sapphire Radeon HD4670 512MB video card, with on-mother-board, built-in sound card)

 

 

 

GameBoomers Review Guidelines

November 2013

design copyrightę 2013 GameBoomers Group

 GB Reviews Index