Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. 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.
  2. Everything about Missing: Since January drips atmosphere and everything contained within the game plays a role in driving the atmosphere home for the player.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. 80
    A genuinely creepy murder mystery unafraid to try something new.
  8. 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.
  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. The only thing missing from this great, innovative puzzle game: an ending. [Oct 2004, p.78]
  11. 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]
  12. Puzzle lovers will delight; TLJ fans will be bored silly; still, this may well be the future of adventure games.
  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. The puzzles morph from tedious to annoying to frustrating, and at no point are they fun.
  18. My chief criticism of Missing is that it relies too heavily on arbitrary puzzles and too little on sleuthing. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  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 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  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.

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