Twelve Absent Men had my hopes set high but turned out to be rather disappointing. When I first started the game up I was a little concerned: the game menus were minimalistic and didn’t have much detail to them. Sadly that would set the tone for the game. This court-based adventure would turn out to be filled of clutter and difficult to play.
Twelve Absent Men puts you in the shoes of a lawyer defending Ms. Lane in the case of the murder of her dear uncle Todd. Before the game begins, it presents you with a short visual that will help you understand the storyline. Twelve Absent Men has good visuals and design making it generally a good-looking game. The designs look a bit cartoonish but have vivid colours and some decent animations. The menus simply don’t look good, with low quality text and generally poor aesthetics.
You play as a lawyer and his intern in a case against your fiercest rival: Mr. Sun. It’s a tap-through style game that has you making choices in the courtroom. However, this is where some difficulty comes in. Unless you have some actual knowledge of courtroom procedure, this won’t be an easy game. Many times you will find yourself yelling “Objection!” and questioning the witnesses, but really that's all you will do. In some instances you will get the help of your intern sidekick, telling you when to object and what the grounds are. After this you’re pretty much on your own when making decisions. The store page for the game makes it appear to have interactive events and challenges, but sadly that is not quite true. When making a decision you will need to stop a slider in the zone. The catch to that is, you can't miss. If you miss the zone there are no consequences for your failure.
Twelve Absent Men follows a good storyline, gets you feeling involved and intrigued but the game is generally flawed. After trying to go through the game several times, I was still unable to complete it. Each time you get close to halfway through the story the game will glitch and freeze, making your only option to restart. After talking with all of the witnesses, you are presented with the option to choose different forms of evidence to use in the courtroom. Each character will present different types of evidence. Such as an alibi and their relationship with the victim. However, once you reach this point your game is over; the selection screen for the forms of evidence is non-responsive and just doesn't work. It will take a significant amount of time to get through to here, and that's without having to restart multiple times.
The user interface has a poor design and are bland and unattractive. During the game you have two menus to select: the pause menu and the evidence list. The evidence list simply doesn't work - it doesn’t show you any evidence, it will only display the word “long.” The pause menu is also a mess, as the background instantly becomes a buggy jumble and glitches like crazy. On the pause menu you get five options to choose from: Return, evidence, controls, save, and exit. Exit takes you back to the main menu where you either load the game or start a new one. The evidence and controls option do basically nothing. Perhaps one of the only good features of this game is that is auto saves.
Twelve Absent Men has the right idea with a game. It depicts a good story line and has some decent visuals. Sadly the actual gameplay itself completely misses the mark on top of being very glitchy and buggy. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this game. It’s just too messy and the glitches make the game unplayable.
The score reflects this is broken or unplayable at time of review.
It depicts a good story line and has some decent visuals. Sadly the actual gameplay itself completely misses the mark on top of being very glitchy and buggy. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this game. It’s just too messy and the glitches make the game unplayable.