Mountain Crime: Requital review for PSN, PC

Platform: PSN
Also On: PC
Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Developer: Alawar Entertainment
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Here’s something I never thought I’d say about a hidden object game: Mountain Crime: Requital’s biggest problem is that it may be a little too ambitious.

Obviously, that’s probably putting things in slightly loftier terms than they deserve. But here are the basic facts. Mountain Crime: Requital’s biggest problems are its cut scenes and its voice acting — or, you know, two of the things you need least in a hidden object game.

Mountain Crime Requital_1

I mean, I get that Alawar Entertainment wanted to create some kind of immersive game world, and good on them for making their PS3 debut something more than a bunch of static locations where you search endlessly for weirdly incongruous items. But after enduring scene after scene of people moving around awkwardly, interacting via strained, stilted dialogue, I truly believe that the static option would have been better. After all, the game does a great job of building mystery and telling a story just through random newspaper clippings and personal notes scattered around each location, while every time an animated cut scene shows up, momentum grinds to a halt. Pages of text and exposition may seem antithetical to the very nature of modern video games, but in this case, there’s no doubt they would’ve been the better option.

Particularly because if you can get past those flaws, you’ll find a pretty fun game underneath. As I said, the game does an excellent job of building a mysterious narrative just through the objects you find hunting around the various locations, and I can honestly say that — terrible cut scenes aside — I was genuinely interested in the game’s story, and I wanted to know how it all ended.

More importantly, though, the game’s puzzles are solid — not to mention varied. Mountain Crime: Requital may be advertised as a hidden object game, but it doesn’t limit itself to just searching around pictures for random items. There are a few places where you genuinely need to think things out logically, and I’m going to come right out and admit that I wouldn’t have finished the game if it hadn’t been for a combination of the PC version walkthrough and the “Skip” option that comes up after several unsuccessful puzzle attempts.

Mountain Crime Requital_2

All that said, the game does come with one other serious flaw: its $15 price tag. Considering the game can be had for $3 on PC, you’ll have to be a truly dedicated trophy hunter to spring for the game on PS3. That, or a big fan of hidden object games, which has always been an underrepresented genre when it comes to the platform.

If you are a hidden object fan, though, and you don’t mind paying a premium to get Mountain Crime: Requital on the PS3, by all means go for it. You might cringe through some bad voice acting, but you should have your searching needs sated for at least a little while.

Grade: B