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The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Chapter 1 – The Eye of the Sphinx

Score: 97%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Nordic Games
Developer: King Art Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

In a time when most adventure games come with a side of hidden object, The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Chapter 1 – The Eye of the Sphinx is a refreshing change. Not only is the game pure problem-solving, but the story it tells and the characters it portrays are top-notch.

The Raven hits the mark when it comes to presentation. Set in the 1960’s, the game obviously pulls from Agatha Christie-styled stories, but doesn’t try to hide it. Actually, one of the game’s characters is an older lady who writes mystery novels. Couple that with the fact that the game’s hero is an overweight Swiss police officer and you can’t help but think of Christie’s Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.

The game doesn’t just look the part though. Sure, the character models are detailed and the settings all feel appropriate for the time, but The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief’s audio pulls its weight in setting the game’s mood. The background music has the right tone and constantly makes me think of watching an episode of Poirot since every voice actor used nails their role. Simply put, it has been a long time since I’ve been impressed by the kind of attention to detail put into an adventure game, and The Raven does it.


The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Chapter 1 – The Eye of the Sphinx starts off a mystery that will span three chapters. In this episode, we are introduced to a good number of characters. Our protagonist is Constable Anton Jakob Zellner, a Swiss police officer assigned to help the famous Inspector Nicolas Legrand. The Inspector made quite a name for himself several years ago by capturing and, unfortunately, killing a cat burglar known as The Raven. Well, it seems there is a new thief on the loose who is mimicking The Raven’s technique.

The latest theft is a large ruby called The Eye of the Sphinx, and it’s partner, a large emerald, is on its way to a museum in Cairo. That’s where Zellner comes in. When Legrand shows up to take a large safe from a bank to a cruise ship, Zellner asks to assist the famous inspector and quickly deduces that Legrand is not actually carrying the precious emerald, but a decoy in the hopes of luring the new Raven into a trap.

What follows is a fun and deceptive mystery story where you not only try to prove yourself to Legrand, but also attempt to uncover who the thief is. You will interview characters like a down on his luck solo violinist, an archeologist and even Zellner’s favorite writer, but what starts off as a calm train ride ends up being a dangerous experience, and that’s just the start of the chapter.


The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Chapter 1 – The Eye of the Sphinx has a wide range of puzzles, but they all seem to have a logical solution. What I found really amusing, and sometimes annoying, is that the game seemed to place a few red herrings in its puzzles. For instance, at one point, you need to see in the dark. Good news, there are some bottles of alcohol and a match. Simply pour the liquid into a bowl and light it on fire, right? Well, yes, that does produce a flame, but the alcohol doesn’t really produce a lot of light, just heat. While this obvious solution might do the trick in most adventure games, The Raven lets you light the flame and then just shakes its proverbial finger and makes you try something else.

Game Mechanics:

The Raven – Legacy of a Master Thief: Chapter 1 – The Eye of the Sphinx offers an interesting solution to the classic pixel-hunt problem that plagues the adventure genre. On the surface, it isn’t anything new; you just tap the spacebar and all of the hot points on the screen make themselves known. Like I said, that’s old hat, but what The Raven adds is something called "Adventure Points." This counter goes up as you solve problems and progress through the story, but you lose a point every time you need to see where all the hotspots are. In the end, your total number of points acts as a score to determine how good of a detective you were. I found this to be really intriguing and might even add a bit of replayability if someone wasn’t satisfied with their end score. Replayability is, of course, something most adventure games lack.

While The Eye of the Sphinx is only the first chapter in this game, it is a great first impression. I can’t wait to see the adventure continue. I believe it is a game that an adventure fan will want to dive into without hesitation.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8, 2.0 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, DirectX 9c compatible graphic card with 256 MB RAM and PixelShader 3.0, DirectX 9.0c

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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