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Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma

For: Mobile

More than puzzling

Product: Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma | Developer: Gameloft | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 879KB | Reviewed on: N95 other handsets | Version: Europe
Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma Mobile, thumbnail 1
I can't be the only person who, when embarking on a particularly arduous task, will attempt to sweeten the deal by rewarding myself with a treat.

For example, when attempting to review anything especially painful for Pocket Gamer, I'll often eat a small continent's worth of chocolate straight after I've squeezed the final line of prose out from my by then aching brain.

Similarly, just two weeks on the Pocket Gamer podcast has seen me develop a drinking habit as I turn to the bottle to dampen the effect of an hour listening to the opinions of my esteemed colleague Will Wilson.

Puzzle and plot

Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma employs a similar strategy, wrapping up a series of fairly banal 'brain teasers' in a plot (or, at least, the pretence of a plot) in an attempt to engage you.

Set on what appears to be the set of Robert Downey Jr's recent attempt to kill off Sherlock Holmes, the game lets you guide the titular Detective Maximillian Ridley and his niece Darcie around 1920s London in what plays out like a boardgame.

You move from point to point around the 2D city as directed, engaging in conversation with the game's largely static characters, most of which call upon you to solve some sort of puzzle on their behalf.

It's these puzzles, supposedly pitched as Mensa style challenges, that form the game's core, with the various interactions that surround them (and the game's superfluous preoccupation with hidden gems that you're encouraged to hunt down and pick up along the way) little more than window dressing.

No mystery

Each puzzle you take on is unlocked for play outside the game's main story mode, but it's hard to imagine many will see repeat play.

Most of the initial rounds take little more than a moment's thought to complete. Challenges such as balancing equations populated by Roman numerals, or counting the number of triangles in a shape (itself made up of five triangles), are usually solvable in a matter of seconds.

If you're panicking because I've just given away an answer there, calm yourself: Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma itself aids you at almost every step, with hints given out with gusto, and repeated attempts to complete every puzzle (when almost every other possible answer has been ruled out) also on offer.

It leaves the whole affair as something of a brain teaser. Clearly, effort has gone into Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma, with the design of the environment that surrounds Maximillian full of detail.

But the puzzles themselves are neither original nor taxing enough to stand out. Ultimately, the vibrancy of the world Detective Ridley lives in cannot paper over this instantly forgettable compendium of the conventional.
Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 18 May 2011
Essentially a fairly mediocre puzzle pack, Detective Ridley and the Mysterious Enigma's one dimensional play sadly isn't saved by the far more fruitful London cityscape that surrounds him
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