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About the StoryThis is a small puzzle/game where you must determine who murdered someone, with what, and where, by making a series of accusations. The solution, suspect placement, and weapon placement is random each time. It's a fun little puzzle on its own (murder mysteries are still a common genre), and perhaps more importantly it's a small demonstration/trial of Inform7's new English-language syntax (which the author wanted to try out). This is a different game than Clue/Cluedo: it has different game rules, goals, and names. For example, each accusation must be completely different from the previous one, and your goal is to minimize time. You can get this game from http://www.dwheeler.com. This game is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later, so you can even make modifications to this or include a modified version of it in your own games.
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A piece of paper to record accusations and their results helps one play the game more efficiently, but the work should keep track of this stuff automatically. Say, a listing within the inventory command.
Charmingly, the supernatural ability that the PC possesses is said again and again to have no explanation whatsoever.
This work is a textbook example of using a particular kind of logic puzzle in I-F.
1. There are fewer people, weapons and locations.
2. The player character is not one of the suspects.
3. After making an accusation, you do not get to see one card used in your accusation, but you hear whether none or some of the elements of your accusation were correct.
4. Two successive accusation may not have any element in common.
5. You need to carry around the weapons and direct the people to the rooms you want to make an accusation about.
6. You're playing against a turn counter, rather than against someone else; you can only do better or worse by taking more or less time.
Most of these changes don't make a real difference, although they do somewhat change the logic of the deduction. The important differences are 4 and 6: 6 reduces the tension of the game, while 4 introduces somewhat needless tedium. As you can see, I'm not exactly under the impression that the changes make the game better.
The main problem here is that the game combines a certain amount of tedium (having to direct people to locations, having to make "in-between" accusations because of rule 4) with very little pay-off: the logic problem is exceedingly easy, and solving it does not give one a sense of success. For your quick logic fix, you're better off playing some Loopy (or "apt-get install sgt-puzzles").
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Some puzzles--like chess problems or sudokus--can be difficult even though you know all the rules. I'm looking for IF games with this kind of puzzle: you can get to know the rules by simple exploration, and then you still have to solve...
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Dave Chapeskie on 27 January 2009 at 8:22am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item