Fingered

Budding investigators – Can you identify who did it? Are you observant and do you have critical thinking skills? Do you have a filthy mind and are easily entertained by innuendo so blunt that it is like being hit in the face by a raw lobster? This could be a game for you…

Today I bring you a simple review for a simpler game. Fingered is a game that seems to have been born around one joke. This joke is in its name, and it gets old quite quickly.

To set the scene; you are a detective who is responsible for identifying a crim. You are given a line-up of potential suspects and using 4 clues provided by a witness you must identify who did it. The basic premise for this game is quite good. Use clues to eliminate, or accuse, people. When you are confident you know who the guilty person is you “finger” them.  This is where the joke falls down. When a suspect is fingered they get sent to an electric chair and killed. Your success is shown to you in the form of a newspaper article. You either killed the right person or not.

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The game is structured around days. Each day the player has to positively identify a criminal from a line up. At the beginning the witness gives quite clear clues to help you identify the villain. When you have murdered the right criminal you are sent onto the next day. The next witness gives slightly less clear clues. At this point “might” clues are introduced. These clues have a 60% chance of being accurate. As you progress through the game the reliability of the witnesses starts to waiver, the clues start to get vaguer and the people in the line-up start looking more and more similar. The challenge in the game is to see how many days you can make it before you kill two innocent people.

As simple as the art style for this game is, it is one of its greatest weaknesses. Most of the clues are in the form of physical descriptions, appropriately so, but the way the suspects are drawn really makes picking out the difference between “unclean” and “ugly” silly. After a few rounds you do start to notice similarities between certain clues and certain features (excrement on a suspects head normally means that they are not clean).  When you are trying to work out the difference between thin and fat the think comic lines are obstructions to interpretation.

Additionally, some clues reference attributes such as “looks like a jock.” Not coming from a country where we have things called jocks, this description looses a little meaning with interpretation. There were a couple of instances where they used such local words, once again, this did not gain it any favour with a non-USA reader.

In between levels there are clues that are supposed to help you on your way. The worst clue that I saw stated “Sometimes you might just have to guess.” This only pressed home to me that the game forces you to rely on luck as much as problem solving.

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I wish that I could say that this game was a statement on the use of capital punishment, and how there is no going back from the fact there are people who are killed over the world for crimes they either did not commit or for crimes that are so petty that the punishment should not be used. However, they instead trivialise the death penalty by plumbing it with innuendo so blunt that I cannot feel that this game is just insensitive.

This game is not bad, it is just not well… good enough. With the bad jokes aside, the concept for the game is good. They have failed to flesh out the game enough to be truly engaging. In part this is due to the art style. The ambiguity in the art lets this game down a lot. As such, I find it quite hard to recommend, but I do not think it is actually a terrible game. This is something that would have fitted nicely in with many of the older flash games where they were free and repetitive. As cheap as this game is I cannot recommend it at full price. If you see it in a bundle that may be the best time to pick it up. This reviewer’s opinion of this game is that it is…

Julian has been involved in the games industry for more than a couple of years now, from working in retail to developing board games to judging Magic: the Gathering tournaments Australia wide. Now as a writer for OK Games he likes to explore niche titles that try to approach gaming from a different perspective. Now all he needs to do is start finishing all those games in his Steam Library...