Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None Impressions

One of Agatha Christie's most popular mysteries comes to life in this upcoming adventure game.

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And Then There Were None is considered one of Agatha Christie's greatest and most popular mysteries, and considering that her books have sold more than a billion copies in the English language alone, that's saying quite a lot. And while the book has inspired countless imitations, as well as served as the basis for several films and plays since it was published in 1939, it's never been the subject of a game. That will change next month, when The Adventure Company and developer AWE Games will release Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None, an adventure game based on Christie's classic whodunit. We recently got a look at an almost-finished version of the game to see, among other things, whether the butler did do it.

And Then There Were None will feature four possible endings depending on who you save from certain death.
And Then There Were None will feature four possible endings depending on who you save from certain death.

The plot of And Then There Were None involves 10 strangers who are invited to spend a holiday in a mansion on a remote island. Upon their arrival, their mysterious host leaves them a message on a gramophone record, informing them that they are all guilty of committing murders they had since covered up. After some of the guests are found murdered the following morning, the survivors realize that the island killer is one of them. And what ensues is a tense cat-and-mouse game as they attempt to determine who that island killer is among them.

Of course, the developer is taking some liberties with the basic plot to adapt it to a game. Veteran Hollywood writer and video game designer Lee Sheldon was brought in on the project, and the result is that And Then There Were None will feature four completely different endings that will come about based on the choices you make. (If you're curious, there's also an "alternate" ending you can view that's faithful to the book.) You will play as Patrick Narracott, a completely new character created for the game. Narracott is the boatman who transports the other characters to the island. And since he's filling in at the last minute for his sick brother, Fred, he's completely innocent of murder. Your job will be to try to figure out how to get off the island alive, though you'll also try to both uncover the murderer and save as many of the guests as possible, including the fetching young woman who may have captured your heart.

The gameplay in And Then There Were None should be instantly familiar to adventure fans. The game takes place from a third-person perspective, and you control Narracott simply by clicking where you want him to go. Mouse over appropriate objects or people and you can interact with them. If you speak to other guests, the dialogue tree gives you different possible responses, and all important notes and details are automatically recorded in your journal, which you can refer to at any time.

When it doubt, it's always easy to simply blame the butler.
When it doubt, it's always easy to simply blame the butler.

The heart of any adventure game centers around its puzzles, and And Then There Were None should prove up to the task. There are a large number of puzzles in the game, many of which are optional and should prove themselves interesting and challenging distractions. For example, as you try to make your way off the island, you'll come up with many desperate schemes, including gathering the materials for a parasail (and getting one of the guests to sew it together for you). Just uncovering the secret, sordid pasts of each of the guests alone should provide plenty of fodder. Playing through the game will take at least 20 hours, we're told, and with the four possible endings, that should result in quite a bit of replay value.

And Then There Were None looks great, and the game takes full advantage of its 1939 setting to create a colorful and stylish past. The Adventure Company enlisted veteran actors to provide the voices for the guests to provide that extra bit of humanity to them. With its rich setting and its roots in one of Agatha Christie's most popular stories, And Then There Were None should be a treat to adventure and Agatha Christie fans alike. The game recently went gold, and it's due to ship on November 8.

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