The Uncertainty Machine

Adventure 2003 Windows Ratracer Science Fiction Mystery

Finely crafted mystery

The premise for this little freeware adventure might sound a little dry and uninteresting but it actually turns out to be a reasonably entertaining experience that certainly whiles away a few hours in decent fashion. The game is a point-and-click adventure, similar to Broken Sword and the like, and takes place in a near future society where crime has been eradicated and life is largely peaceful. However, when a reporter, the player character, learns of a robbery from a politician and finds herself caught up in an intriguingly complex mystery. To say much more of the plot would be to spoil much of the game's appeal and it is largely a well-written and compelling tale that should keep you hooked for its entire running time. The basic gameplay is similar to other such games, with a simple to use but flexible interface that helps keep the game accessible. The puzzles on display here might be a touch easy for veterans of Beneath a Steel Sky but they are rarely less than ingenious and prove immensely satisfying when you do solve them, which is a hallmark of good design. The visuals are striking, and are even more impressive when considered that this is freeware, with a nice comic-book style to the environments and characters and which add much to the game's appeal. Music is also highly atmospheric, with a good range of tracks that create a mood which switches between creepy and tranquil with seeming ease. If faults are to be found, then the animation is a little rough while purists might bemoan the lack of voice acting, but these really are minor niggles and on the whole, this is a fine adventure.

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