During the early nineties when the compact disc format was taking off, there were a few consoles aching to jump on the bandwagon. This new media format afforded developers a storage capacity that was practically unheard of at the time, but how were they ever going to fill all that space up? This new realm of possibilities led to the creation of the now (in)famous FMV game genre, where the game literally played out as a video right in front of you. Some were good, see Night Trap, with others proving less popular. So, it’s with great surprise that here, in 2015, I find myself playing yet another FMV game – an episodic one no less.
MISSING: An Interactive Thriller casts you as David Newcastle, a family man who has been kidnapped by forces unknown. In episode one you awake in a cell, shackled to the ceiling with no knowledge of how you got there, almost half expecting Jigsaw from the Saw films to appear on a screen in front of you
Half of the game plays out as a video, with some quicktime events thrown in for good measure, with the other half of the game playing more like your typical point ‘n’ click adventure.
In scene one you’ll break David out of his shackles by moving the various pins that make up its lock, but not all MISSING‘s puzzles are so straightforward. Episode one rarely has you do the same thing twice, so whether you’re looking for the access codes for a keypad, playing around with pressure gauges or firing nuts and bolts at an electronic lock release, the game keeps you guessing throughout.
There’s not a lot to progress MISSING‘s story in episode one, but what’s here is enjoyable nonetheless. There’s intrigue in mystery, don’t you know?
MISSING tackle’s David’s disappearance from two angles, with the player also taking on the role of Detective Lambert. Lambert’s been called in to investigate your disappearance, and with signs of a struggle at your abandoned car, he isn’t taking things lightly.
Outside of the game’s puzzles, there’s some surprisingly stellar acting and production values. For all intents and purposes, this is a TV show that you can interact with. It’s part point ‘n’ click and part puzzle game, wrapped up in a well crafted TV episode.
From the dank basement David finds himself locked up in, to the, literally, explosive episode finale, MISSING kept me hooked and is well worth 30 minutes of your time. Roll on episode two!