Louisiana Adventure

Posted by Mervyn Graham.
First posted on 01 January 2013. Last updated on 01 January 2013.
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Louisiana Adventure
Katie receives her new assignment at the bureau.
Louisiana Adventure
Katie arrives undercover at the country hotel to start her investigation.
Louisiana Adventure
Katie is attacked and knocked unconscious.
Louisiana Adventure
Katie believes that the woman knows more than she is saying.
Louisiana Adventure
Katie helps an inebriated constable out of a locked cellar.

The game is available at Zodiac.

Louisiana Adventure is a contemporary point-and-click adventure game from Austrian developer SilverPlay Entertainment. Originally titled Louisiana: Mystery Cases, the game was initially announced back in 2009 by developer Infinion Production. In 2011, the project was acquired by SilverPlay Entertainment and subsequently redesigned for release under the new title name.

Inspired supposedly by real events, the story of Louisiana Adventure begins with a series of strange but gruesome murders in 1902 in New Orleans, Louisiana in which only body parts of the victims are found. Not surprisingly, the local police are at a loss to solve these crimes. With the residents of New Orleans gripped in fear, the police seek out the Bureau of Special Investigation to help to solve the case. The director of the bureau assigns his top agent, Katie, to travel to New Orleans for the investigation. Posing undercover as a tourist, you (playing as Katie) must track down the sadistic killer, uncover the killer's motive, and stop the killer from ever striking again.

Louisiana Adventure is a third-person 3D graphical adventure. The game installs easily without any glitches. Upon starting the game, you are presented with the main menu from where you can select New Adventure / Continue Game, Load, Sound Settings, Properties, or Exit Game. A brief manual is included with the game and explains the game's navigation controls as well as the use of the 11 cursors used throughout the game.

The game begins with you in the office of the director at the bureau. After learning about your new assignment and picking up your notebook which you will use to record all of your findings during the investigation, you travel to New Orleans and arrive at the Albert Hotel in the city. There, you are received by a coachman who promptly tells you to go to your suite that has been reserved for your stay. During your first night at the hotel, however, the coachman returns to awaken you and to inform you that another murder has just been discovered at a hotel (known as the Beaumont) located in a suburb outside the city. You arrive at the country hotel in the morning, only to discover that the local police is already there investigating. Not wanting to alarm the locals, you disguise as a tourist to stay at the hotel in order to start your investigation.

The game features a clean and user-friendly interface. The game can be fully controlled using the keyboard only, the mouse only, or a combination of both. For players accustomed to using both keyboard and mouse, the WASD or directional keys can be used for moving while the left mouse button can be used for changing direction. The right mouse button is used to select the different actions. As well, the scroll wheel on the mouse can be used to adjust the rotation of the camera, to zoom in or out, and to look up or down. Regardless of which control scheme you use, the Esc key returns you to the main menu and the I key brings up your inventory. Oddly, there is no provision to restart a game once a game is begun. Also, once a game is finished, you have to uninstall the game and reinstall it again in order to start afresh.

The production values of Louisiana Adventure are excellent. The plot is topnotch and an intriguing whodunit. There are many characters with which you can interact as the game progresses. Even though only a few of these characters have shady motives, it is not likely until near the end of the game that you will be able to correctly guess who the killer is. The modeled environment depicts well the period architecture of the Deep South. The costumes look authentic, as are the cobblestones. The penny farthing bicycles, the coaches, and even the manually powered fire engines, all look accurate for the period. The 3D character models look acceptable but are not very lifelike. There is also no lip movement when the characters talk.

The game features a novel system in guiding character interactions. Depending on what dialog you choose when conversing with a character, you can become more endeared by that character, remain neutral to that character, or even be disliked by that character. Making the right choices is important in gleaning the clues needed to catch the killer.

Ambient music plays throughout the game. The music is pleasant and ranges from melodic to dramatic, depending on the scene which you are in. Unfortunately, sound effects are somewhat lacking from the game, which readily detracts from the immersion. Voice acting is solid but not brilliant. English localization is good, albeit with the odd spelling errors—the name Alison is sometimes spelled as Allison.

The game supports only 8 game saves. Since you cannot restart the game if you ever mess up, picking the right moment to make a save is paramount. You can, however, save over a previously saved game. There are only 6 major puzzles which you have to solve to finish the game, all of which are fairly easy. The greater challenge, though, is locating all the items needed to be collected and knowing how to combine them in the inventory and where to use them afterward. Inventory management is made easier by the fact that there is a new inventory at the start of each major location you investigate. The game uses a scoring system (detective points) to keep track of your progress. In particular, over the course of the game, you will get to scout the swamps of Louisiana, settle a feud between a Confederate solider and a Union soldier from the Civil War, and even escape from a smuggler who has kidnapped you. You cannot die in the game.

Warning! In my own playthrough of the game, I discovered a major bug that nearly prevented me from finishing the game. This occurred in the final puzzle where I had to locate a secret letter inside a piano in a tavern. Upon playing the last note on the piano, the game would freeze and then crash. The workaround I found, which worked only inconsistently, was to hit the Esc key immediately after hitting the last note. If done correctly, the letter would then appear in the inventory. A patch was later released by the developer to try to fix this bug. However, the patch did not work in my installation of the game as it failed to pick up the directory where the game was installed.

In sum, notwithstanding a major glitch in the final puzzle, I have found Louisiana Adventure to be quite an enjoyable game to play. Despite its subject matters, the game is suitable as a family oriented game title to be played along with younger gamers. Whether you are a seasoned adventure gamer or a novice adventure game fan, you can test your detective skill and try to catch the killer in Louisiana Adventure.

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