Carol Reed is a young English woman who lives in Sweden and solves mysteries for a living. Normally, a friend or a stranger approaches her when they don't have enough evidence to involve the police or a case has already been closed. Carol is naturally curious and once she has started investigating she won't stop until the case is solved. She occasionally gets help from her friend Stina and a handsome gardener she meets every once in a while during her investigations. The games always take place during the summer (and sometimes winter) in Sweden. The graphics consist entirely of photographs of places and people, the music underlines the serene undertone that runs through the games, although there are also suspenseful moments.
Developed by MDNA Games located in Sweden, the first Carol Reed game Remedy was published in 2004, since then they have steadily released one game per year. Game number 13 was released in 2018.
Bears absolutely no relation to the (male) British film director Carol Reed.
The games contain examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Gustav in Remedy, he tried to fight it for his wife, but falls off the wagon when she leaves him.
- Abandoned Warehouse: Often more than one per game!
- Ax-Crazy: Literally.. Alfons Larson's daughter after he gave her untested medication.
- Based on a True Story: Cold Case Summer is based on the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme.
- Cult: There is a rather disturbing one in Black Circle.
- Dark Secret: Christina's tragic past.
- Deadpan Snarker: Carol's comments are often reflecting her dry sense of humour.
- Determinator: Once Carol starts to unravel a mystery, she won't stop until she has solved it.
- Downer Ending: The ending of Blue Madonna. The revelation that Christina, after an already Dark and Troubled Past killed a pregnant woman while driving drunk, was then constantly trying to come to terms with her guilt, was then killed by the woman's husband and the man she was in love with just returned to his wife and forgot about her. Damn.
- Featureless Protagonist: We don't know what Carol looks like, only that she is an (presumably conventionally attractive, since a few characters hit on her) English woman in her twenties.
- Gay Aesop: Very subtly handled, but a card on Carol's fridge seems to be an invitation to the wedding of two gay friends.
- Ghost Town: The Dead City from Cold Case Summer.
- Hot Men at Work: Jonas, the gardener
- Informing the Fourth Wall
- Jump Scare: Not what you would expect in these games, but the masked man who suddenly appears in the bunker is this.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Jonas mentions to Carol that he's going to the Adventure Game Convention and that apparently some locations in their hometown have been used in a series of adventure games. Carol asks if he's played them; he says no, because they're mainly for women.
- Mistaken for Prostitute: The janitor mistakes Carol for one when she sleuths around, and makes it clear that he's not interested.
- Nice Guy: Jonas again. He's kind, helpful and funny.
- Private Eye Monologue: Technically, Carol gives one at the beginning (and sometimes ending) of every game.
- Plucky Comic Relief: The janitor. Most of the time he isn't connected to the cases, he's mainly there to make the player laugh every once in a while.
- Real Place Background: Word of God says that all the locations are real places in his hometown of Norrköping, Sweden. The first two games run the backgrounds through a Photoshop filter.
- Running Gag: The maker of this game seems to enjoy to include bathrooms in his games, even if (most of the time) you can't interact with anything.
- Shout-Out: A lot of names in the games are the names of family and friends of the creator, in every game there is also a shoutout to his favorite adventure game forum.
- Scenery Porn: It almost feels like you're on vacation in Sweden at times.
- The Killer in Me: The writer Gerard Black thinks he has this revelation in "Shades of Black" and that he has murdered a woman, complete with a split personality. Turns out he didn't and it was a ploy by the real murderer to get him to commit suicide, luckily it didn't work.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Carol's response when you try to shoot her attacker at the end of Amber's Blood is a shocked "No, I'm not going to shoot anyone!"
- Your Cheating Heart: A good chunk of the minor characters seem to have affairs.