Samaritan Paradox is coming to us from Sweden and is the piece of work by Petter Ljungqvist which as he points out, the plot is a mix between the work of Stieg Larsson and the brothers Grimm. Let’s see what secrets and paradoxes Samaritan Paradox holds for us.
You are Ord Salomon, a philology student with a knack for cryptology. The latest period of your life isn’t exactly the best you had. You split up with your girlfriend, you don’t have any will to finish your final essay and on top of it all, you are completely broke. Your friend Magnus is giving you as a gift the swansong of a detective fiction writer who recently killed himself and from the inside of the cover page the cryptographer inside you already found a hidden message directed to the writer’s daughter. From there your adventure begins in a world of conspiracy, crime and plot twists in which however ready you think you are, you’ll be left speechless at the end.
The graphics of Samaritan Paradox like any other AGS title is pixelated with 320×200 resolution and even though the nostalgics of the ‘90s like (including myself) isn’t something special ( Wadjet Eye is the sole ruler in this category) and some parts may get tiring from the relentless pixel-hunting, of the many inconspicuous objects. Since almost everybody has wide screens now, the designers took that notice and it’s supported.
The music isn’t its strongest point and it works as a rug and doesn’t provide any change. It’s just there. It doesn’t bother you nor it thrills you. The sound effects are practically non existent, while the voices are mediocre and some are recorded so low you have to turn the volume up so you can hear the dialog and then immediately turn down.
The game is fully mouse controlled but it’s so plain to the point when you have to combine some objects together (or try to give them to someone), in some cases you don’t even get a hint that such an action can’t be done. Clicking the left mouse button you choose, talk, clicking the right mouse button you get information about objects. An important addition is the notebook in the left of your inventory where you take notes about tasks you talk about and the conclusions about them.
The game action is linear and its puzzles are clever but the game chooses the path only hardcore adventurers can take. The puzzles aren’t difficult but until the point where you know what you have to do otherwise you’ll be running circles around yourself. For example, you read somewhere the solution for a puzzle and when you find the puzzle the actual solution is different than the one you’ve read about but you don’t know why. You just go with the classic trial and error (try everything till something works) which is due to the bad designing of the puzzles. Also, for an adventure game, it has many timed events where fortunately if you lose, you start right at the beginning of the event and NOT at the last savegame.
In conclusion, Samaritan Paradox is one more game focusing on the fans of classic adventures without making a difference, not graphically speaking but for the small omissions here and there which take away its positive elements and condemn it to mediocrity but that doesn’t mean that if someone choose to ignore them they won’t have fun for the 10 hours the game lasts.