You are James Palmer, a new reporter for the New York Today. The new editor assigns you to look into the "Jack the Ripper" killings that another paper has an exclusive on. He wants a story every day. So you'll be out on the streets, trying to find stories.
The world of New York city in 1901 has been lovingly created. The backgrounds are rich and very finely detailed. The characters you will meet are realistic. Of particular interest is your work friend Paul, the limping tramp Jason and the singer Abby "The Irish Nightingale". Background sounds are fairly good, the music (when there is some) is just wonderful. The music may be spooky or lively but is always worth listening to.
You'll be looking at crime scenes, and interviewing people for the most part. The streets at night have an eerie silence and different people can be found then. Almost everything in the game has a dark feel to it, best to play it in the evening for best effect.
The game is primarily mouse driven with 360° viewing, but only a few set locations that you can travel to. Cursors for the game are fairly easy to learn. To travel between locations, you'll need to right-click.
Right-clicking brings up your inventory, which includes your folder of important items related to the story and a map of available locations. Usually new locations are found by having a new item added to the inventory, which you must drag over to the map. Release the mouse to have a new location added to your map. That is one of the oddities in this game.
Another oddity is that your dialogue choices always start with "mission" then "community". Why is a good question, many of the conversations after the first day won't fall into this category.
The important unit of time in the game is the day. Each day has a daytime section and a nighttime one. You can tell when you've reached the end of the day sequence of events by going back to James's office and see if he is ready to type his report. When you have a hand cursor over the typewriter, you can write and the day is finished. Evening ends with a view of the moon, so make sure you look up in outdoor locations at night.
While there are some other things to do in the game, most of your day will be spent making the rounds talking to everybody. And once something happens, you may well have to go back around and talk to everyone else. In any closeup view you get, do be certain to run the cursor over ever noticable item. Most of the things you can interact with are obvious, but a few are subtle.
There are a few bugs left in the game. One I noticed was one night that the same man was slouching against the wall in about three different places. Or that you can get multiple tickets if you return to a certain location for a second time that day. Another known bug has to do with your efforts in photography fairly late in the game.
There are many times when you'd like a closer look at something just to realise that it is part of the background. While it's great that the background has so much detail, that this happens, it is a pain to have to quickly run your cursor over anything that might be a clue.
Certainly not one of the most challenging of games, and yet it has a certain appeal. But it is mostly slogging around, talking yet again to everyone you can find and see if anything new comes up. The conclusion of the game is ultimately unsatisfying. So much so that I went online to check that I had reached the end successfully. I loved the atmosphere, loved the music, found the Jack the Ripper details interesting but it was, in the end, a less than satisfying experience.
Final game rating: 3 of 5 stars.
If you are looking for gore, as might be expected in a game about Jack the Ripper, you will be disappointed. There is very little gore in the game.