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Murder at the Manor

by Obter9

Mystery
2018

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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Murder at a non-very-interactive manor, July 8, 2019
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
A detective story that is very traditional indeed, being set in an English manor and going as far as to incorporate some of the basics of the Cluedo board game. Its main selling point is the protagonist-narrator, whose arrogant and extravagantly clichéd demeanour is indeed quite funny. The writing is good and the mystery at least adequate. (Spoiler - click to show)There are clues pointing to everyone, but there’s an early one that breaks the symmetry and points to one person as the most likely perpetrator.

(Because of the arrogance of the narrator, I originally thought he could only be right by dumb luck; and I ended up assuming that whoever you accused, that person would turn out to be the guilty party. Nope, it’s just a classic mystery with one criminal. (Spoiler - click to show)But I did make the correct choice on my first try, since I tried the person against whom I had most evidence – and that turned out to be the right way of thinking.)

It is less clear that this story is well-served by being an interactive fiction. Indeed, there are no real choices before it is your turn to accuse someone; just large pieces of text and then some ‘choices’ that obviously only change the order in which the pieces are presented to you. The entire thing would have been just as effective if it had been printed as a short story, ending with the message: “Who do you think is the killer? Turn to page 120 to see whether you are correct!” One could argue that nothing is lost either by presenting it as an interactive piece. But the reader has other expectations when sitting down to play interactive fiction, and those expectations here turn out to be disappointed. And it wouldn’t have been that hard to make the piece more interactive. So overall: enjoyable, certainly, but also a bit of a missed opportunity.