By Mark O’Neill
The British TV channel “Channel 4” has brought out on their website an online detective role-playing game called “Bow Street Runner” which invites you to solve a murder in 18th century London.
Named after the group which were the predecessors to the modern day London police force, this free game is remarkably entertaining, even for me. Normally I am bored with PC games but this one managed to keep my complete and undivided attention the whole way through.
Using your computer mouse, you can lift pieces of evidence out of people’s pockets, search areas for clues and interrogate witnesses (you can choose between being polite and being nasty). Also using the mouse, you can stitch up wounds to a dying victim (you only have two minutes though to clean the wound and stitch her up!) and you can also pick the lock of a suspect’s desk drawer :
When you have enough evidence, you can then go before the magistrate and present your evidence. He can either accept your case and issue an arrest warrant, or laugh you out of his office. I was personally laughed out of the office with my “flimsy case”!
The game is not complete yet. Channel 4 has only posted Episode 1. The other episodes are apparently coming soon and you can leave your email address to be notified when the next one is ready.
The only downsides are that you can’t pause the game if you need to, you can’t go back to previous scenes to re-check something and you can’t save the game to continue playing it later. But hey it’s free and entertaining – who can argue with that?