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Review Secret Files: Sam Peters (PC)

genre: adventure
year: 2013

Secret Files: Sam Peters is a spin off from the Secret Files franchise. Apparently Sam Peters is a character who was featured in one of them. Truth be told it has been a long time that I have played these games so not surprising that I can't remember her. But even when playing I was drawing blanks of who this woman was supposed to be. She kept referring to Max Gruber and Nina and them I do recall naturally since they were the main characters in the original games. But Sam Peters? Not that it is that big of a deal since it won't really affect the gameplay would it?

As you can expect the core mechanics of the game are in tip top order. The puzzles are challenging when they need to be but never to a point that they become frustrating. Most of the solutions are logical and given some time you will figure them out. Naturally if you are a veteran and have been playing these games throughout the  years you might feel a little underwhelmed. In hindsight I don't think this game is developed for the more experienced players. But more about that later.

So gameplay wise Secret Files: Sam Peters does deliver. The visuals are nice and crisp. However you will have to be content with the fact that all the other elements that make these types of games so much fun is absent. There is no story to speak of. There are no cut scenes. There are very little characters to interact with. And the game is over before you know it. You can finish the game in 4 to 5 hours. Even for a Secret Files games that is very short but personally I did not mind it since the game outstayed it's welcome long before. The character you play as is not a very likeable character and that is me putting it mildly. Here is how she introduces herself:

My name is Sam Peters. I am comprehensively great looking., a natural blonde an highly intelligent one, an exceptional journalist, I am extremely tough and I hate modesty.

This is how how the game starts. And you are stuck with this woman for the entire game. Adventuregamers.com called this sassy.  I don't think so.  I am fine with confident people but this is beyond arrogance. In the game there are many moments where she says things that are not only rude but very insulting. This woman hasn't got a single ounce of respect to anyone. Even to nuns she can't contain herself. But it also looks like she has a feminist agenda since every second when she talks to men or about them it is derogatory. It felt like the game developers were trolling me constantly. I can't imagine that they ever thought that players would like her. Unless they thought this was funny. Believe me if I tell you it's not. I was tolerating her until she crossed the line by insulting a cat for being male. That right there was worse than her dialogue with the nun of which I am sure Christian people would be outraged over the things she said. 

This brings me to the target audience and the platform. Next to the PC this game was also released on the Android. Perhaps this could be the reason that cut scenes and dialogue heavy scenes were cut or left out. If I would play this game on my phone I think I also would like to instantly start with the game with very little distraction. I assume that if you are playing this on the phone you just want to play the game casually whenever it is convenient, So if that is the case it makes sense to me. However if it wasn't, I do have to ask what the developers were thinking? Compared to previous parts in the franchise this was a Secret Files light. And very underwhelming for what you would expect. I can appreciate anti heroes and sarcasm. But then it has to be done right. There has to be a balance between being straight forward and insulting. It is that balance that makes it funny. If you are blatantly rude and derogatory that is just pathetic. Mind you I was able to ignore her and enjoy the core gameplay but I can imagine that some won't be able to tolerate her at all. 

Most fans of the genre will find this game underwhelming and disappointing. Unless you are in between games and you really need to get your puzzle fix. It's obvious that this game is more aimed at casual gamers probably trying to introduce them to the wonderful adventure genre. Did they succeed? No. I really don't understand why Sam Peters had to be so obnoxious. Good adventure games usually have great stories and wonderful rich characters. Sam Peters is just a walking insult.

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