Missing: An Interactive Thriller, Episode One – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Zandel Media
Publisher: Zandel Media
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

Missing: An Interactive Thriller, Episode One – Review

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Good: Good plot, realistic graphics on interactive scenes
Bad: Short gameplay
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Fond memories of the FMV games of the 90s already make Missing: An Interactive Thriller something rather exciting indeed. Combine that with a classic adventure and modern graphics, Zandel Media has brought to us an interesting investigation that truly leaves us wanting for more.

Missing: An Interactive Thriller Logo


You, as David Newcastle, find yourself locked in a dark room, bound to the ceiling by handcuffs that allow movement- but not enough to escape if you don’t use your brain. Once you do, however, you find yourself running through this empty warehouse, with your kidnapper continually taunting you along the way about how little you see your family.

Cue a cut to Detective Lambert, who is investigating mysterious disappearances in the city. Playing as both of these characters, you can uncover little snippets of information to try to understand why the kidnappings might be happening, and gathering objects to aid the investigation or to simply survive.

The story itself is rather short currently, although considering this is an episodic game, this is expected. Fortunately, the plot is very engaging, and makes up for how little there is currently. The lack of details at the present in terms of the disappearances also make it far more interesting, as the player is able to feel as if they are also participating in the deduction.

Missing 1


Most of the sound in Missing: An Interactive Thriller is mainly atmospheric, although the jazzy tunes played during Detective Lambert’s scenes feel like a fun nod to the old cop shows from the 60s and 70s. From the clinking of the chains to the creaking of doors, each sound effect makes it feel as if you are really there, and is something that Zandel Media have done very well indeed.

One minor criticism perhaps is that there isn’t a huge amount of dialogue, with it mainly being the player figuring their way through the environment but not exactly reacting to certain instances, such as the phone call. The children’s voices are also a minor sticking point, as they sound more like an adult is trying to imitate the kind of tone that they believe a young girl might have (and thus sounds quite fake). However, these small issues will probably be improved upon in later episodes, and is therefore not a massive problem.

Missing 2


Notably, the transition from filmed scenes to interactive puzzles is really rather good in Missing: An Interactive Thriller. The interactive props are very realistic, which is definitely an improvement from the original 90’s FMV titles, meaning that immersion isn’t broken by tacky graphics. We did note that there was a slight bit of lag when moving from interactive to filmed scenes, where the video would jump slightly. In all honesty however, this was not a catastrophic issue.


Missing: An Interactive Thriller is an adventure FMV title where you must solve puzzles to make your way out of the warehouse in which you have been held captive. The controls are rather simple for this game, as it solely consists of clicking points with the left mouse button that indicate there is something to investigate there. You can then gather objects to aid with puzzles, which are stored on a toolbar that is accessible to the right of the screen (using the left mouse button to drag it open).

Missing 3

The puzzles are varied, and range from solving a crossword to find a passcode; to finding a small clue to open a locker; to finding bits of pipe to fix something. Although very fun, they are relatively easy to complete (once you get the hang of it!). This means that it is a cinch to complete the episode in well under an hour, unless you are an achievement hunter- which means your gameplay might be slightly extended.

One aspect that doesn’t really fit this title is the quick-time events (or QTEs). These happen at random moments, such as dodging out of the way of a jet stream of air, or when Detective Lambert is drinking his coffee. Perhaps it’s an attempt to follow recent big titles such as Until Dawn (which makes frequent use of QTEs), but here it feels oddly misplaced. Maybe if the QTEs were used in a more effective manner, they would not feel so out of place, or equally so random.

Missing 4


Zandel Media have done incredibly well to create a gripping drama out of an FMV game in just under an hour’s gameplay. With fun puzzles that aren’t too difficult, but with a story with enough mystery to keep you hooked, Missing: An Interactive Thriller is a 21st century look at a game style that is getting to be quite old-hat nowadays. For only 30-45 minutes of gameplay though, the title may seem a little overpriced. However, considering that this is only the first episode, and that there is plenty of potential for the future, the player can be satisfied with the fact that it is money well spent. We will certainly be looking forward to the next episode!

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