Developer: Zima Software
Publisher: Mamor Games
Tested on: PC
Detective Hayseed: Hollywood – Review
You don’t always have to a crime scene investigator or a police officer to investigate a terrible crime. Private Investigators such as Sherlock Holmes and Jessica Jones are great examples of those that do not quite fit in the squares of law. And although he was a detective, Hercule Poirot will always remain the most intricate investigator. Detective Hayseed doesn’t fit in either categories nor is he intelligent enough to be extraordinary but his dimwit behaviour does make him memorable.
In a few days, the most esteemed awards are being held at Hollywood. That’s right, the Oscar awards are closing in but something terrible has happened. The list revealing the rightful winners has been stolen and Hollywood is in uproar. Everyone from the industry is on the suspect list and this is causing some distress to the greatest fictional detectives and private investigators. President Barack Obama knows the perfect candidate to solve this crime in less than 48 hours, detective Hick Hayseed. After scavenging the required items, he sets off to Hollywood and begins the investigation, solving puzzles and finding clues that will ultimately lead to the identification of the villain. The path towards the truth is a tricky one however and Hayseed needs your intelligent wits to help him.
The visuals in Detective Hayseed: Hollywood are certainly interesting thanks to their hand drawn and airbrushed backgrounds. The overall feel is not similar to the Deponia franchise, nor does it come close to The Book of Unwritten Tales. Instead it has its own charisma that will speak to all ages interested in point ‘n click adventure games. It’s not quite comic book-styled, not quite realistic but it does feature a plethora of details and plenty of pop-culture references – both as characters as well as items scattered in indoor rooms. As for the user interface, or the menu, it’s simple and straight forward. The inventory reveals all at once and includes handwritten notes which is a nice touch.
As said before, the details in each scene is superb. You’ll start at Detective Hayseed’s house, which is cluttered with useful items, before taking off to a typical Hollywood mansion. Then the police department before running off to the beach and its lighthouse before finally entering the Hollywood Studios. Each scene is simply great and we were always eager to see how the next scene would look like.
Although plenty of work has been done to the sound design, it is not something to write home about. It’s simple and works but it also feels mediocre at best. The voice-acting is alright and they did try to use different levels to provoke certain emotions but we couldn’t be amazed. Sound effects have been added in every scene wherever possible, such as the sound of footsteps on a wooden floorboard, the chirping of grasshoppers and other insects found outdoors, the echoes in caves, the hustling and bustling in a police office, the aloha-vibes at a beach and many more. Each of these sound effects make up for a pleasant atmosphere.
Detective Hayseed: Hollywood is a point ‘n click adventure game and thus it features similar mechanics to other point ‘n click games. You search the rooms for items that may be of use at a later time, certain items can be combined and should be used immediately, others have multiple uses throughout the entire gameplay. Often enough, you will pick up items that will leave you questioning if you really do need it but we found out that it’s best to simply grab everything – especially since the inventory is not limited.
Finding items is the core gameplay mechanic but so is moving back and forth to several locations as certain items can only be found in the next scene. For most games, the travelling times between these areas take up the most part of the actual game and it can be a tad annoying in the long run. In Detective Hayseed: Hollywood they figured out a means to give players a chance to take the long back and forth route or choose a more direct and faster way; “transporting” Hayseed to a certain area by double-clicking. The latter option is extremely fun as it will give the player a way of beating the game within an hour which results in an achievement or three.
Another basic core mechanic found in all point ‘n click adventure games is the puzzle aspect. Most puzzles are found in soundboards, mini-games within the actual game, or as a series of tasks to do before you get item X. The game provides the most common puzzles and nearly all of them are a piece of cake. We did have some trouble with the chess puzzle as that is simply not up our alley but after countless of trial and errors, we finally managed and we are positive that many of you will find certain puzzles far too easy. On a more positive note, this does make the game more accessible to a younger generation.
Detective Hayseed: Hollywood is a fun point ‘n click adventure game for all ages to enjoy. The storyline is simple; something was stolen and you need to find the culprit and recover the stolen item. There is so much charisma in the visual design which makes each location perfect in its own way and it does set itself apart somewhat by the visuals – even if the puzzles are often too simple. The sound design is great too although it could have been polished some more but as the game is overall good, we won’t complain.