November 19, 2017
Archives  Reviews  Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure  



Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.7

Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
August 18, 2014 | Ted Bade

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Bright Lights, Dark City
Of course there are always things to be found in the environment that can be picked up and placed in your inventory. Some might provide a piece of information, others might be items needed later in the game, and some will need to be combined with other things found to make something needed. Typical adventure game fare portrayed with typical graphical adventure game animations. Tex will also find copies of a comic he collects (called Mike and Ike Hammer). They tend to be hidden, and finding them often requires paying closer attention to the environment. It is a little side game which contributes little if anything to the overall outcome of the investigation. Copies you find are eventually stored in Tex’s office on a shelf dedicated to them. (Which is also a way to find that you haven’t collected them all).

Death can happen in this game, but it serves more as a learning experience then a major hindrance. I read another review in which the reviewer complained of dying too often. I didn’t find this to be true. Besides, it is an adventure game, smart players save the game often, giving themselves a safe place to return to and try again. I can agree that most of the deaths I faced were rather sudden and caught me off guard, as I died walking into a trap that wasn’t very obvious. But this is how one learns in an adventure game, and it does make you a bit more cautious when you investigate an area for the first time!

If you do die, you are “treated” to a view of the graveyard, and your personal electronic assistant chiding you for the actions that killed you, then pointing out, in general terms, what you did wrong. You can either let the game return you to where you were and lose some P.I. points or restart from an earlier save and keep the points. You earn points as a P.I. by making good choices and asking certain questions. I don’t know if there is any value to the P.I. points, other then to say you did a good or bad job as a player.

There are a limited number of places to travel to in Tesla Effect. Once you have been to one, this place becomes available in your travel menu, which is accessed either through your map or by clicking on Tex’s air car. Doing this brings up a list of places you can instantly travel to. Select one and you are there. Completing certain parts of the game often brings you to a new area the first time. Some areas you don’t need to return to once you have everything you need there. In at least one area, I was warned that I didn’t have everything I needed, so I better look some more before leaving. (It was in an area that was rather difficult to get into.)

There are several game chapters, each a different day. There is always some specific task that must be completed before the current day is complete and you move on. Besides being called Day one or Day two, the day has two titles, provided as the new day loads, much like the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons of my childhood. One example is: “Tex get’s his mojo on… or … Dial M for Moron.” The titles usually have something to do with the events in the next part of the game and are generally very campy.

There are two modes of play in the game. In the “Casual” mode, the player can ask for additional clues and gain help to find important items. Complex puzzles can be passed without completing them, and Tex’s flashlight, when used, will cause hidden items in the environment to sparkle, alerting the player to their existence. In the “Gamer” mode, you are on your own. I played in the gamer mode and didn’t find it all that hard to complete. I did “accidentally” complete one of the more complex puzzles, (I don’t know what exactly I did, but the game let me pass, so I must have done something right!), and got a little help in a couple of cases from internet forums and the many video walkthroughs that are out there. A couple of the more complex puzzles were what I call, “classic” puzzles, so if you know the solution to the general or classic one, it’s relatively easy to solve the one in the Tex Murphy game.

I ran into few glitches playing during play. I did encounter one major glitch, where I apparently quit the game in the middle of a required sequence of actions, then when I returned to play again, I could not get past this section, as it wouldn’t let me solve the puzzles and move on. As I write, I need to load an earlier save and work my way back to that area. At least to prove it is possible to move on. I don’t think others playing this game ran into this situation, as I found discussions about scenes beyond it. Just my dumb luck :-0.

I really enjoyed playing this Tex Murphy adventure. Gameplay is a lot like watching a TV show, but one where you get to interact as the video moves along and even have some effect on the final outcome. The game animations were well done and realistic, but the character actor sequences were excellent and fun to watch. My thanks to both the game developers and especially to the many people who participated in the crowd funding that provided the resources to make this game possible. I sincerely hope that they, like me, enjoyed playing this game!

If you are looking for a great, tongue-in-cheek style graphical adventure based on the life of a futuristic private investigator, with great characters and an interesting story line, you can’t go wrong with Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure. It is well done, entertaining, and provides lots of puzzles and fun game playing.


• Excellent video sequences
• Fun adventure
• Great puzzles


• You can’t move between modes of play. If you find Expert mode too hard, you have to start again.

Other considerations:

Although this game often alludes to more “mature” topics and violence, like a good B-movie, nothing is ever shown, just suggested. Even the game’s more dicier characters are relatively mild.

Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
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