Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror
Windows - 1997
Description of Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror
The Quandary's Gordon Aplin returns in his excellent review of IMHO a slightly inferior sequel to the original: "In this sequel to Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, we catch up with George Stobbart as he is reunited with Nico in Paris.
Somehow Nico has managed to get her hands on a mysterious Mayan stone, and as she and George arrive at the house of Professor Oubier, an expert on Mayan artefacts, a nasty surprise awaits them inside. Nico is kidnapped and George is left tied to a chair where he is being stalked by a large, hairy spider and, just for good measure, the room he is in has been set on fire. Indiana Jones eat your heart out! Now it's up to you to help George extricate himself from this predicament and to find out what new entanglement Nico has got herself, and you, involved in.
Most of the time you will be controlling the actions of George, especially in the first half of the game, but later Nico also shows that she is a more than capable young woman as the gallant adventurers risk life and limb in pursuit of ancient stones to prevent a Mayan prophesy from being fulfilled. In the process there are many entertaining problems to overcome -- escaping a burning room is just the start as Nico and George manage to get themselves into a 'fine mess' more than once.
Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror is a third-person perspective, cartoon-style, adventure that has the same excellent graphics and engaging gameplay as its predecessor although I did think that the puzzles were quite a bit easier. This may have been because the areas to explore seemed more restricted than in the first game and usually the solution to the particular obstacle to be overcome was close at hand. As a result I moved through the game fairly quickly and, though I enjoyed it immensely, I was rarely stuck on one puzzle for more than a few minutes at a time.
Despite this, the puzzles are generally entertaining and fun to solve and the game sweeps you along with its great characters, story, humour and dialogue. This make it an excellent game for less experienced players and also for anyone who likes the odd chuckle." I generally agree with Gordon's review, especially his opinion that the game is much easier this time around than its predecessor. It also has more interminable dialogues that sometimes seem to go on forever.
The game is ideal for adventure game newbies who want to try a captivating, well-written game without worrying getting stuck on puzzles. The game is definitely still good enough to warrant a Top Dog, but it's a Top Dog with a little less luster than the classic Broken Sword :)
Review By HOTUD
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Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide.