Interpol is a new title onto the XBLA, in the tradition of the search and find games you are used to from when you were a kid, such as "Where’s Wally" and the like.
The game puts you in the shoes of an Interpol agent on the search for the evil Dr. Chaos. Ultimately you go through a range of countries, and a range of puzzles narrowing down the search, capturing henchmen along the way similar to the Carmen Sandiego series of old.
There are a large range of puzzles, each with a different theme, and with each you will be presented with eight objects to find in the scene. You use the left stick to move in and select the object once found, which removes it from the puzzle. The X button will open a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look at some of the more hidden items, and believe me there are a few of them.
What is a real shame is that the images they have used are relatively low resolution, which means you will find yourself straining your eyes to identify some of the objects. You are often greeted by considerable pixelation, particularly when zooming, making it even more difficult to identify objects. Chances are this is a game best played on a large HD LCD or Plasma set. If you're on an old CRT I certainly wouldn’t bother, and on our 23” HD set we could certainly feel strain in our eyes after an extended play session. In addition, the game doesn’t give you that many puzzles to complete, nor does it vary them much on your second or third play through, limiting the longevity of the title considerably.
Every now and again you will be frustrated by something that is only half exposed, or very faint, which is where the hint function comes in handy. You will have limited access to hints when you are really stumped, although if you are going for a high score, you're better of not using them, but they can be a real help when in a bind. A better idea is to get a friend or your partner to play with you, as this livens up the game considerably, and having a second set of eyes really speeds up the progress. You can also have them join in utilising up to four player co-op, on LIVE or local.
Ultimately Interpol is not a very long or exciting experience. We had considerably more fun playing it together than in a solo session, therefore this is definitely the way to play. But once you’ve played through it there is very little reason to go back and do it again, as the puzzles aren’t different enough. It is a pity that the images used weren’t better quality, as the game does tend to strain your eyes as you seek out all the different objects.
Certainly not a bad game though, and if you have been waiting for more puzzle games in this style you probably won’t be disappointed, except perhaps by the lack of longevity in gameplay.