ZX Computing

The Sidney Affair
By Infogrames
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #38

The Sidney Affair

The Sidney Affair, sequel to The Vera Cruz Affair, is in a very similar style, and has an unimaginatively similar title. Again you are a French police chief, again there is a grisly murder to be solved, and again you face the even harder task of using the 'Diamond' network, France's police computer system.

As before, the game has two sections, in the first, the scenes of the crime (two of them) are portrayed, with rather neat graphics, and by moving a magnifying glass over them you attempt to zoom in on clues. Here you can find the victim's identity and some other details (check out the briefcase). Part two allows you to take statements, perform an autopsy and ballistic examinations, and (try to) use the infernal computer to gain information on police records and other forces related investigations. Then correlate the evidence and make the arrest. Simple...

My thoughts are as for Vera Cruz: Really only the case details have changed. The same sense of genuine investigation exists; the joy of detecting leads hidden within statements is worth experiencing. However, when stuck, I'm still uncertain as to whether I'm on the right trac but entering the wrong computer commands, or whether what I'm trying to do is irrelevant. I still feel more friendliness is required, especially as few of us Brits understand the French system of departments and regions, or their formats for things like telephone numbers!

If you liked Cruz, you'll like this. More of the same - slick, unusual and a good puzzler.