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Story File
Contains TheEmptyChamber.gblorb
Spring Thing 2019 version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
Story File
Current version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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The Empty Chamber: A Celia Swift Mystery

by Tom Sykes

Mystery
2019

Web Site

(based on 7 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

A game of observation, conversation, and deduction, set inside a run-down terrace flat in post-war Essex.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 4, 2019
Current Version: 4
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: 184CD9A8-550C-4730-A1F7-27CC009E69CB
TUID: 35lhw7heoug2z2xn

Awards

Audience Choice--Most Promising Game Mechanics, Best Classic Whodunnit, Best Parser Game, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2019

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(2)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A pleasant little murder mystery in 1950's England, April 5, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game is a fine addition to the long tradition of murder mystery interactive fiction games.

This is a one-room game. You, Celia Swift, are aiding Inspector Land in researching the mystery of an orchestra member's death.

There are two phases: a puzzle-based investigative phase, and a deduction phase.

The investigative phase requires patience, and the deduction phase doesn't give too much away if you guess wrong.

The one thing that mars this game is the large number of unhelpful responses. If a second edition were released, or a similar game released in the future, I would wish for more custom responses.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great premise, too short, May 13, 2019
by Stian
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2019
I was seriously disappointed with this game; it was over far to quickly!

Already from the opening introduction I was feeling very hopeful, anticipating some properly stimulating problem solving. Typing the recommended help command only served to intrigue me further:


This is a story set inside one room, which you can regard by typing look (or simply l). There's no need to move around, but there are plenty of things to examine (x), to touch, and even to smell, and various fixtures to open or close. You won't find any items to pick up - this is a crime scene, after all - but Celia always carries her lockpick, just in case she needs to unlock something.

Typing map (m) will show you the room layout, while deduce will trigger the ending sequence - note that you can do this at any time. You may also want to ask land about relevant topics, such as the victim, or Celia herself.


I really enjoy one-room puzzlefests, and this was almost one of the better ones, had it only been longer. The protagonist is cool (and played in third, not second, person!) and while the two side characters are stereotypes, they work really well in this setting. Speaking of the setting, it's lovely too, though limited by the constraints of the game.

After about one hour of fun, intensively looking for clues and connecting dots, I was feeling properly stuck. I decided then to try the deduce command, which triggers the ending, and discovered that I had, well, discovered everything and solved the game. (Spoiler - click to show)I hadn't even found the bullet (I assume it went out the window, but couldn't see where it ended up), let alone understood why Hackett decided to end his life.

I really hope we'll see a longer version of this game, or more parser IF from the author!

If you enjoyed The Empty Chamber: A Celia Swift Mystery...

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Recommended Lists

The Empty Chamber: A Celia Swift Mystery appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Detective and mystery games by MathBrush
These are games where you play a detective or someone else investigating a mystery. Most of them are realistic games which I am splitting off of my realistic list. Some are more magical or science fi-ish.

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Nathan on 17 May 2019 at 9:32am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item