The first of the four cases begins with an early morning robbery at the Lucky Card Casino in Atlantic City, where two Guards were killed. It all looks like a standard case but when you discover both guards were exceptional marksmen, then a series of suspicious footprints and rumblings of a rival casino buy-out enter the picture, you soon discover there's more to the case than meets the eye. Other cases involve bank robberies, a murdered naval officer and a terrorist plot to blow up the USA each of which can be played through in an hour or two, which sadly makes the game a bit on the short side.
First things first, you need to survey the scene of the crime and recover as much evidence as you can otherwise, you're never going to get to the bottom of the strange goings on. Much like your average point-and-click game, (we reivewed the Wii version) you just need to point the cursor at things onscreen and press the A button to make your character walk, interact with objects or talk to people. Stepping into the shoes of Tony DiNozzo, your first job is to photograph the victims, positions of bullets and important evidence a simple matter of clicking on the objects, focusing the camera with the +Control Pad and pressing A to take a picture. Next, you need to recover all the bullets that have embedded themselves in the walls, and install laser emitters to trace the paths they took, which involves some moving of bodies, furniture and the like again, a simple matter of pressing the A button and following a couple of on-screen prompts.
Next comes another important aspect of detective work, interviewing suspects. Talking to the one surviving guard, you'll need to pay attention, and can choose to press the A button to probe for more details when you think the suspect's lying. Push at the right time, and you'll learn some interesting details that'll lead you closer to the truth.
Now we get to do a bit of background research on the guards and this casino rivalry, so handing over to Tim McGee(k), the NCIS' resident computer expert, it's time to do a bit of hacking. This part involves solving a few puzzles to get access to some locked databases such as clicking on numbers on a grid every time one lights up, or remembering the sequence of a series of symbols. Reading up on the profiles of the victims, you need to select the bits of information that's relevant to your case the fact that both guards were celebrated marksmen, yet managed to miss the intruders so badly seems a bit fishy, don't you think? Later on in the game, you also get to do some satellite tracking of the suspects attempting to make a run for it all you need to do here is keep your Wii Remote cursor trained on the suspect's vehicle, and eventually the team will catch up with them.
Handing over to Abby Sciuto, it's time for some forensic analysis of the evidence DiNozzo retrieved from the crime scene a few paragraphs ago. First, we need to match up the footprints to the type of shoes that created them, in the hope it might bring you closer to catching the criminals. For this, you need to match the shoe print found in the Casino to one of the three similar ones at the side pressing and holding the A button whilst rotating the Wii Remote rotates the evidence, making it easier to match up the prints. Next comes a funky use of the Wii Remote's motion control acquiring a set of finger prints. Holding the Wii Remote horizontally, you need to hold down the 2 button and slowly tilt the Wii Remote up from the right, peeling the tape and capturing the finger prints. Matching the finger prints to the perpetrator is identical to matching up the footprints earlier pick the matching one from the three candidates at the side.
Now it's time to work out what the lab results mean with the help of main man Gibbs. At the deduction board, you need to combine the related evidence by dragging each piece on top of each other like matching up the .357 pistol to the .357 bullet trajectories, or that a trail of blood on the floor and blood stains on a chair indicate a body was moved. Just to make sure you're following, you get asked a question that you need to answer correctly to proceed normally the answer is pretty obvious.
Skipping on a bit, we get to spend some time with Ducky in the morgue and conduct a couple of autopsies; don't worry though there's no gory cutting people open or anything. All you have to do is rotate the body on screen, zooming in and out if you need to, to locate bullet wounds and the like, taking a picture of each in the same way you photographed the crime scene earlier. Once you've found all the wounds, you can establish a cause of death which for the two Casino victims was being shot by sub-machine guns.
There's plenty of chatter and jokes between the main characters as they go about their jobs whether it's bribing Abby with Caf-Pow drinks, resentment for DiNozzo the womaniser or Ziva's relatively poor grasp of English, parts will raise a smile, especially with fans. For fans of the TV series or otherwise, NCIS: Based On The TV series proves to be an entertaining and engrossing title in its own right, even if it is a bit on the short side. As it also comes with a slightly cheaper price, though, if you're a fan of point-and-click games like Monkey Island, hidden object games or even just the TV show, you won't be disappointed.