Intriguing but dull murder mystery
The rather unsubtle title gives a pretty good idea of what you're in for with this game and it should be no surprise to find that it's a murder mystery adventure set on a cruise ship. Developed by Delphine, best known for Flashback and Another World, this takes the point-and-click interface of Curse of Monkey Island and Discworld and marries it to a complex whodunnit that is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie. The basic plot revolves around the murder of a wealthy businessman aboard his own yacht, but conveniently enough, there just happens to be a policeman on board to help solve the mystery. Players take on the role of this Poirot-like character and must solve the crime by speaking with the various shady family members and assorted hangers-on and gathering enough clues to find the culprit. Cruise for a Corpse differs from many similar games in that its puzzles are not so much inventory-based but which instead require you speak to the right person at the right time in order to learn the most useful information. While this does make the game a little different from others, it also leads to a certain amount of frustration and boredom as you simply have to trigger the correct train of events, rather than use your mind to solve a puzzle. Visually, the game is quite striking, with bright and appealing cartoon-style characters and environments that are packed with detail. The story is reasonably engaging but no murder-mystery classic and lacks the twists that would make it so. The gameplay is slow-paced, even for an adventure of this type, and is rather less than exciting, although the complex relationships and intrigues between the supporting cast do give it a strange sort of appeal. Ultimately though, it is all rather charmless and pointless and there are much better graphic adventures out there, including the Broken Sword series.