Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract

Posted by Mervyn Graham.
First posted on 15 December 2013. Last updated on 15 December 2013.
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Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract
Diamon is trying valiantly to put out the fire in his restaurant.
Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract
Diamon wonders how he can repair the car.
Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract
Diamon finds a secret entrance in the cemetery.
Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract
Diamon meets the Devil dressed as a celebrity lookalike.
Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract

Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract is the third game in the Diamon Jones series, following Diamon Jones: Amulet of the World and Diamon Jones: Eye of the Dragon. Unlike previous games in the series, this game is no longer developed by Russian based Litera Laboratories. Instead, development of the series has been taken over by Game Factory Interactive, which has also served as the publisher for the series previously. This change is immediately evident by the size of the game: whereas both of the previous games are between 1GB and 2GB in size, this game is merely under 200MB in size.

Like previous games in the series, this game is a third-person casual adventure hybrid. Unlike previous games in the series, however, this game plays more like a hidden object game with an adventure flavor rather than a classic point-and-click adventure. This time around, Diamon Jones (the titular character for the series) is forced to reluctantly come out of retirement to revisit the subterranean domain which he knows best. No longer broke and confined to a pub looking for a free drink, and no longer outshone by his sidekick Mary Ocean, Diamon has since settled down in Paris trying to enjoy a new life in retirement. He has opened his own restaurant come museum with its own treasure room, bringing in a steady and reliable income—that is, until some strangers appear in his restaurant looking for more than just good eats. Soon after, Diamon is again underground searching more for answers than treasures. There, he meets up with the Devil dressed like Elvis Presley. After being tempted with stardom in a Hollywood movie of his own, Diamon is unwittingly tricked into signing a contract with the Devil. Traveling around France and the United States, you must help Diamon regain his freedom.

Installation of the game is simple and glitch free. The game does not include a game manual. However, a short tutorial in the first chapter of the game teaches you how to navigate, obtain, and use items in the game. The game starts with a menu from where you can select Play, Trophies, Settings, Credits, and Quit. Under Settings, you can adjust the volumes for Sound and Music, select to play in full screen or windowed mode, and choose to use a small or large cursor. There is no option to change the screen resolution. The game does not have spoken dialog and instead uses subtitles. Multiple profiles can be created for playing the game.

The game begins with a cinematic cut scene in the form of a comic strip. Diamon is having a bad day in his Parisian restaurant. Out of the blue, an old fat man enters the restaurant asking Diamon for help to save his life. Soon after, an celebrity lookalike enters the restaurant, accompanied by a hellhound. The hellhound sneezes, breathing fire from all of its heads and setting the restaurant alight. The celebrity lookalike then departs, leaving the unconscious fat man on the floor and Diamon trying to put out the fire. Who is this strange fat man? What does he fear from the lookalike? Why is Diamon now in danger? The story unfolds over 15 hilarious chapters of the game.

The overall production of the game is decent. The story takes place in many strange and interesting locations. In fact, each chapter in the game begins in a new location. The game features 13 arcade style mini-games that require different levels of dexterity. They include putting out fires, bouncing cheese molds into a basket, ridding a Volkswagen car engine from rat infestation, riding a wild bull, and others. These mini-games are really fun to play but can be skipped if you choose to do so. Hilariously, it seems that the developer has little to no knowledge about cars: in what can only be called a blooper, the engine in the Volkswagen in the game is shown to be in the front of the car and not the rear!

Oddly enough, there are no save game slots in this game. The game creates an automatic save whenever you quit the game. You cannot die in this game.

The graphics are stylized art, almost cartoonish looking. They are bright, colorful, and aesthetic. Character animations and movements are smooth. Unlike previous games in the series, you have no direct control of Diamon. Diamon only moves when you have clicked on a correct hotspot that triggers an action. For the hidden object game, all you can do is to click on the items on the screen to collect them. There are in excess of 300 items to find. Most of them are relatively easily located, but a few stinkers are very well hidden.

Sound effects are done quite well. They range from barking dogs to opening heavy doors to cars travelling to walking with heavy boots on a wooden floor, among others. Since there is no speech, dialog boxes are used to convey conversations. Background music is played constantly throughout the game. The numerous scores provide a pleasant complement to the game's atmosphere. Piano, brass and stringed instrumentals make for a light and bouncy jazz styled soundtrack. The game's music is as offbeat as the game's characters themselves.

There are 8 human characters whom Diamon will meet and interact that are as different as chalk and cheese. They include a fat man, a celebrity lookalike, a cheese maker, a motor mechanic, a movie director, a movie set man, and a movie producer.

In sum, Diamon Jones: Devil's Contract is a decent casual adventure hybrid, though it is not a game for diehard adventure fanatics. The game offers up about 6-8 hours of playing time. Similar to previous titles in the series, this is a budget title with a budget production. Even so, I have quite enjoyed playing this game and have gotten many laughs from it.

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