Video Game The 39 Steps (PC) (2013)

20150131:
I didn't know a thing about this game when I clicked on it. I clicked on it, because it was near the top of the list of games I recently added to Steam via bundles (e.g., Humble Indie Bundle and Indie Royale).

What eventually became an intriguing story experience...

While knowing about a game/movie before playing/watching it can be beneficial, not knowing about a game/movie before playing/watching it can be exciting. In this case, I took a risk and was rewarded with an exciting experience.

Gameplay:
The game opened with credits and it felt like I was watching a movie.

At the opening title screen, I typed my name and check out the options. I left them as they were.

...started off slowly.

After finishing the second level/chapter, I finally got the sense that the original story (and hence this game) was a mystery/thriller.

Stopping after the second level/chapter, I went back to the profile menu and the "original text" option made more sense. I also began to think the inspirational material was a book.*

A Google search first came up with the 1935 film adaptation directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Searching more, I discovered the movie was based on the thriller/adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) written by John Buchan.


*Actually, there are various out-in-the-open indications that the game was a digital adaptation of the novel which I simply managed to miss.

Thoughts:
I enjoyed the artwork, the voice acting, the interaction, and the thrill of discovering what the game was about.

However, I would nitpick about the alternate control scheme devised for the narrative text. And worse than the control scheme was the explanation: "to go back, rotate the mouse counter-clockwise; to go forward, rotate the mouse clockwise". This confused me, because I didn't know how to rotate a mouse and have it be detected (the output of a mouse cursor exhibits translation, not rotation).


Eventually, determined to figure it out, I discovered that I only needed to draw little circles (about an inch in diameter) in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. In other words, I traced out a circle with my mouse cursor.

I'm glad I made the effort to play the second level/chapter after playing the first. The story began to unfold in the second level/chapter and was much more interesting than the first.

Unfortunately, after the second level/chapter, I had to go to sleep, otherwise I would have considered playing more.



The 39 Steps (PC) (2013)

Relevant Links:
The 39 Steps (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
The 39 Steps (Steam Store Page)
The Thirty-Nine Steps > Video game (Wikipedia.org)

Draw the symbols (with the mouse) as they appear.

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