6321636NoneHey, plumbing wasn't part of the job description!
This frustration is compounded by the game's lack of clarity about your objectives. For instance, at one point, you find a machine that you can't operate because it's missing a lever. You might have an object in your inventory called a lever, but try as you might, you're unable to use it with the machine. Much later in the game, you acquire a different object, also called a lever, and can then return to operate the machine. The point-and-click adventure element of The Malgrave Incident lets you take an active role in advancing the story, and this could have made it a better game. But the lack of a hint system and the absence of a clear sense of direction at times can bring the game's pace to a screeching halt. The frustration that can arise from these periods is at odds with the absorbing, easygoing nature of the hidden-object scenes, and those who come to The Malgrave Incident hoping for a good hidden-object game may find that this aspect muddles the experience.
From time to time, you also encounter puzzles in the form of contraptions you need to fiddle with, elaborate locks you need to open, and so forth. Some of these are ordinary slide puzzles, while others are more interesting, such as one puzzle involving a diorama stuffed with objects--a skull, a pile of logs, an apple, and numerous other items--where you need to determine which objects belong together and in what sequence. Not all of these puzzles are fun to solve, but after tinkering with them for a few minutes, all of them can be skipped, which is a merciful option when contending with a tedious slide puzzle, and it fits in well with the no-stress structure of the hidden-object scenes.
Evidence of Malgrave Island's prosperous past makes its present all the more poignant.
The Malgrave Incident also has three competitive multiplayer modes for up to four players. Classic Pick challenges you to find more listed objects than your opponents. In Swift Pick, a single object is listed, and players score points by being the first to spot it. Tick Tick Pick is essentially hot potato; a bomb is ticking down, and when it comes your way, you need to find a listed hidden object to pass it to the next player before it explodes. These modes all function just fine, but The Malgrave Incident's best moments are ones of calm focus--not frantic competition. Additional players can also grab remotes and assist with finding hidden objects during the game's Story mode, though even if you don't have extra remotes, it's fun to just gather around the screen and verbally help each other find the listed items.
The Malgrave Incident can take around 15 hours to complete if you opt to solve each puzzle yourself, and at $30, it's reasonably priced. It's an uneven journey, and it's a shame that its better qualities are offset by periods of aimlessness and frustration. Still, it comes to a satisfying conclusion, and in the end, you'll be glad you took a trip to this mysterious and fascinating island.
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