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Detectiveland

by Robin Johnson profile

2016

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(12)
4 star:
(22)
3 star:
(7)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 42
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- peachesncream, August 18, 2020

- daybreak, May 10, 2020

- kierlani, March 26, 2020

- erzulie, October 10, 2019

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A little Tex Murphy, a little Sam & Max, June 30, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
I've always been a sucker for hardboiled detective stories, especially when they are self-aware. Detectiveland is a straight send up of the genre written in a Twine-like parser that only requires navigation of hyperlinks (including an extensive inventory). Everything is here: the embittered detective, sleazy law enforcement, speakeasies, powerful dames, and cheesy dialogue. The graphics and music also fit the mood, though I turned off the music after a while due to its repetition. The fourth wall is frequently broken and I smirked a good dozen times while playing. I also appreciate that the narrator has more modern sensibilities when it comes to feminism and race issues.

The puzzles are not bad considering the format; even though it's easy, one can't just mindlessly click through the game. I especially enjoyed the one in the Italian restaurant. And while the game can't be made unwinnable, what most would consider to be the best ending (out of three) does require extra foresight and can be put out of reach if you're careless.

I wanted to like this even more than I did. Every aspect is above-average and well-polished. While it was neither funny enough nor dramatic enough to be among my favorites, I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre.

- elias67, March 12, 2019

- IanAllenBird, January 17, 2019

- G_G, April 16, 2018

- Guenni (At home), January 19, 2018

- Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway), January 6, 2018

- airylef, December 28, 2017

- DocDoe, October 7, 2017

- Julia Myer (USA), August 29, 2017

- Zed (Berkeley, CA), August 7, 2017

- Wanderlust, August 3, 2017

- Spike, July 22, 2017

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), July 21, 2017

- jamesb (Lexington, Kentucky), July 12, 2017

- comfortcastle (Sheffield, UK), July 7, 2017

- lastplaneout (Boone, NC), June 21, 2017

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A hilarious gumshoe detective game in a hybrid parser interface, May 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours
I beta tested this game.

Detectiveland is a great game in a unique interface created by Robin Johnson.

The interface is a refinement of the one used in Draculaland. You have a parser-like interface, but instead of typing in commands, you have a menu of visible things and people and an inventory; you click on an object or person, and a menu of verbs comes up. One object at a time can be 'held', and this affects the menus of other nouns.

This is one of the biggest IFComp winners ever, with a minimal walkthrough taking 250 or more moves. It is split into 4 cases, 3 of which can be solved simultaneously.

You play a detective resolving problems in a square grid town. The game has graphics of speakers, and has really good humorous writing.

The game is written Scott Adams style, so many of the locations have very spare writing. This, according to the other, allowed him to spend more time on conversations and scripted events.

**Edit**

I actually hadn't played any Scott Adams games before this one; now I have played three, and this game is a straight send-up of those games, down to the split window and empty room descriptions. It's a perfect homage.

- enigmity, March 21, 2017

- nf, February 15, 2017

- kala (Finland), February 4, 2017

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun, light adventure. Pretty much perfect., January 16, 2017
In the first scene, Detectiveland strikes a distinctive, familiar tone. A cold beam of hard-boiled cynicism, projected through a filter of coy self-awareness. From beginning to end, the exposition and action are consistently direct, sparse, and more than a little silly. The music and the type-writer theme complement this style very nicely.

The puzzles are fun, and the solutions are often a bit off the wall, without becoming unguessable. It helps that they don't all have to be solved in a particular order. For the better part of the game, there are three cases that can be worked on simultaneously or in any order. Some of the puzzles (including the last one) can be solved in several different ways.


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