You'll love it if:
- You like Agatha Christie's work
- You enjoyed the previous Hercule Poirot game
- You find puzzles and mind maps entertaining
Not for you if:
- You are looking for a challenge
- You want to experience an entirely new story
- Detective games aren't your jam
Even if you’re not an avid reader, chances are you can easily associate Agatha Christie with the famous detective novel “Murder on the Orient Express”. The murder mystery from 1934 has influenced several film, TV, and game adaptations. Now Microids brings us a new take on the classic story by setting it in 2023 and introducing a second detective. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express is out now on all platforms.
Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express is a classic murder mystery, offering a modern spin on the original story. Hercule Poirot investigates the same crime, but it takes place in current times and he receives help from a second detective. The gameplay is straightforward, offering a movie-like experience. While the puzzles are diverse and fun to solve, and you need to engage your own little grey cells to unravel the mystery, the game does not punish wrong answers at all.
Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express: Story
Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express offers a modern spin on the classic story. It’s the same murder, on the same train, but it takes place in 2023. I’ll set the scene for you without giving away much of the story, since that’s kinda crucial to your game experience.
All aboard the murder express
Hercule Poirot, the most famous Belgian detective, receives a note inviting him to London. His friend Bouc, also a Belgian and the director of the Orient Express, convinces him to take the Orient Express with him from Istanbul to Paris first. While the train has been fully booked for months, Bouc manages to find a spot for the detective. The power of friendship! And thank god Poirot is here to solve the murder that inevitably will take place.
The crime took place around midnight, shortly after the train stopped in Vinkovci. Not long after that, the train comes to a halt due to heavy snowfall. The train, the passengers and the crew are all stranded in the middle of nowhere. This is a pretty convenient detail because even though the story now takes place in 2023, nobody can get a phone signal. Current technology doesn’t really need to be considered during your investigation and the train looks and feels like it would have back in the day.
New detective, who dis?
You might wonder, then what’s the point of bringing the story to 2023? Well, there we have the addition of a second detective. They travelled all the way from the US to follow a lead in a case they couldn’t let go of. You’ll get the chance to play this new detective in flashbacks, taking place in a much more modern setting than the Orient Express. Switching between the new detective (I’m deliberately vague so as not to spoil who it is) and Poirot is quite refreshing and keeps you on your toes throughout the investigation. Check out the second image in the slideshow below if you want to meet the second detective.
Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express: Gameplay
When it comes to detective games, gameplay-wise they are roughly divided into two categories: point & click games and walking simulators. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express is of the latter variety, as opposed to e.g. Famicom Detective Club. It’s very similar to Hercule Poirot: The First Cases which Microids published two years ago.
Hercule the explorer
You play as either Hercule or the other detective in the third person. You can roam freely, though of course within a confined space such as the Orient Express. Objects and people that you can interact with will be highlighted, so you don’t waste time clicking every single thing in order to find clues. As an additional challenge, golden moustaches are hidden in obscure places for you to collect. You may not know it yet, but Hercule cares a great deal about his moustache.
Instead of quest lists with objectives, Hercule stretches his grey muscles and creates so-called mind maps. These are visual representations of how certain events are connected, but they also contain ‘next steps’. Who to question, what to investigate etc. in order to progress the story. While this also existed in the previous game, it’s a good way to keep track of everything you’ve learned so far and helps you connect the dots.
You’ll find that Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express offers a surprising amount of puzzles, but none of them repeats. The majority of puzzles are surprisingly unique, though there are of course the usual suspects as well. On top of that, some of them were pretty challenging and took me an embarrassing amount of time to solve without using hints. While I love detective games, I have little patience for overly complicated puzzles. Luckily, every single puzzle was straightforward, and most importantly, fun enough.
Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express: Conclusion
While Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express is a well-known story, this adaptation adds some surprises for you. Story-wise I can recommend it, whether you’re already familiar or not. The gameplay is easy, and the game never punishes you for coming to the wrong conclusion. So if you’re looking for a challenge, this will not be the detective game for you. The game is just meant to be fun and engaging, which is proven by the gameplay and jokes woven into the story. Which is fully voiced, by the way, adding flavour to the international passengers. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express plays like a compelling film.
A big thank you to Enarxis for providing us with a copy of this game!