Terrified by Point-and-Click: Murder Mystery Recollections


The movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Murder on the Orient Express came out in theaters today, and it got me thinking about other forms of murder mystery novel adaptations. And when I found out that Murder on the Orient Express had a point-and-click PC game, I had to find the 2006 trailer. Apparently in this daring virtual adventure, Hercule Poirot has fallen ill and you must take his place as master detective:

I know that in our futuristic 2017 this game looks ridiculous. But I swear to you that in 2006, this was high art and those poorly rendered characters could have been my next door neighbor they looked so realistic.

I love point-and-click murder mystery games. I spent hours pointing and clicking my way through all the Nancy Drew murder mysteries, from Treasure in the Royal Tower to The White Wolf of Icicle Creek. With a friend or two by my side, we would explore Nancy's world and search for clues. If it got too scary, we would turn off the game, only to load it up again because we wanted to know what happened next.

(Side note: In The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, Nancy had to cook. Because that's what ladies detectives do? Also, to rub it in, the controls for cooking were really finicky so it was impossible.)

Regardless of the cooking, the bad graphics, and the endless clicking and pointing, these games brought to life murder mysteries in a way nothing else did. I'm an avid reader, I love movies, and, naturally, I go to the theater all the time. Games, however, offer their own take on interaction and immersion (whether they are on a computer or otherwise).

The weekend is coming up, and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express video game is less than $10 online with free one-day shipping. I think I know what I'm doing with my Sunday.

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