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Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon is a kind of point-and-click adventure in 3D environments that uses a lot of full-motion video cuts and animations. Despite belonging to a "classic" saga, I had never heard of this game when I got it from a bundle, so I started playing it out of curiosity holding zero nostalgia.

The game has a noir-ish, futuristic ambient. How they don't really achieve it is part of the charm of the game. For example, you have flying cars, but you still have bricklike laptops and something like MS-DOS.

The game lacks "darkness" too: people die, you (may) die, more people are going to die, but still the atmosphere is so naive and Disney-esque that there is no drama, no tension.

But it is still funny and humorous. I had some really good laughs with the FMV and dialogs. And that's probably the best value of the game.

I get that in its time, the game had to be a start-of-the-art in both technical and production values. I remember 1994 as the year my family purchase a 486 with no multimedia equipment. But nowadays those values are very dated, with graphics showing weird aberration effects, plain textures, lots of glitches and ugly low-res video (not only low-res, but also amateurish edition), but that's what you get when you play a game more than 20 years old. The FMV and the completely voiced dialogs and inner thoughts of the main character could be enough to forgive most of the sins of the game. Even nowadays, a full voiced game like this one is a plus. But I have to reiterate in the sins part.

Controls are terrible. It shows that in that time there weren't too many references of what is proper usability. Player navigates using the mouse as if one were using an analog pad in a touchscreen (the mouse is your finger), which is very hard to control. You cannot navigate using the keyboard, no WASD, but still requires the keyboard to raise/lower your "head" or look up/down.

The acting and even the direction is questionable at least, but it is still charming enough.

Puzzles are a bit too few and easy. That is good for a "quickie", but it doesn't help the game in feeling "complete" or even rewarding. Well, they are harder than those in your typical Hidden Object Game, but I feel them to be below those in other point-and-click games.

Most of the game is spent navigating the environments looking for objects which are, most of them, easy enough to locate. An experienced, inquisitive player may find every object in each room and not need to review already visited rooms, although sometimes that is needed for new objects to appear.

There is yet another big flaw in the story, or at least an important part of the story that is completely overlooked.
When you destroy the evil guy's space station, you kill HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people, all the population that knows of and believes in that cult, you wipe them out. You are a genocide. It's a Master Plan worthy of Evil Hitler: convince the ones you want to kill that they have a Master Plan, let them get all in the same place to celebrate and annihilate them in a press-any-key-to-continue-simple action. Ok, these ones were not nice people, at all, they were going to kill everyone else. But next day, you are giving tango lessons. WTF!
Yes, ranting about it was the main driver to write this review.
And let me reuse this spoiler block to say that the final puzzle (or more precisely, the lack of a "puzzle") is really anti-climatic.


Finally, the game has a very opportune in-game help system, complete and totally optional, which makes virtually impossible to get the player stuck in the game. The game also has an introduction to the series, a score system to help you fully explore the game and a hinting system to help you not get stalled in the game.

Summary and veredict
  • Fun, humorous game.
  • Short.
  • Voiced dialogs and FMV.
  • Meta-game parts: help, hints, scores, etc.
  • Historic value.
  • Too Disney, too little Noire.
  • A bit too easy and simple, some perceived lack of content. The last part is much more easy than other parts of the game.
  • You can die. If there were autosaves, I didn't find them. Save often.
  • Controls.
  • Definitely inferior to its sucessor.

I recommend the game because I enjoyed playing it. It is fun and short enough to be not repetitive or annoying.
Favorite Game
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Perfect Games
Avg. Game Completion Rate
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Perfect Games
Avg. Game Completion Rate

Recent Activity

361 hrs on record
last played on Oct 30
152 hrs on record
last played on Oct 29
2.7 hrs on record
last played on Sep 6
Achievement Progress   0 of 133
BigBlueWolf Aug 3, 2016 @ 7:08pm 
+rep great trader! :D
dreadfulpennyarcade Jul 3, 2016 @ 10:01am 
Friendly, trustworthy trader. Would not hesitate to deal with again! Thank you
Dreadnokv1 Mar 21, 2016 @ 6:55am 
+rep great and honest trader
Uncle_Dimas Feb 20, 2016 @ 12:23pm 
+rep good trader
friendly player Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:18pm 
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mientus83 Dec 5, 2015 @ 8:44am 
+REP another great trade