It is the 1940s. You are Scott Anger, Private Dick. You have just recovered from a prolonged drunken stupor that was the result of your girlfriend being killed. Back on your feet, you are determined to put the past behind you and start again in the Private Detective business. Along with your sleepy partner, Ralph Spencer, you are in your office when she walks in. She has the face a man could die for and eyes that could trap your soul. And her smile... She says her brother is in the city and she has lost contact with him and fears the worst. She has only enough money to hire you for three days, so the clock is ticking. Armed with a photo of her brother and a strong desire to see that smile again, you set off. The Review:
This game reminded me a lot of another detective game, although a futuristic one, called Under a Killing Moon. So if you have ever played Killing Moon and like it, you will probably like The Dame was Loaded. It is your classic Phil Marlow or Sam Spade gumshoe detective novel brought to life. The game opens with you trying your hand once again in the P.I. business, after the death of your sweetie which sent you into the gutter for a few months. Your first case is a simple location of a missing person, but soon you find more than you bargained for. You must go out into the city and find clues. Friends you have met in the past can help you along the way. From classy dames to shady characters, cops to criminals, this game has it all. And remember, no one looks professional until they have had their daily shave. The graphics were cool. Two CDs supply several full screen cinema clips with strong, clear voices and authentic 40s music. All of the screens are full, not a smaller window as in Under a Killing Moon. In addition to the graphics and voices, The Dame was Loaded is a good mystery game. Also, as an interesting twist, characters you talk to will get impatient and angry if you hang around asking stupid questions. So you cannot just fire away anything, you have to think some.
Despite the fact that The Dame was Loaded was a pretty good game, I think its major problem was the designers. Like so many other games, if the designers had just put a little more thought into the details, this could go from a good game to a great game. First of all, you can only save the game in your office. Well, since this is a time based game, traveling to your office takes time. And since you only have three days to solve the case, travel time eats up much of that. The time thing is one of the largest frustrations by itself. Unlike Under a Killing Moon which moved you to the next day when you had done everything, The Dame was Loaded has no such feature. You can pass time or sleep whenever, eating up time you have so little of. Also, it is easy to get stuck and not know what to do next. Because of the time constraint, you do not have much chance to hop around and use trial and error. I think the hint feature in Under a Killing Moon would have been helpful here or would at least have eased up on the time constraint.