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About the StoryThis intricate all-text reworking draws on the Gothic, as well as Clue, to simulate seven characters working to outwit the killer in their midst.
Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle; Winner, Best Use of Medium - 2005 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 2
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You are in a house with about six other people, all of whom have been invited to search for some lost treasure. Murders start happening, and you have to find the treasure and the killer.
The house has a ton of hiding places, with randomized stuff inside; there are around 4 different kinds of tools that you can use to open special hiding locations. At first, I kept restarting to get these tools, until I realized that you don't need to restart to get one of each tool.
There's a surprising backstory going on involving magic in the background. As usual for Emily Short, the story is intriguing, and involves a unique sort of magic.
It has overall a rogue-like feel. Good for fans of mystery or Rogue-likes.
The randomization makes for occasionally frustrating playthroughs, but creates an interesting experience when it works. Having played it many times, though, I'm not quite sure what my real objective is, and I'm not sure if I'll figure it out without a eureka moment.
It leaves the impression of a rogue-like game, where player knowledge of game elements is important and useful, even though the game is completely randomized on each play-through.
I think the game could use some exposition as to the players purpose. I'm just not sure that it is possible to really explore and come to understand the game without some added continuity--while there are some small puzzles to solve, I'm not sure that they bring me any closer to a less violent solution, and I have a hard time ascertaining what would be an "ideal" solution. That sense of frustration is part of the randomization mechanic, so I'm not sure if it could be removed without removing part of the charm and fun of the game.
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This is version 5 of this page, edited by AmberShards on 30 March 2010 at 8:47pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item