Some of my most favorite IF ever, Perry Mason: Case of The Mandarin Murder is so well-designed and entertaining that, for once, I gleefully put up with Telarium's limited parser. As the shrewd defense attorney Perry Mason, you are hired to defend a woman accused of murdering her husband. In the process, you must investigate the murder, interrogate suspects, analyze clues, then present your case in court to the skeptical jury.
Perry Mason is not only addictive because it showcases a well-written plot and believable characters, but most of all because its depiction of court procedure is so realistic it could easily be billed as "Lawyer Simulation 2000". While collecting and analyzing evidence that will get your client off the hook are not difficult, the real challenge comes in court, where you must carefully phrase your questions to the witness on the stand, and adjust your line of questioning in response to the jury's reaction. You can FROWN to intimidate a witness to open him/her up for more aggressive questions, raise OBJECTIONs to the prosecutor when you have valid reason to do so, ask witnesses to DESCRIBE their relationship with other suspects, and show various evidence to the witness to provoke the desired response. It is nothing short of amazing that Telarium's parser, which is in many ways inferior to Infocom's, was more than adequate to handle this intriguing game. If the going gets tough, you can ask Della, your trusty assistance, for advice on what to do.
There's simply no other game like it even today. For all its tough challenge and grainy CGA graphics, Perry Mason perfectly captures the essense of a defense attorney's work. Two thumbs up, way up.Reviewed by: Underdogs