Norman Cooks in "Search for the Don"

Adventure 2002 Windows Mystery Puzzle based

Visually impressive but shallow adventure

This little known adventure should be of most interest to those who enjoy the likes of LucasArts classics like Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island and the Indiana Jones games. It's not exactly in the same league as these legends of the genre however and is only really noteworthy for its distinctive visuals, as its gameplay is pretty minimal and largely disappointing. The story finds detective Norman Cooks at home one rainy night, contemplating another night without work. However, an informant soon shows up with a job and which sets Norman on the titular search for the Don. The game is played out in similar fashion to the well known SCUMM adventures, with the player making use of a point-and-click system to control Norman and with the usual array of commands, such as 'look', 'use', 'pick up' and 'talk' available to solve the puzzles that are on display here. So, things get off to a great start when you fire the game up. Graphically, despite being a freeware game, it's impressive stuff, with a highly unusual an distinctive visual style which really helps it to stand out. The character design is quite delightful and lends the game a lot of personality. However, once you start playing, you quickly realise that there really isn't much to it. There are only a handful of locations to explore, while the puzzles are almost non-existent, as is the actual narrative itself. There are two endings to watch but neither will take long to find and neither are particularly interesting either, so while this is visually impressive, this isn't enough to warrant bothering with.

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