Les Misérables: Jean Valjean is a hidden object/point and click style game that is based around the novel Les Misérables particularly the story through Jean’s part in the story starting with his back story and the time moment he encounters Bishop Myriel and he gives him shelter through to the end(ish) of the novel.
This game does play a lot like the other Les Misérables game(Les Misérables: Cosette’s Fate) and I feel that it does the job quite well as there is a selection of different and at times difficult puzzles as you have to find a set amount of items on the bottom of the screen which you have to find. But on this game unlike on Les Misérables: Cosette’s fate it doesn’t have any puzzles in the hidden objects scenes which is a shame as I liked how some of the items you had to find a way to make them taking one instance as an example you have to get pieces of an apple and you have to find a way to chop the apple on the scene to get the apple pieces which is clever. Although I do feel that there is plenty of back tracking as you cannot play scenes in one go you do a scene for one level then when you complete it you receive and item that is used such as a key or an item used in order to obtain key, then later on you may have to go back to the same area to find another item that is needed. However on a technical level this game is better as the book (which is now located on the left hand side rather than right.) and is stated as menu it is also less buggy as you can leave puzzles/scenes and then go back to them later and progress further into the game (which cannot be done in Cosette’s Fate as it freezes progress which I found frustrating as if your game crashes you would end up starting from scratch if it happened.), the bug in the mini games that is still there which hasn’t been fixed in which the bar at the top of the screen that acts as a timer but if the bar goes green at the end of the bar nothing happens. I also think that this game does have English translation issues as I found (this being the best example) in which they have ‘knocked up’ a police inspector and instead I think it is meant to say knocked out.
I also feel that the games environments are very bland as there are limited effects in environment the most effects you will see is rain etc. In the previous game there were rats that scurried around in the environment and I feel that it is a downgrade from the last game to have such a dull environment in comparison to the other game.
For the story the game is based upon this game does take various liberties with the story and takes various changes such as the events that happened at the Thénardiers inn and when she first meets Jean Valjean and what happens during the first part of the game (amongst the plethora of other changes to the story of the game in comparison to the novel.). The events in this part of the story also differs to the other game as in Cosette’s fate Cosette first meets jean when she is sent in the dark to get some water from the well and then he takes Cosette in Jean Valjean she is serving him a meal before washing the dishes and the 2 versions don’t combine. But one thing I do like is how there is slides that explain what has happened during the story which I appreciated as I think that unlike some story based games this game does provide slides in which it explains the transition between what is happening to the story during the route to the next level, I liked it but I felt that it was dull as it is in black and white and is reminiscent of older films, with no images to accompany the transition as I feel that it is a bit dull comparing it to other story base games explicitly the older harry potter games(Philosophers Stone being a great example) which provided images and a voiceover explaining what was happening. One thing about the representation of the story given by the games I don’t like is that this game expects you to have seen the musical/read the novel as it gives spoilers to the ending at the start of the game which is disappointing as it could have been avoided, this game sadly also ends inconclusively(and uses the same ending screen as Cosette’s Fate at the end after providing the ending as to what happens to Javert.) which I felt was a letdown as it ends but it doesn’t say what happens to Cosette and Marius and gives a blunt version of what happens to John Valjean or what happens to Gavroche at the barricades after looking for ammunition and Monsieur Thénardier after he was looting during the barricades and his ending in the novel. But I do like the facts given about the Les Misérables story or the author(Victor Hugo) is provided in the game when you click on the butterflies that are located in the environment as you can click on them and it will provide a short fact about Les Miserable or Victor Hugo.
In short I feel that this game isn’t worth buying as it is short and can be completed in 2 hours (give or take.), and sadly once you have played through the game once you have seen/done everything as there is no new difficulty modes or extra items to unlock in the game. However if this game is given away or even if the game is on sale/obtained as part of a bundle I feel that it might be worth spending a rainy afternoon on it but I don’t think it is particularly brilliant or bad it is just an ok game. I also feel that between the 2 Les Misérables games I have reviewed whilst this game is better on a technical level with regards to bugs etc, I feel that Cosette’s Fate overall is a better game with regards to immersion with the environments being more immersive and the inclusion of the puzzles used in the hidden object scenes.