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Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

For: GameBoy   Also on: DS, Mobile

Time to let your fingers rest and let your brain do the thinking

Product: Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut | Developer: Revolution Software | Publisher: BAM! Entertainment | Format: GameBoy | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut GameBoy, thumbnail 1
Heard the one about the American tourist in Paris who, with the help of a young Parisian lady, embarks on an adventure to discover the secrets of the Knights Templar? No, not the best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Broken Sword (which predates Dan Brown's infinitely more famous work) stars George Stobbard, who having witnessed the murder of a stranger in a Parisian café takes it upon himself (with help from local photojournalist, Nico) to bring the killer to justice. And before you know it, he's neck-deep in a story involving conspiracy, corruption, medieval history, and the small matter of a 14th century manuscript detailing the location of the secret of the Knights Templar.

Compared to the majority of today's games, the tempo is snail-paced. But that's precisely why Broken Sword appeals. It offers large segments of text to accompany its sumptuously detailed visuals and requires the player to think things through - and to do so at their own pace. And that's a crucial factor, given that the game's entire basis centres on presenting you with a series of conundrums to figure out.

The brain-teasing adventure format is certainly an unusual one to be making an appearance on a handheld console, but in Broken Sword it's one that ends up working beautifully. Not only in terms of how well-suited its control mechanic turns out to be, but also for the style of a game that provides the perfect antidote to the GBA's abundance of brainless, reflex-driven experiences.

In Broken Sword the key message is one of reflection, which by definition means it won't be for everyone. But solving the many riddles and puzzles is not only intensely gratifying; it also gradually unveils one of the most gripping narratives in video games. A tale, some would argue, that effortlessly outclasses Dan Brown's similarly themed and tricksy novel.
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Reviewer photo
Joao Diniz Sanches | 21 October 2005
A beautifully crafted adventure and a unique proposition on the GBA.
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