BeTrapped!

Inspector Parker in Betrapped! Windows Front Cover

Publisher: Oberon
Developer: Oberon
Year: 2004
Platform: Windows

Murder Mystery and Minesweeper. It took this long for someone to combine the two?  Your guess is as good as mine.

 

BeTrapped! is the brainchild of Jane Jensen, designer of the Gabriel Knight series and a previous title, Inspector Parker, a simple detective game in the vein of typical logic puzzles. Now, Mr. Parker is back, this time solving a mystery in a manor filled with hundreds of booby traps. Each time you enter a new room, you must play minesweeper, determining which spots on the floor have traps and deactivating them. Once you’ve cleared a room, you can talk to house guests to unravel the case of the murdered estate lord.

Unlike minesweeper, you are allowed to screw up on occasion and still not die (though there are a few local time limits), and even if you do, you can save your progress. And unlike most games that pass themselves off as mysteries, you actually do have to take notes and deduce the murderer at the end of the game. Though reaching the end is incredibly easy, winning requires an acute mind, as the clues are devilishly woven throughout the game. Sadly, if you’re wrong, the game will tell you who the murderer is anyway.

Overall, this game is quite fun while it lasts, though it’s short and leaves little reason to replay it. You can create your own rooms of booby traps to practice in (and to best one’s own speed records), but after a while I longed for the original minesweeper that accomplishes the same goal while being less tedious. But BeTrapped! is a clever idea that was given the execution it deserved by one of the genres most brilliant minds.

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