Three years ago Nintendo released “Hotel Dusk: Room 215”, an incredibly atmospheric 'point-and-click' style adventure-mystery game and probably my hands down favorite game for the DS. I am absolutely thrilled that a sequel has been released, called “Last Window: The Secret of Cape West.” Unfortunately, for reasons that only make sense to executives at Nintendo, the game is not being released outside of Europe. But fear not, the DS's lack of region lock-out and the fact that “Last Window” is entirely in English, make this game 100% import friendly!
“Last Window” is set in Los Angeles during 1980, and takes place one year after the events in “Hotel Dusk.” However, it does not require knowledge of the previous game to be enjoyed, as the game stands completely on it's own. The storyline once again follows the investigation of Kyle Hyde, a former New York detective, this time as he attempts to solve the mystery of Cape West: a former hotel which has been converted into the apartments in which Kyle now lives. Eventually the story also entangles you in a mystery involving the murder of Kyle's father and his secretive past, both of which are somehow tied to the mystery of Cape West.
Just like “Hotel Dusk”, the player holds the DS vertically, like a storybook. Using the stylus, you engage in conversations with the residents, interact with environments, and solve puzzles. The conversations you have with the various residents can take many twists and turns, so beware: one misstep in a conversation can result in your failure to solve the mystery of Cape West. Thankfully, the game uses a very liberal system of check points so you won't be in too much of a bind when this happens to you, as it will, guaranteed. The game's puzzles also make full use of the DS features, including the microphone, as well as a wonderful puzzle involving the sleep function of the DS.
One of the great additions to “Last Window” is that every time you complete a chapter of the game, that chapter is then adapted into a novel, which can be read at anytime. This means that you not only get to enjoy the captivating gameplay, but a great novel at the same time too. The novel also acts as a hint section, directing players to certain characters should they have missed a certain clue or conversation.
This game just oozes atmosphere thanks to its film noir feeling and great mystery storyline, which is enhanced by beautifully animated character sketches and an excellent jazz soundtrack. It's no wonder that it is so easy to lose yourself in this story. If you find yourself longing for a great mystery adventure game, track down a copy of “Last Window” and enjoy it for yourself.