I just stumbled upon a very good and fascinating adventure made with Macromedia Flash (I do not accept that Adobe bought it ^^’). It is called “Bow Street Runner” on the Channel4 site. It is a historical FMV adventure (so, please have a broadband connection for this) that tells a crime story in London in its 1750s and the Runners in Covent Garden.
The wonderful created game gives you the ability to search around, look at evidence, talk to people and try to chit-chat them into giving you clues. “Bow Street Runner” uses real actors playing their parts very well and are staged into the pre-rendered backgrounds you can traverse (basically like Myst, but with far more fluent and accurate controls).
In addition to simple pixel hunting there are extremely well designed action puzzles as you have to pick a lock with specific movements with your mouse or listen to a moving conversation with a jar.
While playing through the game you get the opportunity to try yourself on some mini games as well as you can achieve higher ranks with the Runners as you progress. These can be fasten up as there are special bonus achievements (e.g. save someones life).
As it is a Shockwave game you do not have the chance to save your progress but at the end of every episode you get a special progress code that gets saved onto your computer (probably through a cookie). Additionally you can send this code to your E-Mail address. And as the episodes have a moderate length it is no big negative point.
I have to say the five episodes adventure impressed me. It is made in tradition to old games like Bad Mojo, Tex Murphy, Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight and others that were gaming hits in the mid 90s (I liked them!). But in contrary to some bad examples that just made you click yourself through pre-rendered or pre-filmed scenes this one motivates through its distinct art style, historical correctness and the interesting twist between detective work and action riddle solving.
I recommend you go over to the “Bow Street Runner” site and get a picture of what I presented you here about the game. This is a wonderful example of how it should be done to motivate the player and to make a very well furbished game. I hope there will be more games of such caliber as I think these are great games especially to speed up the online game distribution. “You don’t know Jack!” is another example of a wonderful idea predestined for Flash games.
PS: Here is an engine that could be used or extended for such projects ^^’ (No, I would never self-advertise)