Detective's Apprentice is a mix of a RPG-like puzzle and FF, a murder case to solve, based on the board game "Cluedo". It was the first Pick of the Week on March 28th 2001, now the blacksmith feature. You play James Herefield a clumsy detective's apprentice who lost his job and teams up with his best friend Hargreaves to start his own business, this is when the trouble starts.
PLAYABILITY: Whodunit, the question kept me busy throughout the scenario, a great puzzle, fun to solve a variety of side quests and good humour, the perfect game play experience. On the downside, there were some trigger-problems. At the other side of the river, a not activated area trigger should tell the next objective, it says to go to the capital and find Michael who should sell you some premises. In addition, at the end, in most cases no matter whom I clicked as my main suspect, and then clicked the pavilion, I won and the murderer revealed. 4-
BALANCE: This was well above average, perfect for this RPG-type scenario. I had the obligatory number of reloads, used micromanagement, rethought strategy and gathered clues, a challenge for expert players. 5
CREATIVITY: Detective's Apprentice is original, creative idea, the first murder case puzzle at the blacksmith. Creative victory conditions, the multiple choices and a great taxi ride. The first appearance of the famous rain trick by The Pyromaniac, based on Rasher's template and by itself worth a five. 5+
MAP DESIGN: The design is above average with elevations, good use of cliffs, map copy features and the burning city was well done. Overall, the map design did not convince me. Clustered city/villages, an unrealistic mix of palm, oak, bamboo and pine replaced the lack of terrain mix as 'eye-candy' and Marlins and sea rocks in a moat are another misinterpretation of eye-candy features. The map was too green; mind you, that original AoK has grass/dirt 1, 2, 3 and leaves. 4
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The scenario starts with a well themed bmp; the humorous introduction brings you into the interesting story, which develops in game. A good job on this detective story and I wished there were more scenarios of this kind. I liked the objective window with the notes of James Herefield, the objectives are clear and the player gets enough hints. 5
OVERALL: Detective's Apprentice is unique, well balanced and highly creative.
OBSERVATION: The scenario includes a B-side, a B&D called “Cliff Hideout”. It is fun to play, a decent map, and a good balance against three enemies on the map with standard victory conditions.
SUGGESTIONS: You can edit the scenario. Trigger "Choice El Cid", place a new effect, effect list 'activate trigger', trigger list 'Pavilion El Cid'. Trigger "Pavilion El Cid" change effect 1 from trigger list 'victory' to 'defeat'. Trigger "Choice John the thief", place a new effect, effect list 'activate trigger', trigger list 'Pavilion John the thief'. Trigger "Pavilion John the thief" change starting state from 'on' to 'off'. Under Scene 4, Act 1, trigger "asparagus" change starting state from 'off' to 'on'. Save as The Detective's Apprentice v1.1.
IN CLOSING: Download this scenario, I also recommend the sequel campaign ID 726 The Detective's Apprentice 2, by AoK Dragon (The Pyromaniac).