Mortimer Beckett and the Book of Gold (Gamehouse)
When Mortimer inherits his uncle’s museum in Snuggford, he gets the task of protecting the Book of Gold. Unfortunately, a sheik desires the book for sinister purposes. Now Mortimer must team up with Kate and prevent the book from falling into the wrong hands.
Mortimer’s back and, like Sally, he’s joined the cast of Delicious. This time, he teams up with Patrick’s sister, Kate O’Malley, who longs for adventure. I have to admit, this is the first time I’m hearing about this characterization. However, they don’t really do much with Kate except use her as a false love interest and hint that she makes perfume. That last part went the way of Francois’s interior decorating business. Kate is now Watson to Mortimer’s Sherlock Holmes, even if she thinks she’s the hero and Mortimer’s the sidekick. There are even hints of romance between Mortimer and Kate, which, if you ask me, really isn’t necessary. The writers just believed that, because it’s a man and a woman hanging out, there must be romance between them. Unless the man is gay, then he just gets subtle hints of his orientation and no romance. I will give the writers credit on not turning Mortimer into a dogged nice guy. He’s just a regular man with a crush who doesn’t feel entitled to Kate and only follows her vigorously because she has the Book of Gold in her backpack. They even have Mortimer admit that he’s never been with a woman because he feels that his life is too chaotic for romance. That’s right; they actually reference his past adventures. Spoiler alert, at the end when Kate says that she’s not sure if a life with Mortimer is right for her, he doesn’t pressure her into staying.
The storyline has a tendency to pad, such as when Kate falls into a hole and needs to get out. The worst offense would have to be when the police arrest Mortimer because they mistook him for the notorious criminal Jackal. This serves no purpose because we never hear about this Jackal again. All right, it serves one purpose and that’s to rub the Mortimer and Kate romance in our faces. The game will do this quite often, so be prepared. However, this is an adventure storyline about an introverted guy and an extroverted girl teaming up to find an artifact, which can quickly become a tired old gender cliche. You can easily make Kate and Mortimer good friends without ruining the storyline.
As I said, this is a story about a thinker and a doer. The plot does fall victim to the Straw Vulcan trope at one point, with Mortimer and Kate arguing over a map. Mortimer has trouble deciphering the map, so Kate follows her intuition. She ends up with the Book of Gold and Mortimer, who wants work extra hard at deciphering the map, ends up poisoned. Mortimer has to solve a puzzle only for a poisonous spider to bite him, which begs the question of why someone would put a puzzle there and have the reward be a near death experience. Instead of chalking this up to dumb luck, the story treats Kate as being in the right. There’s another instance where the game does not delegate the tasks to the characters properly. Mortimer’s job is to call for help while Kate looks for clues. Since Mortimer is the detective and Kate the social newcomer, I feel that it should be the other way around.
These aren’t the only problems with the storyline. For instance, when Kate first meets Mortimer, she mistakes him for a janitor. I don’t know about you, but if my car broke down in front of a museum and I met a well-dressed man, I wouldn’t think he was the janitor. Don’t forget that Mortimer became famous for thwarting the Crimson Thief and, if Kate really does want adventure, there’s a chance she might know who he is. The biggest problem would have to be the artifact in the title, the Book of Gold. What is it about the Book of Gold that makes it so important that people are willing to kill for it? What does it do other than come up with random sayings everybody knows? When you make a game about the artifact in the title, you have to come up with a good reason for why it would be important.
The game play is actually unique for a hidden object. You go through the map and play each level in the same style that you would play a Gamehouse time management game.
In each level, you collect pieces of the items to add to your inventory and use them to advance throughout the story.
You get a green checkmark for using no hints. Unfortunately, there are no sparkling objects to hint where you need to interact. Therefore, you have to guess where you’re supposed to use certain items. Like in many hidden objects, you get to play mini games.
However, there are no instructions for how to play them, so you just have to guess blindly. Be prepared to consult the walkthrough for The Book of Gold quite often. You also find the mouse and get hidden challenge levels for diamonds. You have to complete the challenge levels in a certain amount of time if you want the hourglass, which also serves no purpose other than bragging rights. You use the diamonds to purchase artifacts at an auction.
I did some research and, from what I could fact check, most of the info is historically accurate.
This game is fun but flawed. I give it 6 out of 10; only slightly better than the last game in the Delicious series.