Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond Review

Nearly two years ago, an adventure game from Big Fish Games really shocked us with how awesome it was. Nick Chase: A Detective Story did an amazing job of bringing interesting gameplay, inspired presentation, and a page-flipping story to iOS gamers. Since the original game’s release, Big Fish Games has been one of iOS’s most active developers, bringing dozens of titles to the App Store. Now that they’ve released a second adventure starring Nick Chase, the question is whether it lives up to the original.

Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond follows in the footsteps of its predecessor. The new case on Nick’s plate has him chasing down the origin of a diamond that falls in his lap at a bar. As the story unfolds, the diamond proves that all that glitters isn’t golden.

Where everybody knows your name.

You proceed through the game by exploring scenes chock full of puzzles. Some scenes will have you searching for missing objects, Waldo-style. Others require multiple steps, like piecing together hidden pictures like a jigsaw puzzle, which unlocks a key object to finish off the scene. Nicely rendered comic panels move the story along between gameplay sections.

To be clear, Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond doesn’t reinvent the wheel. What you get here is very much an extension of what you did in Nick’s first adventure. Along with the new story, however, the game design is a bit more varied this time around. The same hint system, based on finding bullets hidden in the scenes, remains intact. Additionally, the skip function on some of the harder puzzles will be a welcome sight to players more interested in the story than earning their progression through achievement.

We’ll take it!

For adventure games like these, solid presentation can make or break the experience. We’re happy to report that Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond delivers on this front. The film noire art and animations are fantastic, and each scene is brought to life with great detail in the various environments. One of the areas we harped on in the original game was the overall darkness of the assets. That isn’t an issue here. Some of the sound effects are recycled from the last game, but it’s not a huge annoyance at all.

The extras are a bit on the light side, but are welcome nonetheless. Both OpenFeint and Game Center are available for achievements. Also, the developers built in a couple of minigames: an Atari-style ping-pong, and a version of Brickbreaker.

If you’re inclined, it’s entirely possible to get through the game in less than a day, especially if you use the hint and skip functions that are built in. For the best experience, though, we suggest you struggle with the roadblocks you run into, because that leads to those satisfying ‘ah-ha’ moments. We can’t recommend this new adventure enough.

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