Spot 13 (my favorite number) goes to case 27: “The Deadly Device.”
Science is definitely not my forte, but I like it to some extent. With that said, I really like the science that went into “The Deadly Device.” Believe me, there are Tesla coils everywhere.
This game is the first one since 1998 that Her Interactive tackles a murder case. A world renowned scientist, Niko Jovic, was brutally electrocuted by the giant Tesla coil built by one of his colleagues. The security tape has been altered (probably by the culprit), so it is far from clear as to who killed Niko.
With this one, it’s pretty clear what the plot of the game centers around: who killed Niko?
Nancy gets brought in by the co-owner of the lab and research center, Technology of Tomorrow Today. He, Victor Losset, as well as the police, believe it was the lab’s technical engineer, Ryan Kilpatrick, that killed Niko (and nice pun with the name, guys. If your name implies that you want to kill someone named Patrick, then you must automatically be the prime suspect). Although she’s super sweet and quirky, Ryan does seem to know an awful lot of dangerous science.
The other subjects are suspiciously cranky security guard Gray, lifeless and OCD research assistant Mason, and soft spoken yet devious lay think research assistant Ellie. Those three characters are annoying, annoying, and annoying, but they’re supposed to be. Ryan and Victor are just fine.
Anyway, this game really expires the world of scientific discoveries and, consequently, what is possible when knowledge falls into the wrong hands. At times, there’s way too much science. The lab is beautifully crafted, yet it’s very hard to get lost when people tell you to use a machine of which you have no idea of its location and/or physical characteristics.
“The Deadly Device” has a lot of fun puzzles, some of which are very intricate. There’s a lot to do, but what makes it even better is that there are side things that are optional. For example, you can find the scattered parts of a robotic cat (kind of like Suki from “Shadow at the Water’s Edge“) and rebuild it, but you don’t have to.
We also see the now famous candy that was first introduced in “Trail of the Twister.”
The game has a great pace as it gets more and more tense as it progresses. It’s really well done, and the locations that get revealed are great, too.
From beginning to end, nothing really disappoints. Although, sometimes you have to repeat intricate science experiments with solutions.
Nikola Tesla is a huge part of the game himself, and it seems that Niko is practically a modern day reincarnation of him. They both are exceptionally brilliant scientists, and both a secretive.
Although we never met Niko, it is clear from his notes that he wanted his discoveries to be used for good, not for fame or a profit.
So, what’s keeping “The Deadly Device” out of the top ten? The built-in “hints.” I think it’s a cheap way for the games to try and make harder puzzles since the game will give you a solution if you want long enough. Although, I’m very guilty of using them.
But hey, if you want to click through the solutions and cheat throughout the entire game, go for it. That’s about my only complaint about the game.
There are also some instances when it’s hard to tell what or how to do something next. It can get a tad bit boring, but it usually doesn’t last for too long.
There’s also the surprising success of having Deirdre Shannon, Nancy’s arch rival from River Heights, as a phone contact. She’s hilarious the entire time as blatantly insults Nancy. She’s a lot of help, though.
I’d say that “The Deadly Device” deserves to be near the top, so it generally is. It’s a great game with a great feel to it.
There are just too many games that are better. I will say, though, that it’s so close to being tied with the game that will take spot 12, but you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out why!