Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

A good old English murder with Blue Toad Murder Files

3:00 PM on 03.04.2010 // Ben Perlee

There is something to be said about a good old murder mystery. I'm not just talking about those dark and miserable murder stories that can be seen on television any day. Rather, I'm talking about those light stories your grandma used to read. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, for example, will go down in history as a fantastic detective, just a quirky old English woman. 

As a matter of fact, there really isn't any videogames based upon this style of story, the “ye old English country village with dasterdly murders afoot”. That, I suppose, is where Blue Toad Murder Files comes in. A six-part episodic murder mystery game coming to PSN from the team behind the Buzz line of games, wrapped up in a delightful bumbling English village of Little Riddle and bristling with English stereotypes (you better know your “plaster” from “bandage”), Blue Toad Murder Files looks like there could be a lot of fun here. 

Follow the jump for my hands-on through the first episode.

Blue Toad Murder Files (PSN)
Developer: Relentless Software
Publisher: Relentless Software
To be released: March 25, 2010 (Episodes 1-3); April 29, 2010 (Episodes 4-6)

Blue Toad Murder Files is a series of episodes about a rash of murders in a little English town of Little Riddle. The narrator, who voice acts every character that makes an appearance, explains that after some major success solving some murders, your character is in need of some rest. Up pulls the train into Little Riddle, and the game starts. Introduced there is the train station attendant helping an old woman, and after some puzzles, your character heads off to the center of town to meet the mayor. Once there the old man is promptly murdered. Oops. This is a very brief summary of the plot, but the game is rather funny, and the humor is certainly unique, with the sort of gasps and looks of shock that only this genre brings.

Now, there are four characters you can play as: a Harry Potter-esque boy genius, a bespectacled blond teen girl, a middle-aged man, and an old granny. The plot plays out the same with any character, and if you play multiplayer, the plot elements just alternate between the characters that is in control at that moment. 

After every narrative interlude, players are shown some very simple Professor Layton-esque puzzles. Nothing too hard, but you want to finish these very fast and correctly to get a good score. Fail that and face a back-handed compliment from the condescending narrator. These puzzles range from placing letters into a coded notebook to recreating the face of a character you were shown earlier. After the initial minute or so of confusion the puzzles are easy to understand, and with a group of people helping each other out, it's actually quite fun. Occasionally, the game will pause to a Whodunnit? section where the plot is reiterated, and you'll have to reiterate certain details before moving on.

Multiplayer is the way we played this chapter, and Blue Toad Murder Files only supports that offline. Players work against each to get the best scores on the puzzles, although the game is not very competitive. Everyone tends to want to help each other out on the main puzzles, and when you get to the Whodunnit? is when people become more malicious. In the end though, the multiplayer is really just like single player, as you hand off puzzles using one controller, and with less than 20 puzzles per episode, you get the same playthrough whether with friends or not.

Graphically, all the characters are very charmingly designed, and the whole town of Little Riddle is an adorable and stereotypical village. The voice acting is sublime, with the voice actor going above and beyond the call of duty to make each character hilarious. The game is funny in a way a family can enjoy, with characters like the very mildly racist old woman, the bumbling constable, and the hotel concierge who offers traditional English customer service, it's something that is very self-aware. Many of the jokes are very British, so those across the pond might find this game even more enjoyable, or at least easier to understand.

There are a couple of potentially major problems with Blue Toad Murder Files. Like all good mystery novels and films, the first time you experience them is really the only time you can experience them before the major plot twist is explained. Blue Toad Murder Files is no different, and while each episode ends in a plot twist leading to the next, the that chapter you just played has been entirely experienced. There is absolutely nothing more to see or experience. And you sure as hell wouldn't want to play through a chapter with friends after you played it; it's just cheating. And considering the game is not hard at all, that is no fun for anyone.

What makes this worse is the price. Relentless Software and Sony have some interesting plans with pricing. Each of the six chapters cost $7.49 per chapter, and with those individually lasting between one and two hours, with no replayable content, $45 is almost a little hard to swallow for the full experience. Thankfully, the real buyer's option is the bundle, with the first three chapters coming at the end of March for $14.99, and the second half coming at the end of April for the same price. Thirty bucks for all that? Not so bad, if still a little on the high end.

Honestly, however, I think you want to think of Blue Toad Murder Files like a TV show you watch with a specific group of friends. Getting together and playing this game with three other buddies, helping each other out in the puzzles and trying to do your best score on the Whodunnit? Segments is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half. It's actually a lot of fun, but the lack of replay value and the just slightly expensive price tag is a drag. However, what is here is actually very enjoyable in a laid-back way, especially those with a sense of English culture and stereotypes. This loving homage to the charming village murder mystery should win over a certain group of fans.

 

Photo Gallery: (17 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Ben Perlee,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Can good videogame music sugarcoat a game so much that we forget it's a bad game?
lewness avatarlewness
My Wii U came back from repairs... It does not recognize me anymore. It does not remember anything - Xenoblade, Smash, everything. Also, the game disc that was trapped when I sent it is in a separate sleeve, cracked. RIP data.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Separated at birth? [img]https://38.media.tumblr.com/dc4c946f418196e87160398f851c19fb/tumblr_nuwhksbSVu1sjh5bfo1_400.gif[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I got my RNDM Viynl by Mega Ran last night but forgot to post a picture. Enjoying it so far though.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Damn, my 26" monitor just crapped out on me. S'what I get for buying knockoff brands I guess. Back to the 19" non-HD monitor for me.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
I miss mapping :( I was thinking about learning GameMaker, but now I'm leaning toward Unreal Engine 4, maybe to map for the new UT?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I've spent the past 3 hours with that Lost Planet spinoff EX Troopers after finding it on sale for $20US on Amazon. It would've been great if Capcom had released it here. Or if they decided 2 turn that IP into Monster Hunter w/ guns set in an open world
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Anyone notice that the Qposts are posting in the Normal Blog list? Niero? Bueller?
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Rubio supporters rough up robot at New Hampshire rally. Mr. Destructoid's long lost cousin?
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
For a nice mailbox surprise today! Forgot I ordered this a while back.
Shinta avatarShinta
Bosman and Huber running a Nintendo channel show, and playing games with Treehouse during E3? I'd be down for that.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
I just found out Phoenix Wright is getting an anime this year. Color me surprised and very interested.
Operative20 avatarOperative20
I really want to continue my RE playthrough but this FUCKIN JAVA PROGRAM JUST WON'T WORK WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE
SayWord avatarSayWord
Life is Strange Spoilers: I am about to start Episode 5 but noticed Uzumaki inspiration right away. Beginning scene with the town and lighthouse, tons of Spirals including the projections in the "End of the World Party". Anyone else notice this?
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Is it just me or with only one month and a week 2016 has been hit with some considerable losses, but in terms of severity and scope? From musicians and athletes to freaking websites...Let's keep riding this storm of sadness guys.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -