Somewhere Deep in the Caribbean…
Return to Monkey Island Review
Another Aussie-made gem, and a wonderful spin on the Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing genre.
Wylde Flowers - Utterly Charming
A slice of life full of meaning, and an Aussie made gem to boot
Wayward Strand Review
Zen 4 ushers in a new era for AMD CPU performance when it comes to straight-up gaming.
AMD Ryzen 7600X Review - Gaming Excellence
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One

PC | PlayStation 4 | PlayStation 5 | Xbox One | Xbox Series X
Genre: Open-World
Developer: Frogwares Official Site: https://sherlockholmes.one/
Publisher: Frogwares Classification: M15+
Release Date:
November 2021
Friday, 22 April 2022
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 01:25pm 22/04/22 | 0 Comments
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One's long awaited Xbox One debut has been put on indefinite hold, as developer Frogwares also readies the game's PS4 release later this month, addressing fans in an open letter.

Citing the current Ukraine situation as a key factor to the indefinite shelving of the Xbox One version of the game which, for anyone who pre-ordered the game a full refund is now available, Frogwares chose to focus solely on getting the PS4 version out the door, addressing the whole situation in a letter to fans:
Hello everyone, especially fans awaiting Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on PS4 and Xbox One.

As some of you have pointed out on our socials, we’ve been rather quiet on the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. The good news is that we will be releasing Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on PS4 on the 28th of April 2022. The bad news is that unfortunately, we had to make a tough decision on the Xbox One version of the game. Due to circumstances way outside of our control, the Xbox One version of Chapter One has been postponed indefinitely. Let us explain why.

From September of last year right until February of 2022, we worked hard on optimizing our game for PC and both old and current generation consoles. During that time we discovered that the scope of the work was bigger than assessed. So last year we made the decision to release the PS5 and Xbox series X|S versions first, and work on optimizing the old gen versions. After the validation of Chapter One on current-gen in October, we kept on working on optimizing the PS4 and Xbox One versions. We’ve tried to squeeze out as much from the old gens as possible. A lot of invisible work was done, but also as visible as changes to the map of the city on the PS4 and Xbox One versions so that the game could run smoother (we cut certain alleyways, shortcuts, etc). And as we were getting closer and closer to finalizing those versions, war happened.

To say that the war made an impact on us is probably the understatement of the decade. Keeping our personal and mental situation out of this, the war impacted us from a production point of view heavily. From where we stand now, with the resources and manpower that we have, we can release the PS4 version of Chapter One on April 28th. However, we have to postpone the Xbox One version.

To say we’re not happy about this is putting it subtly. We want to see our games on as many platforms as possible. We see that there are a lot of you waiting for the Xbox One version. We’re also disappointed because we’ve invested time and money in this version which is put on hold indefinitely. It’s also money lost from potential future income which is important for an independent studio like us.

If you’ve pre-ordered the Xbox One version of the game, what now? Xbox is informed that you can cancel your order, and get a full refund. We know it’s not the outcome you wanted, but we hope that at least this shed some light on what happened.

Once again, thank you all for your patience. And thank you all for your kind words and support. The fact that many of you even offered us a place to stay in your homes is beyond “wow”. And as always, any comments or questions, post away. We will try to answer as fast and as many of them as we can - life is a bit strange at the moment.

Until next time,

Your Frogwares Team
In the link above you can check out our full review of the game on Xbox Series X|S where we say:
The game itself plays like this: clues and deductions and the game’s overall story -- main and otherwise -- are all intimately linked. There’s a coherent journey that never feels disjointed in how it’s narratively presented. This is at minor odds, however, with use of its investigative systems; Mind Palace, Case Book, the world map and Sherlock’s Wardrobe (you'll play a lot of dress-ups). Jon, Sherlock’s imaginary childhood friend, a kind of ye olde timey lad who affectionately calls Sherlock “Sherry”, also helps keep you up to date with a sort of simplified delivery of all that has transpired at any given point. But those systems mentioned above, they’re clunky and difficult at times to discern one moment to the next, and take some time to work through from a functioning and confident level.
Clearly the situation in that part of the world is an impossible one to navigate and operate around and within, which makes this decision wholly understandable.

The PS4 version of the game is set to drop on April 28.
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:32pm 24/11/21 | 0 Comments
It seems crazy that there aren't more detective and investigation-based games. Sure, plenty of games feature mysteries and puzzles and riddles to solve, but as far as truly detective in nature, it's not a massive field (excluding post-and-click adventure games). Which is one reason why Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes Chapter One really manages to stand out. Well, that and its stellar story.

