02nd Aug2019

‘The Drama Queen Murder’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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As this was the first hidden object game I’d played on Switch (it’s a genre I often play to wind down with my partner on PC) I was quite looking forward to lounging on the couch and getting some pretty casual gaming done. Alas, The Drama Queen Murder turned out to be a difficult one to settle into, even for a fan of the genre.

As is usually the case with Hidden Object games, the story is pretty generic and most of the game play is around highlighting an item in the scenery and marking it off the list at the bottom of the screen. Sure, there are occasionally other, more involved puzzles, but these are usually skippable as the developers know what people are here to do, lay back, enjoy a very gentle tale and find stuff that’s hidden.

As a detective investigating the titular murder, you walk around the various areas of the game looking for clues but the control scheme is awkwardly laid out, only the right thumb-stick can be used to move the cursor (it really feels like it should be the left stick) and there’s no way to alter the speed, so it feels a bit sluggish as you drag it around the screen. Beyond that, the right trigger is the ‘select’ button when, again, it feels like it should be a face-button, it doesn’t quite feel ‘right.’

The game features no spoken dialogue, in fact it’s pretty bare-bones all around feeling like a Hidden Object PC game from quite a few years back with none of the additions we have come to expect such as short cut-scenes and more advanced visuals / sound design. In The Drama Queen Murder, the objects look kind of indistinguishable (especially in hand-held mode) due to the flat graphics and there’s an extremely irritating sound when you DO click on something you need to find. What would you guess it is? A gentle ‘ping’? a jingle or tickling of notes?

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No.

It’s a sudden, atonal jab at a violin, the kind of sound you hear when a killer leaps out in an 80’s slasher movie, loud, aggressive, out of keeping with the audio reference and extremely irritating….that you hear around twenty-five times in each screen.

There’s not much more to say here, it’s a very basic genre and The Drama Queen Murder failed to engage me even when all I wanted was a casual gaming experience with a glass of wine. There’s limited audio options so I had to mute it to get rid of the serial killer violin cacophony and the drab visuals and slow controls meant it felt like a constant effort. A hard one to recommend, too tedious for fans of the genre and not a good start for newcomers.

The Drama Queen Murder is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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