Completionist – Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos

[This post is part of the Completionist series. Check out the other entries here.]

I’ve never really understood the appeal of hidden object games. For one thing, I don’t like mess; I’ve had real-life relationships end because I seem to be attracted almost exclusively to untidy women. The idea of staring squinty-eyed at a low-resolution screen full of someone else’s rubbish, not to mention paying for that privilege, seems faintly perverse to me. And Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos is just about the most bog-standard interpretation of this idea I’ve ever seen. You can play better examples of the genre right now, on your browser, for free. But what I’ve come to learn over the last few years is that bolting some quick and easy Xbox Achievements onto an experience lets you get away with a whole lot. This is how I found myself, nose an inch away from the screen, poking around some filthy kitchen looking for errant loaves of bread.

There is some semblance of story here. The player-character unsurprisingly works for Interpol, and he’s either a compulsive hoarder or the most unconventional detective who ever lived – it’s kind of unclear. Dr. Chaos, again quite unsurprisingly, is the villain. I’m not sure what exactly he’s a doctor of, but it certainly isn’t common sense. His fiendish master plan seems to hinge entirely on culturally-appropriate clutter being stuffed into airport departure lounges and ancient Egyptian tombs. Why? I have no idea. But he gets around – the game has nine missions based in real-world locales, and you have to slog through all of them without using hints if you want to come away from the experience 200 Gamerpoints richer. Is it worth it? Probably not. But these are the things I endure so that you don’t have to.

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Jonathon Wilson

Your favorite writer's new favorite writer.

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