A timeless classic, Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express is one of the best-loved and most famous murder mysteries of all time. Originally released in 1934, the story has been refreshed and updated for this 2023 release — think Poirot with Internet access.
The acclaimed detective finds himself aboard the Orient Express where — shock horror — a murder takes place. It’s time to find evidence, piece things together, and solve the mystery at hand. There are a few different mechanics to allow you to do this, with Poirot’s mind map allowing you to organise your thoughts and keep you on track with what needs to be done next — a good job as otherwise there could be a lot of aimless walking around trying to figure out what the next step is.
There are lots of smaller puzzles for Poirot to crack while investigating the homicide at hand, whether it's breaking into a briefcase to obtain more clues, or simply showing kitchen staff how to best arrange their fridge to fit everything in a la Tetris. The puzzles are really engaging: there's enough variety to avoid the action from getting stale, but it all has a cohesive vibe which helps it to gel together.
In addition to Poirot, the game introduces Joanna Locke, an American detective, who you’re able to play as in flashback chapters which double as a precursor to the murder aboard the train. This is a really enjoyable element which, along with an unexpected twist at the end of the story, keep things fresh even for those who are most familiar with the tale.
Despite all these positives, the game is let down slightly by some questionable voice acting choices. For example, periodically you'll have to complete the profile of a passenger where you'll have to state their nationality — but it's laughable how off the mark the accents are. One very Welsh sounding lady turned out to be Swedish, for instance!
Nevertheless, this refreshed iteration of Murder on the Orient Express is a joy to play. The inclusion of new content and the unique modern setting really make for a very fun time. Small issues can’t mar the fact that this is ultimately a very enjoyable case to crack.