COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Red Johnson's Chronicles: One Against All Review
I think the reason that I like video games is because I enjoy solving puzzles. It seems that in almost every video game you have to solve some kind of puzzle or try to figure something out.
I was just sent a review code for the PSN called “Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All.”
The game was developed and distributed for the PSN by a company called Lexis Numerique. They are the largest independent game design studio in Europe and have sold millions of games.
You play as a character named Red Johnson and you are a private investigator. Your character has become very well -known and someone puts a bounty out on you. So everyone is out to get you and you have to be on guard at all times.
One day, Red is sitting in a bar and he gets a strange package. He tries to figure out what is in it and who sent it.
As he takes a drink of his beer, he realizes it’s poisoned and there is a finger in it. He questions everyone it the bar about who gave him the box and who poisoned his drink and nobody knows. He then takes the finger home and analyzes it.
It turns out to be his brother named Brown’s finger. Red then goes to Brown’s house and his other brother “Black” is there. I know it’s confusing but there is a ton of humor in the game. You have to try and figure out what happened to your brother by solving complex puzzles.
The graphics are really well done. The feel of the game is very dark and dirty. There are a lot of black and gray colors. It is a very noir world.
The game play is really different. You don’t move your character around with the controller. You go to a menu and select the area you want to investigate.
When you get to the area, you can move a cursor around the screen and if there is something you can interact with, the button you need to push to interact with the item appears. You can pick up items, talk to people, move to different rooms and solve puzzles, plus as you advance in the game there are other options.
The puzzles that I encountered in Red Johnson’s Chronicles were very challenging. This game will really make you think.
For instance the first puzzle you have to solve is how to open the box that is delivered to you at the bar. When you go into puzzle mode, the item appears on the screen and you can rotate it 360 degrees and examine every inch of it.
You are given a magnifying glass and a UV light to detect anything that is hidden. The box has a paddle lock on it and you have to figure out where the code on the box is.
After about 10-15 minutes I finally figured it out. It was a great puzzle and the other ones that I encountered were more challenging. I don’t want to spoil anything but there was a very difficult puzzle that had to do with solving a really messed up jigsaw puzzle and that took me forever to figure out.
One nice thing is that if you get stuck and are spending too much time on a puzzle, you can spend money to get a clue to solve the puzzle.
As you solve puzzles you get money and you can use this money to get hints. You can also pay a friend to help you with a more detailed clue. This costs more money, but you should be able to figure out what you need to do.
I really liked “Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All.” I think the story is interesting and I like the humor that is mixed in with all of the puzzle solving.
One thing that I would like to point out is that it is a M rated game, so there is strong language and adult situations, so it’s not for kids.
Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about latest entertainment news.