It's just a shame that with that, it's not quite as good as it deserves to be, which can really be brought down to the tech driving the game, and maybe Frogwares just being that bit too ambitious with what it wants to serve up in the genre.

Here's a clue from our in-depth review:
What’s immediately great, and jarring, all at once is Frogwares wastes no time throwing you into the thick of things. The pressure to perform a decent job of investigating is that Holmes is written as a narcissistic know-it-all who has little-to-no humanity when it comes to the cold, hard truth of things. Logic is his friend and he’d have made an excellent Vulcan.

The game itself plays like this: clues and deductions and the game’s overall story -- main and otherwise -- are all intimately linked. There’s a coherent journey that never feels disjointed in how it’s narratively presented. This is at minor odds, however, with use of its investigative systems; Mind Palace, Case Book, the world map and Sherlock’s Wardrobe (you play dress-ups, a lot). Jon, Sherlock’s imaginary childhood friend, a kind of ye olde timey lad who affectionately calls Sherlock “Sherry”, also helps keep you up to date with a sort of simplified delivery of all that has transpired at any given point. But those systems mentioned above, they’re clunky and difficult at times to discern one moment to the next, and take some time to work through from a functioning and confident level.
Click here for our full Sherlock Holmes Chapter One review.
Wednesday, 10 November 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:09pm 10/11/21 | 0 Comments
"Sherlock has his childhood pal alongside him. Their playground suddenly became all grown-up, but their demeanor is yet to catch up."

This is just one quote from a fascinating developer diary from Frogwares (The Sinking City), highlighting the cinematic flair and nuance the studio has packed into its forthcoming Sherlock Holmes Chapter One open-world detective opus. The studio also expresses its thanks for the community hype around the game, but implores patience via a candid note.

In addition to the dev diary we're also including the most recent Prologue video for the game from the team, which is a bit of a primer for those still keen to learn more before taking the investigative plunge. Interestingly, as part of these pre-release media drops from the studio, Frogwares has also seen fit to curb expectation on the game's 'hopeful' release quality, essentially accepting that Chapter One isn't a Triple-A release, while reiterating it is still its biggest game to-date.
As we near the release SHCO, we’re seeing a lot of comments excited for the game which is such an amazing feeling. But we also see a fair amount of comments comparing some of our stuff to much bigger and more expensive titles. We totally understand the demand for technically-flawless games. However when a team of our caliber creates a game, we need to prioritize what matters most - an emotional experience that is hopefully bigger than the sum of its technical parts.

It’s with this mindset and understanding that allowed us to make the game with no crunch. And why we’re able to publish it all on our own after 20 years of being forced to always sign away part of our creations. It’s also why we priced the game at 45 USD and not 70 USD.

This is still our biggest project yet in terms of size, gameplay time, new systems, open-world design and story. And we’re extremely proud of what we’ve made. We hope you'll enjoy it too.

- Wael Amr, CEO, Frogwares.
This sort of transparency is fantastic and we absolutely need more of it in our industry. Check out both videos embedded below. Sherlock Holmes Chapter One releases this November 16 for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and later for PS4 and Xbox One.






Friday, 18 June 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:45am 18/06/21 | 0 Comments
And by meta game, it's kind of not. And while we're yet to see how deep it goes (so it might still be meta), what Frogwares has revealed in its latest Sherlock Holmes Chapter One video deep-dive suggests there's a lot hidden on the game's island setting of Cordona, the discovery of which will be entirely reliant upon your disguises.

This is shaping up to be Frogwares' best outing yet. The talented studio gave us a very solid effort with The Sinking City and if they've expanded on the various investigation mechanics found in that game, and added more to truly craft a Sherlock Holms fantasy here, as highlighted with the disguises mechanic, well this could all be elementary.
Getting information out of suspects is a priority for Sherlock. But on the island of Cordona not everyone is so welcoming to outsiders. So hopefully a change of threads will get those tongues wagging.

Similar to Frogwares’ previous investigation themed titles, the game will however not simply tell you what disguise to find and use on characters. It’s up to players to logically conclude what disguise could work based on observation, additional clues and sound reasoning. Similarly, a certain disguise can have the opposite effect and cause a character to be even more tight lipped.
Watch the disguises video deep-dive embedded below, and check back for more updates as we edge closer to the game's 2021 release.