Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring

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Sherlock Holmes:
The Case of the Silver Earring
Secret of the Silver Earring box cover.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s)Frogwares
Publisher(s)
Designer(s)Jalil Amr
SeriesSherlock Holmes
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Wii
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • EU: August 27, 2004
  • NA: September 28, 2004
Wii
  • EU: November 18, 2011
Genre(s)Adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring (known in North America as Secret of the Silver Earring and as Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring) is a video game developed by Frogwares and published in 2004 for Microsoft Windows by Digital Jesters in Europe and Ubisoft in North America. While the game is "inspired by The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," it uses an original plotline — set in London in 1897 — and allows the player to investigate a murder as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson. A version for Wii was also released in Europe in 2011. By 2010, Secret of the Silver Earring had sold 500,000 copies worldwide.

The second in the Sherlock Holmes series of adventure games developed by Frogwares, it was preceded by the 2002 game Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy, and was followed by Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened in 2006. The game acts as a prequel to Mystery of the Mummy - despite being released two years after the earlier game, it is actually set two years earlier (in 1897 as opposed to 1899).

Plot[edit]

Holmes and Watson must investigate the murder of Sir Melvyn Bromsby at Sherringford Hall. Bromsby's daughter Lavinia is among the suspects.

Development[edit]

The game's story and design is credited to Jalil Amr, based on an unpublished pastiche novel by Amr. Both sound and voiceovers for the English version are credited to Pteroduction Sound, Alexander Dudko, and Sergey Geraschenko. Unlike the English version, however, the German voice cast is listed at the Internet Movie Database. Music within the game consists of compositions by Antonín Dvořák, Edvard Grieg, Robert Schumann, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Gameplay[edit]

Silver Earring is a point-and-click (mouse controlled) third person adventure in which you play as both Holmes and Watson. Clicking in the general direction you wish to go will usually cause your character to move in that direction. When you see the footsteps icon, clicking will take the character to the next “authorized” spot. Double-clicking makes Holmes or Watson run.

Right-clicking brings up the inventory bar. Throughout the game, Holmes’s tools of the trade (a magnifying glass, measuring tape and test tube) are in inventory. These are frequently used. Inventory also includes a notebook, which is essential to understanding the game. The notebook has transcripts of witnesses’ conversations. Also, the notebook contains documents and an analysis of the physical evidence.

As Holmes, you spend time searching for important clues, most of which the bumbling police force will miss. Items are at least partly visible, though some don’t become “hot” until an action in the game triggers them. You also analyze various clues using Holmes’s desktop laboratory.

Reception[edit]

Sales[edit]

According to Christopher Kellner of German publisher DTP Entertainment, The Case of the Silver Earring achieved "incredibly high sales" in its first three weeks in Germany,[1] and became a "big commercial success" in the region.[2] Alongside titles such as The Black Mirror and The Moment of Silence, it contributed to DTP's large-scale growth during 2004.[1] Silver Earring's publisher in Britain, Digital Jesters, likewise reported "very promising" early sales figures by late 2004.[3] During the August 21–28 period, the game debuted in 14th place on Britain's full-price computer game sales rankings, compiled by Chart-Track.[4] It held the position the following week,[5] but dropped to position 20 in its third week,[6] after which it exited the full-price top 20.[7]

Frogwares estimated global sales of roughly 50,000 units for Silver Earring by January 2005, a number it considered strong for the genre but unsatisfactory overall.[8] By late 2006, the game and its predecessor, Mystery of the Mummy, had reached combined sales above 500,000 copies in Europe.[9] The first four Sherlock Holmes titles from Frogwares—Mummy, Silver Earring, The Awakened and Nemesis—totaled roughly 1.5 million global sales by February 2009.[10] According to Frogwares, The Case of the Silver Earring alone sold 500,000 units worldwide by May 2010.[11]

Critical reviews[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings70.23%[12]
Metacritic68 of 100[13]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comB[14]
Adventure Gamers3.5/5 stars[15]
CGW4/5 stars[16]
GameSpot7.3 of 10 [17]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[18]
IGN8.3 of 10[19]
PC Format46%[20]
PC Gamer (US)24%[21]
The Times4/5 stars[22]

The computer version of The Case of the Silver Earring was met with average reception, as GameRankings gave it a score of 70.23%,[12] while Metacritic gave it 68 out of 100.[13]

Music[edit]

The game's soundtrack has the following pieces from late-romantic era composers:

Robert Schumann - Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47, II. Scherzo: Molto vivace

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42, III. Mélodie ("Chant sans paroles")

Antonín Dvořák - Humoresque in G flat major, No. 7, Op. 101 (For Piano, Violin & Cello)

Edvard Grieg - Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major, Op. 13, III. Allegro animato

The remaining music, such as in Mr. Fowlett's house, are original to the video game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gameswelt Editors (January 21, 2005). "Adventure - Special: Interview mit DTP Digital Tainment Pool". Gameswelt. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Sluganski, Randy. "JA Speaks to dtp Entertainment's Chris Kellner". Just Adventure. Archived from the original on February 23, 2005.
  3. ^ "The Lounge; Interview with Digital Jesters". The Inventory. No. 18. Just Adventure. October 2004. pp. 7–10. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006.
  4. ^ "TOP 20 PC ENTERTAINMENT (FULL PRICE), WEEK ENDING 28 August 2004". Chart-Track. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "TOP 20 PC ENTERTAINMENT (FULL PRICE), WEEK ENDING 4 September 2004". Chart-Track. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "TOP 20 PC ENTERTAINMENT (FULL PRICE), WEEK ENDING 11 September 2004". Chart-Track. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018.
  7. ^ "TOP 20 PC ENTERTAINMENT (FULL PRICE), WEEK ENDING 18 September 2004". Chart-Track. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Lounge; Interview w with Frogwares". The Inventory. No. 21. Just Adventure. January 2005. pp. 9–16. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006.
  9. ^ "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened". Frogwares. Archived from the original on November 30, 2006.
  10. ^ "Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper" (Press release). GamesIndustry.biz. February 19, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 'The Case of the Silver Earring' can now be had through GOG's digital distribution site" (Press release). Warsaw, Poland: GamesIndustry.biz. May 18, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Gifford, Kevin (December 6, 2004). "Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring". 1UP.com. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Allin, Jack (August 27, 2004). "Sherlock Holmes: Silver Earring [sic] review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  16. ^ Del Sol, Arcadian (January 2006). "Reviews; Secret of the Silver Earring". Computer Gaming World (247): 96.
  17. ^ Osborne, Scott (October 8, 2004). "Secret of the Silver Earring Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  18. ^ Harker, Carla (October 29, 2004). "GameSpy: Secret of the Silver Earring". GameSpy. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Lighty, Zachary (October 11, 2014). "Secret of the Silver Earring Review". IGN. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  20. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring". PC Format (167). November 2004.
  21. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver Earring". PC Gamer: 61. February 2005.
  22. ^ "Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Silver Earring [sic]". The Times. September 18, 2004. Retrieved December 17, 2014.(subscription required)

External links[edit]