Innocent Until Caught

Title           Innocent Until Caught
Developer       Psygnosis, 1994
Game Type       Adventure
Players         1
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibility   All
Submission      Martin Smith Profiled Reviewer

Jack T Ladd is a general 24th Century waster, living a crazy life of
girls, parties, drinks, girls and more girls. His hard living has caught
up with him though, and now he has 28 days to pay a huge IRS bill.

Unusually for Psygnosis, the game's a point and click adventure similar to
the Lucasfilm classics such as Monkey Island. The top half of the screen
features a visual representation of the area Jack is currently in, and the
bottom half includes pictures of the items he's carrying, and a selection
of words such as, Use, Walk, Talk To and Open/Close. The idea is to use
the mouse to combine the verbs with both the objects on screen or in your
possession, and the other people, so as to solve the succession of puzzles.

Unfortunately, a myriad of problems soon become apparent. Most crippling
is the mouse pointer, which moved ridiculously slowly and jerkily, which
often meant you could pass over objects several times while attempting to
pick them up. The interface also become muddled when you had more objects
in your inventory than the programmers expected.

Jack T Ladd was quite an odious character, which hardly boosts your will
to see him escape jail. His one-liners were rarely witty in any way
either, unlike Guybrush, or Brandon in the first Kyrandia game. I suppose
you could say that it was nice to see a realistic adventure game free of
elves, pirates and wizards, but Beneath a Steel Sky did the same thing
with much more storylining panache.

The puzzles were often quite illogical, and the solutions bordered on the
ridiculous. There was often little reason why you'd find a particular
object in a particular place. Thanks to the interface's muddled selection
of options, it was all too frequent to be stumped on a puzzle, only to
find that you had the right basic idea but weren't using the noun-verb
combination the programmers had thought of - it's a sad throwback to 1984
text adventures.

In fairness, one or two puzzles were interesting, and the graphics and
sound were generally quite good, but it doesn't save this sorry affair,
which suffers from a flawed interface, shambolic programming and lax
design, and the self-consciously 'look how lewd and 'adult' I am' feel.
Like too many Psygnosis titles, it was pretty but featured too little

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