Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Everything about Missing: Since January drips atmosphere and everything contained within the game plays a role in driving the atmosphere home for the player.
  2. An innovative mixture of Internet research, email and mini arcade type games that blend the line between realism and escapism. Having said that, there are a few mini-games that can only be beaten by repetition and practice.
  3. Despite its simple technical underpinnings, Missing is an unbelievably elegant game. You get an exceptional story that breaks the boundaries between the game and real life, along with impressive sound and art direction.
  4. 90
    A unique twist on the point-and-click adventure, chock full of puzzle goodness and a compelling storyline that pushes you to the end.
  5. Missing: Since January is so innovative it almost seems that the designers are testing the waters for a new genre of games.
  6. Digging through the fake web sites in order to find clues I can use on real web sites takes a gentle charm, especially for someone who bludgeons their way through most real-life and game-related problems, like I do.
  7. As long as you approach it with an understanding that the process is much better than resolution, Missing is one of the most gratifying adventure games you can play. [Oct 2004, p.82]
  8. 80
    A genuinely creepy murder mystery unafraid to try something new.
  9. It’s the subtle establishment and cultivation of The Phoenix that really gives the game its punch. You know that the antagonist isn’t real, but you’ll still be kind of creeped out because you’ll begin to understand him.
  10. It's challenging work to be sure but this experience will immerse you as it blurs the line between reality and fantasy. It's bound to please puzzle addicts and anyone looking for a new gaming thrill.
  11. Puzzle lovers will delight; TLJ fans will be bored silly; still, this may well be the future of adventure games.
  12. The only thing missing from this great, innovative puzzle game: an ending. [Oct 2004, p.78]
  13. 75
    The puzzles kept me intrigued for days, the storyline was irresistible, and the e-mails and Internet research were a joy. Sadly, the ending left me cold and put a damper on the whole story, and some of the puzzles were so annoying they ceased being fun long before they were complete.
  14. The puzzles have the potential to cause extreme frustration even with the most patient of gamers. Using the internet as the backbone for the game may not be ideal as, sooner or later, the websites will come down and the game server will no longer be sending emails to players.
  15. Something completely different; it is an original, innovative, interesting and witty game with a bunch of highly intelligent puzzles...However, Missing is also an example of how you can ruin a fantastic idea by throwing in tones of irrational and pointless mini-games and occult mumbo-jumbo.
  16. If you fancy yourself a skilled Internet sleuth, Missing may prove to be an engrossing and unique experience.
  17. My chief criticism of Missing is that it relies too heavily on arbitrary puzzles and too little on sleuthing. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  18. The puzzles morph from tedious to annoying to frustrating, and at no point are they fun.
  19. For every stunning success in delivery and artistry, Missing has a miserable failure at an actual gameplay design element. [Sept 2004, p.117]
  20. The biggest praise we can give Missing is that it isn't so much a game as an experience, and it?s so well developed that at times you honestly believe you're trying to save some lives.
  21. The game uses non-game elements without becoming overbearing to the point of irritation and the game's various multimedia flavors is spread out in such a fashion as to offer a steady stream of variety.
  22. 60
    But since the web, which plays such an important role in solving many of the puzzles, makes it easy to cheat, only pick it up if you’re certain you can resist temptation.
  23. The very large turn-off is the number of little arcade like puzzles you are required to do, which to me simply did not fit the tone of the whole thing.
  24. A wonderful idea bogged down by lousy execution.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. ShawnHubbard
    Feb 15, 2006
    I have to give the developers some credit. They tried to make an interesting and unusual game, but instead, it was a tedious, frustratingI have to give the developers some credit. They tried to make an interesting and unusual game, but instead, it was a tedious, frustrating experience. This game was a huge letdown since I was expecting more. Most of the mini-games were entertaining, with a few exceptions. Some of the puzzles required the player to research the Internet to find websites specifically created for the game. The problem with this part of the game was that there were websites with the same search terms and iIt was sometimes difficult to find the right website. In addition, some of the clues are received via email. There were times where I could not continue the game until I used a walkthrough becaise some crucial emails never arrived, or arrived after the fact. Some of the puzzles, especially ones that required Internet research, were difficult because the subject matter is difficult. The worst thing about my whole experience: because of a bug (or developer oversight, I don't know which), the game didn't have an ending. Near the end of the game, the player competes against the villian in an online game. When the head-to-head game ended, the game did not advance to the end-story. I received no text, no emails, no videos, no audio, nothing. If not for the walkthrough I found on the Internet, I would have no idea what happened to the reporters I were saving, or the villan I chased for 3 days. That is complete unforgiveable. A game that doesn't allow the player to see the ending? Because of the non-ending, I would not recommend the game to anyone. Full Review »
  2. FuitilliumS.
    Jul 7, 2004
    A great game that's reinvent the notion of interactivity ! Play one time in it and it will swallow you. The story is amazing and A great game that's reinvent the notion of interactivity ! Play one time in it and it will swallow you. The story is amazing and complexe. When you think that it's finish... the real game starts ! Full Review »