39StepsThe 39 Steps is a point-and-click adventure based on the 1915 novel of the same name. The story was immortalized 20 years later on screen by my favorite director, Alfred Hitchcock.

In this game, you play the role of a man who finds himself caught up in military espionage and counter-espionage, and is falsely accused of murder. During the game, you visit places throughout the city of London to gather clues and ultimately figure out the mystery of the thirty-nine steps. the-39-steps2 The gameplay itself follows the classic “still frame” progression from one region to another as you explore the map. But there are other elements that are uncommon…trading cards, for instance. If you collect them all, you’ll earn a Steam achievement. By now you know that I’m an avid achievement hunter, so features like this appeal to me.

39StepsCardsThe game also utilizes “mouse gestures” to simulate physical actions. To turn a doorknob, for example, you must actually roll your mouse in a circular pattern on your mouse pad. To throw a latch, you swipe your mouse purposefully to the right! This type of interaction is novel, but not quite as satisfying as the voice-command systems found in a retinue of newer titles.

39StepsGesturesOverall, the game is solid. The artwork is good, and the plot is true to form. If you like twists and turns and everything that goes with them, you’ll enjoy The 39 Steps; its chilling message is as pertinent now as it was exactly a century ago.

-Chris Roberts-

The 39 Steps Scale

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