Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen in Review – It’s the war of the clones… kind of…

It seems I’m on a roll this week! It’s time for yet another review of a new adventure game. Following the superb Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered (TMA Review) and frustrating but promising The Train episode 01 (TMA Review) I’m going to examine another recent entry to the genre on the App Store, which also happens to be an iDevice exclusive as well – Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen. Will this one prove to be worthy of our The App Store’s Best Adventure?

Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen is another point-and-click adventure, even closer to the classics than most other original releases on the iOS platform. In a world just like our own – save for a few minor differences – a clumsy and underappreciated cop is spending his days snoozing in his office. Until one day a fire decimates the hotel where this year’s awards for the “Cloned Beauty Queen” title are held. Did I say “minor differences”? Anyhow, since the only other cop in the force is home sick, the chief doesn’t have any other choice but to put our fair hero forward to investigate the dastardly deed.

The developers (zima-software) managed to create a unique world, a parody of our own, by simply adding a few minor changes and speculating on what would happen if we could suddenly create a copy of anyone who ever lived. The writing is great and I seriously advise you to read through all of the dialogues and item descriptions carefully – you won’t regret it. Additionally, Cop is one of the few original indie adventure games to feature full voiceovers with quite decent acting, so it’s definitely advisable to play with the sound on. The graphics are excellent, with the artwork done in a somewhat hypertrophied cartoony style, and none of that flashy 3d graphics to spoil stuff. Instead, colorful hand drawn 2D graphics rule the world in the case of the cloned beauty queen.

Gameplay-wise Cop takes its inspiration from the classic adventure games of the early 90s – a huge inventory, lots of accessible screens, characters active hotspots. Unfortunately what Cop neglected to take was – common sense. Despite available descriptions for all hot spots and items, most of the puzzles are extremely obscure. And I DO mean extremely! For example, despite the availability of a pond and a fire hose on numerous occasions, you’ll discover that finding a drop of water is next to impossible and requires an absolutely impossible feat of ingenuity. Sadly almost 60-70% of puzzles are like that. All this makes for one of the most difficult adventure games in all my experience of more than 20 years of gaming. The only refuge is the built-in walkthrough… which skips a few important steps on several occasions.

The other real downer, adding ever more grief to the difficulty level, is the interface. Despite being originally developed for the iDevice (at least I was unable to find any mentions of the Cop for any other platform), the game features touchpad-style cursor control, instead of a full-touch interface. Add to this the absolute lack of any way to display all of the available hot-spots on-screen, and you get yourself a boat-load of pixel-hunting pain. This may add to the feel of a classic adventure game you say? Maybe, but on the iPhone I would say it spells the death of Cop for any casual gamer.

Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen is a baffling game in many ways. On one hand it has hilarious writing, original setting, colorful graphics and loads and loads of gameplay worth. On the other, the barringly high difficulty level will make it frustrating to play for almost anyone apart from the true adventure game fans, even with the availability of the built-in walkthrough. The outdated control scheme doesn’t exactly help either. That said though, and despite the aforementioned shortcomings, I still thoroughly enjoyed my way through Cop thanks to the simply superb writing and graphics.

With this I declare Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queenDeveloper: Zima-software
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$1.99App Size:120.04MB
  • Hilarious writing
  • Colourful hand-drawn graphics
  • Original full-scale adventure in unique setting
  • Universal app
  • Barringly high difficulty level
  • Sometimes inaccurate walkthrough
  • Outdated touchpad-style interface

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Can’t get enough of the adventure genre for the iDevice? Take a look at these TMA articles/reviews!

  • http://twitter.com/BlackChar BlackChar

    “…at least I was unable to find any mentions of the Cop for any other platform”
    Try searching for “Polda” instead :) This game is actually what seems to be a direct port of Czech game “Polda 2″ (yes, there is more of this hilarity, sadly not in English) which came out for Windows in 1999. This is also why the interface seems clunky and the game is too hard and unintuitive for english audience. See, czech people love fun and sarcasm more than anything. Most of puzzles throughout the game are designed especially to make you laugh – so if you don’t know, try the dumbest and most funny thing you can think of and you’ll probably succeed. And if not, it’s probably because of our language and cultural differences. From what I’ve seen online, Zima Software did an awesome job creating the English speaking version, but as with books, there’s always something missing if you read the translation :)

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