Anticipating Murder is a freeware adventure game made by Plastic Ostrich Games, and released to the public in August 2006.
You are in a hospital. You seem to have lost your memory, and you cannot remember who you are. All you remember is that you were in an explosion. But who would try to kill you like that? And why? You slowly manage to piece together the mystery. Your name is Jake Nielson, and you are a private detective. Your client wants you to find proof that his wife is having an affair. Unfortunately, his wife has hired a hitman to PREVENT you from finding proof.
There is no rest for the wicked though. As you continue to investigate things, you discover that your partner (Lauren) has been kidnapped. So as well as trying to find proof that your client's wife is having an affair, you also need to find out where Lauren is being held, and rescue her. Being a private detective is not easy! Can you do all that, and survive the hitman as well?
The game uses a simple point-and-click interface, which makes it easy to play. There are icons at the top of the screen (move your mouse up there to see them) for Walk \ Look \ Talk etc. All your inventory items are stored in the bag icon. Just click on the bag to see what items you have. To look at an item, simply click on the eye icon, and then click on an object. To move, just click on an area of the screen and Jake will move there. There are options to save a game, load a game, or quit, which are also shown at the top of the screen.
I should point out that near the end of the game, Jake can become stuck sometimes. When he is in the basement, Lauren can accidentally trap him in a corner. I recommend that you save often when you are in the basement.
The graphics are 3d, and they are impressive. People and objects really seem to stand out, and this gives a lot of depth to the game. The sink in Jake's bathroom, for example, really seems like you could use it to wash your hands. In addition, the stools in Bailey's Pub are just waiting to be sat on. I thought that the water jug in the hospital room was a really nice touch.
I liked the style of graphics a lot, but I thought that some objects seemed a bit too shiny. Even Jake himself has a certain shine when he is facing you. It also seems like Jake is walking on air sometimes, which I found a bit strange. However, those are just minor details, and they do not take anything away from the enjoyment of the game.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
The music was nice, but nothing spectacular. The same music is played throughout the game, and you tend to forget about it after a while. There are also some sound effects, such as the tap running in your bathroom, and the clink of bottles when you are outside Bailey's Pub. There are a few explosions, which I thought sounded quite realistic.
There are some interesting characters in this game. I thought the hitman was interesting, as he is obviously new to the hitman business. Your landlady was funny, as she uses your own mail in order to bribe you. There are a few other characters as well, and you need to talk to everyone in order to solve the mystery.
I enjoyed this adventure game very much. The story is very well written, and it is easy to get into. I really like the 3d graphics, and I thought that it added a lot to the game. The music was a bit bland. I would have enjoyed a bit of variety to listen to, but that is just a minor detail. The characters were interesting to talk to. My only niggle is that Jake can sometimes get stuck in the basement, near the end to the game.
Review by: Frodo