Discworld Noir

From GT interactive software and Perfect entertainment. At the time of this review, Discworld was not available for either the US or for Canada. Luckily, I live in Australia.

Brief Description

You play Lewton, Discworld's first detective. Possibly Discworld's last detective as well, given your assignment. You've been asked to find someone for a beautiful dame. And every good detective knows that beautiful dames are trouble. If that wasn't bad enough, there's a troll with a one-track mind (and dialogue) who is making demands plus a dwarf with a large axe who wants you to drop the case.

Based on the immensely successful Discworld series, you'll even get to talk to some old and favourite characters; like Nobby, and Death. You will visit some guilds, walk the streets and generally make a complete nuisance of yourself. The music in the game is basically a mild jazz. The graphics are 3-D rendered to make this the most realistic of the Discworld games.

The style of this game is very different from the previous Discworld games. Based on film noir, the gritty dark streets of Ankh-Morpork must be searched carefully for clues. Rincewind and the luggage are missing from the game.

Game play and hints

Read the manual. It's far less painful then usual for a game, since it is written in traditional Discworld1 style. The manual contains both background to Discworld3 and information about playing the game. As a note, you can tell approximately when the story takes place from the fact that Vimes is now Commander of the Watch.

The important thing to remember about this game is to remember that Lewton can cross-reference clues. If you forget to do this, you will have to resort to a walk-through at some point in time. Move your cursor around each room carefully, items have 'tags' but sometimes they can be small and hard to find. Also, it's not surprising that you have to talk to everyone about everything. Plus sometimes you have to find an incentive to get cooperation with your investigation.

In keeping with the film style this game imitates, the game screens tend to be very dark. Be prepared to play in darkened room or turn your screen to maximum contrast4.

Pay attention to what Lewton tells you, and don't forget to examine items using a right-click. He tells you many things once you remember to look at the item as well as use it. You can even try to use items or clues on the buildings when you are in 'city' view. Sometimes you'll learn something interesting. I like the fact that sometimes Lewton refuses to do something, unless you find the clue that means the action makes sense.

Gripes about the game

If you do a minimum install of the game, you either must reinsert the first cd back in when you are quitting the game or put up with error messages. Very annoying but this may not happen if you don't do the minimum install.

Approximately twice in the game, I had a 'rap' session where little bits of dialogue kept being repeated 7-15 times before the next bit would happen. Very irritating the second time, because it was a cut-animation sequence that would only be shown once. Fortunately, the problem did not last long.

Once in the game, I found a bug by collecting an item a second time while another character was supposed to have it.


Buy this game as soon as you can, I highly recommend it. The clues and hints are present, though it can be easy to miss one. I did make it through the first two acts without a walkthrough and only used a couple of hints in act 3 when my progress was too slow. There are no sequences where exact timing is necessary but there are times when you need to find a small area on a big screen.

I'm not that keen on the 3-D characters, but I loved the music. Also it's nice to see some puzzles based on scent, not sight and a truly different viewpoint for the world. But you'll have find out more about that by playing the game.

Some final thoughts on the game.

As ever, I enjoyed the Discworld game. It was odd to have a game without Rincewind, but the game is enticing. I was up until much too late looking for another clue several nights when playing this game. If you did enjoy this game, see if you can find Discworld 1 or Discworld 2. Discworld 1 is by far the hardest of the series. I found the levels of puzzles just about perfect in this one. I made steady progress without too much frustration.

1 With abundant footnotes2.
2 Some of them humorous in intent.
3 You mean you didn't know the details of Discworld?
4Playing in a sunny room in North Queensland is a bad idea.