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Dungeon Detective

by Wonaglot and Caitlin Mulvihill

Fantasy
2018

(based on 10 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

You're a gnoll. Whether that's a blessing or a curse is up to you. Unlike other gnolls, you're trying to eke out a simple existence by plying your trade - that of the world's first Dungeon Detective. Amass clues and present them to your client. Choose your partner or work alone. Eat some eggs. Or don't.

Show them you're not all teeth and claws, kid.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 69i1h2j9d1b5k42l

Awards

Nominee, Best Story - 2018 XYZZY Awards

12th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(4)
3 star:
(5)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Uncover clues and solve a mystery, but in a fantasy setting, December 19, 2018
I was predisposed to like Dungeon Detective because of its cover art. The signal it initially sent me was something like "comedy version of the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon starring a hyena." (I know it's a gnoll, but in the cover art the main character looks like a sentient hyena. Which works for me.)

And I did enjoy Dungeon Detective. You, Sniff Chewpaw, gnoll detective, have been hired by a dragon to determine the identity of the adventurers who looted your dungeon. So the game ends up being a choice-based mystery.

I played through twice. The gameplay involves uncovering clues that help identify the adventurers. For the most part, you're examining the same parts of the dungeon no matter what choices you make. Your choices do, however, seem to affect which clues you find and how much information you can glean from them.

The writing is evocative; it captured the feeling for me of walking through a dungeon, making decisions about where to go next and what to do. Also, the characterization is strong. There aren't very many characters, but they all have distinct personalities. I particularly enjoyed the interaction between the PC and the dragon; it reminded me some of (Spoiler - click to show)Grunk and the gnome in Lost Pig.

In addition, the major choices in the game mostly revolve around your interactions with these characters. Depending on certain options with them, the way you find various clues and the level of detail you gain from those clues appear to vary quite a bit.

There are multiple endings as well. Even if you successfully identify the adventurers, the story can play out differently depending on certain choices you made with respect to the other characters. I also liked how (Spoiler - click to show)the dragon still gave me three out of five stars on the ending where I failed to solve the mystery.

It was fun to play a gnoll. I remember them only as enemies in D&D games. I don't think I've ever played a gnoll before. Also, I like the idea of mashing up the fantasy and mystery genres. The combination of the two as displayed in Dungeon Detective felt fresh to me.

My only critique is that the game was a little on the short side. However, as I said in my review of Haywire, that's really another way of saying that I enjoyed Dungeon Detective and would have liked more game to play!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A fun high fantasy mystery romp, February 12, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game has a lot going for it. Fun images, a strong character voice, and nice, descriptive writing.

The setting is similar to D&D, with gnolls and dragons. The main character gnoll has caveman-like speech despite his intense intelligence, kind of like the narrator in Lost Pig and exactly opposite of the birds in Birdland.

It's a mystery game, and relies on the 'notice clues then pick the correct answer at then end' method of mystery writing. This isn't my favorite method, but the game's writing suits this style really well, as the clues are all based on worldbuilding.

The greatest flaw for me was how short it is. I wish that this game had been significantly longer.

If you enjoyed Dungeon Detective...

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Recommended Lists

Dungeon Detective appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Detective and mystery games by MathBrush
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Best fantasy games by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that include some sort of magical or fantastical element. Games with mostly horror or sci-fi elements are on other lists, as are surreal games, fairy tale/nursery games, and religious/mythological games. I've...

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 17 November 2018 at 10:00pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item