DS Roundup • Page 3

Top trumps, crosswords, dragons, etc.

Undercover: Dual Motives

Hmm. A quick tally reveals that's two games which work properly and are entertaining if you like that sort of thing. What kind of a roundup is this, anyway?

Have no fear, Undercover: Dual Motives is here. A spin-off of PC title Undercover: Operation Wintersun, It's a point-and-click adventure that tells the story of Dr John Russell. One day he's jogging along, minding his own business and conducting strange experiments at a mysterious UK nuclear research facility, the next he's being accused of treason. So what's a man to do but attempt to clear his name via a series of increasingly tedious fetch-quests?

The gameplay in Undercover: Dual Motives consists entirely of finding a thing, using it to do a thing, then having a conversation with someone who tells you you need to find another thing, and going to find the thing. There is no sense of suspense or mystery whatsoever. It is impossible to care about any of the characters or what happens to them. The whole thing is entirely linear - you just follow an endless series of mundane instructions and any attempt to deviate from the path results in nothing happening at all.

3

The lock-picking mini-game. As much fun as it looks.

It looks horrible. Everything is brown. Characters move painfully slowly, bumbling through the mud like robots powered by batteries from a pound shop. Their conversations are banal and plodding. And they are pathetic. One of the early puzzles tasks you with finding a way to eavesdrop on a conversation. You send Audrey, John's assistant, into the ladies' toilet, and discover she can hear mumblings from the air vent. You try to get her to remove the covering, but she replies, "I can't raise the vent, I am too small and fragile."

So, logically, you switch control to John, and try to send him into the ladies. But he won't go. "Never!" says John. "That's no place for a gentleman!"

"Okay John," says you. "Piss off then. Go to prison for treason. Much better you should do that than risk stumbling across a box of Tampax and dying of shame. I hate you, I hate this game and they are not paying me enough to keep playing it. Goodbye."

2/10

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