Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ben Jordan: Horror at Number 50 Review

The Ben Jordan cases continue to evolve as Horror at Number 50 sees Ben Jordan come into his own  when hired to work with other paranormal investigators for the first time.  While this case is Ben's most important yet, it still retains all of the positive qualities that made his previous adventures so entertaining.

Ben is beginning to get into his element, and he is invited to England to help on a case involving a century old ghost.  When he gets there, he finds that he's not the only paranormal investigator who was welcomed by the building's owner.  Now, for the first time, he has to work together with people whose methods differ from his own, yet are still among the best of their field.  This puts Ben decidedly out of his element for the first time in his short career, and the game is made all the better for it.

The new characters are really interesting, and it's really great to be able to interact with people from different paranormal backgrounds, from psychics to those with technological paranormal detectors.  No person here is two dimensional, as each are given interesting backstories and differing personalities to go with them.  The story really benefits from the interaction between Ben and the other characters, and it gives the game a different, yet welcome, feel when compared to the previous cases.  The puzzles are also well done, and they too benefit from the addition of other paranormal investigators, as Ben will often find himself having to work together in order to progress in their mutual investigation.

Note, however, that like the case before it, Horror at Number 50 did not receive a deluxe edition.  So, if you're playing these from the beginning while playing the deluxe editions of the first two games, the change in art direction and lack of voice over work will be a bit jarring.  However, the rest of the game's elements more than make up for it. The new characters are interesting, the puzzles are fun, and the music fits the game well.  Best of all, the storyline is entertaining, and the final battle is satisfying.  It's great to see Ben teaming up with other experts in the paranormal, and learning to hold his own with the best of his field.  If you like the classic 1990's adventure games from Sierra and LucasArts, you owe it to yourself to try this game out.  Ben Jordan's fourth case is definitely his best so far.

Final Verdict:

4½ out of 5

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