How To Shoot A Criminal – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, Simulation, Mystery, Thriller
Developer: Pandorica
Publisher: Pandorica
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

How To Shoot A Criminal – Review

Site Score
Good: Idea with real life videos has potential, 30's/VCR filter on the videos
Bad: Not much gameplay, bad acting, French language, Subs sometimes incorrect, Not satisfying
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)

How To Shoot A Criminal is an Indie/Simulation game with an adventurous, mysterious, thriller kind of vibe to it. It was released on Steam by “Pandorica” on January 20th, 2017. My first thoughts were it was a pure point-and-click game and that it had no real action in it. So it would be perfect for those moments when you aren’t really up for the fast, head blasting action games and just want to relax a bit, while doing some brain training thinking on the side. The game had some very interesting previews, so I as well was excited when I had my first look upon this title.

How To Shoot a Criminal


In How To Shoot A Criminal, which is situated in the 30’s, you play the role of Scarlett Eppledore. Along with 7 others the newspaper “The Revenge” was launched. The main editor of the newspaper is one Aaron Williams. By the unbelief for Aaron, there is some sort of resistance built up by Scarlett and the other colleagues. In fact, the game starts at that certain point. Scarlett scans newspapers, videos, notes, and archives to prove the incredibility she has towards Aaron. The corrupted editor has the motives for The Revenge all wrong. It gets even more difficult for Scarlett when politics, economics and inner dissension within the newspaper staff gets in the way. You encounter many different characters and need to try to figure them all out. Scarlett has just 1 day to fulfill this difficult task and make the newspaper truthful again, exploiting chief editor Aaron along the way.



On graphics area, there’s really not much to say. In front of you there’s a desktop where you can put your notes, videos,… and manage them. You can also enter keywords so videos pop up. The videos are self-recorded images with real actors. There is a nice black and white filter which gives you a kind of old VCR feeling. In itself, it does have a weird and creepy touch or feeling. The performances of the actors, however, are not from a high level whereby the authenticity quickly gets lost. The video images can be paused and re-watched as often as you like. The layout is nice and brings you in the atmosphere of that specific time, which certainly is experienced as a plus.



In the field of sound, there are some mixed feelings. The permanent background sound, which can also be turned off, has a mysterious, ambient feel, which eventually brings a positive vibe. The sound during the movies is a different story. All the dialogues are French spoken and the subtitles are in English. The French discussions do not give of a good vibe and the subtitles often not show with what is being told. There are also no sound effects added, so that it quickly gets boring with the dialogues only.



In fact, for being a simulation game with a mystery/thriller toch, How To Shoot A criminal is a combination between a video game and cinema. It sometimes feel that you watch more videos than actually play the game. The mystery remains, but you can’t really experience it as a thriller. Between the videos, you search for new videos by entering specific keywords. You really want to use your imagination here, as the game doesn’t give much tips or hints. Therefore it’s easy to get stuck really fast at a certain point. When you don’t find the right keywords, all you really do is checking some info sheets or watching the same videos over and over again to find any link between them. It doesn’t feel as a serious investigation and you get bored real soon. Some actors don’t do a real good job and the dialogues doesn’t make any sense from time to time. The main thing, is to bring down the newspaper from within by uncovering Aaron’s secrets but too many uninspired videos are making it hard to keep your focus on your mission. The notebook on your desktop is the trick to keep the really imported things close by your hand. You can easily wright your own notes and check them as much as you want.


The idea behind discovering the story is good, but it needed to be more than just entering the correct keyword or combining them to get the desired video fragments. When you don’t enter the correct keyword, nothing happens and you can browse the info sheets or your own notes again until you figure out some links that reveal more videos. Therefore, as mentioned before, you get the feeling it’s more a movie than an actual game where the gameplay is much more advanced.


Close but no cigar, is the feeling I can share after playing this game. It could be more exploited in different ways, as the total gaming time is just approximately 5 hours. The main issue is the fact that it gets boring real fast, with the meaningless dialogues and poor acting performances. The fact that the spoken languages is French didn’t bother me but I can predict it will be a stumbling block for many gamers, as even the subtitles doesn’t match sometimes. You also have the idea that your cause isn’t that satisfying, trying to bring down the newspaper. The moral of the story is clear: let the truth prevail. Nevertheless, it would be interesting if there are some exciting side aspects that gives you more satisfaction. On the plus side, the filter used on the videos gives you that nice 30’s vibe, like an old VCR camera. Also, the game gives of a great idea for future stages in gaming, with the combination of real life videos with real actors. For now, it remains a cat in a box.



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
How To Shoot A Criminal - Review, 2.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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