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I’m with you. I enjoyed it with walkthrough in hand but the puzzle design is sadistic. You’ll find the second game much more forgiving.

I finished Discworld Noir over the weekend. It’s quite a tricky game to get running – even on a Windows 98 machine it was still crashing after the intro for me. I had to use a modern patch to run it on period correct hardware! By far and away my biggest issue with it, the game is so dark. Literally dark, I could barely see what I was doing. I initially blamed my CRT losing brightness after all these years but I also tried playing it on a modern PC and it was even worse. Never has a game needed gamma correction so badly. I used a walkthrough liberally as I was missing interactive items because I couldn’t spot them in the mirk.

Aside from that, the game takes a very different tone. It’s aping Casablanca, Big Sleep and the like but manages to throw some Lovecraft in there when you get later on. It’s less funny and cartoonish than it’s predecessors with a sardonic wit about it. There is much more of a plot going on which twists and turns in the Noir style and you’ll have to concentrate to keep track of it all. I don’t think the voice acting was quite up to the job of pulling all this off but it’s still decent. The puzzles can be quite obtuse as ever but nothing on the lines of #1. It’s a bit difficult to judge having said that since I basically ended up following a walkthrough. You have a large notebook of clues which need to be used and talked about so there are a lot of available options. Trial and error isn’t going to work and it’s definitely not an easy game as a result but at least no solutions left me thinking a puzzle was unfair. It’s fairly huge also as adventure games go. If you want a Noir adventure game, I’d go for Grim Fandango first but this is certainly worth your time.

It’s a strong trilogy of games all round really. #2 was the highlight for me by a margin.