One of the biggest and most popular genres when it comes to games on the Nintendo 3DS is puzzle solving. Of course, puzzle solving isn't enough to sustain a full length game on its own, even a portable game on the 3DS platform. That's why in James Noir's Hollywood Crimes, players are faced with puzzles, but also with the additional intriguing aspect that at least half the puzzles that players are asked to solve are linked to unsolved murders.
Murder Most Foul!
Players begin the game by filling out the paperwork for an application for them to appear in a television show in the 1960s. On the show contestants compete in alternate weeks to beat each others scores. However, before this particular player, that is you, can get on the show you are contacted by an old friend who is now working for the FBI. The bureau needs your puzzle solving skills to make sense of the cryptic clues that a killer is leaving strewn around the crime scenes in Hollywood, which are teasing the authorities with hints as to the killer's whereabouts. And as if that wasn't enough, it turns out that everyone who has been a victim of this killer has also been a puzzle solver on the television show in which you will soon appear. So it's a race against the clock to find the killer, before other players from the competition, or you, become the next victims.
Solve That Puzzle!
With the unique capacities that the Nintendo 3DS presents for puzzle solving games, from the 3D elements to the touch screen, James Noir's Hollywood Crimes easily stands on its own two feet. The puzzles are unique and challenging without feeling impossible, but they are also set against a clever backdrop that draws on classic Hollywood themes. With the feeling of classic film noir like Jack Nicholson's Chinatown, Hollywood Murders can get players seeing the world from a cynical point of view before the television show even gets rolling.
However, when it comes to the puzzles, players aren't just directed linearly to solve one puzzle after the other. While the murder scenes are already present and cannot be changed, players do have quite a choice of which puzzles to solve when they are actually on the game show. With three levels of difficulty players can choose to solve either easy, medium or hard problems. The harder the puzzle the more points the player earns on the show and the more prestige they will get when the results are announced in the newspapers in following days.
Is It Worth The Cost?
Unlike some games, which just get re-released and essentially unchanged on the Nintendo 3DS, Hollywood Crimes is a puzzle solver that was designed especially for this platform. As such, players aren't just dealing with a simple game that's had more bells and whistles added, this is an original and is exactly how it was meant to be seen and played. For gamers that will accept no substitutes, and who want to try their hand at catching a killer in classic Hollywood mystery style before the killer catches them, then James Noir's Hollywood Crimes fits the bill in almost every respect.