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Story File
Competition version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Border Reivers

by Vivienne Dunstan profile


(based on 5 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

It's late fifteenth century Scotland, and the dangerous world of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers. A murder has been committed, and it's your task as the Warden's son to try to find out who was responsible. Can you solve the mystery before it's too late? Or will others die before the criminal is unmasked?

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 0A7FB56A-7837-4428-9455-7BCF237621D6
TUID: trk9d7oqmfhkn359


46th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)


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Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A murder mystery set in Old Scotland, November 15, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I helped to beta test this game.

This is a fairly big conversational game set in medieval Scotland. The player must converse with over a dozen characters to figure out who is planning a murder.

The ambitious game design makes this feel epic, and it's exciting to get tangled up in the web of deceit. However, the large number of characters and the many topics makes for a combinatorial explosion, and it becomes easy to get lost in a forest of information.

The author has an Introcomp game that is also set in medieval times that is worth checking out.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Conversation-based murder investigation in fifteenth century Scotland, December 23, 2018
Border Reivers is a parser-based mystery set in Scotland in 1495. I didn't know what the "border reivers" were, so I looked them up. According to Wikipedia, they were "raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century." This gives me a setting I had not seen before in any book I've read or IF game I've played.

At the beginning of Border Reivers you are summoned by your father to help solve a murder, that of the son of one of the local lairds. The opening text says you have suspicions that something is going on in addition to the murder.

Gameplay mostly consists of asking various characters (and there are over a dozen of these!) about each other, the murder, the castle, and various other related topics.

I think Border Reviers is particularly strong on setting. The writing is also good, and the implementation is solid. Perhaps more of the default responses could have been changed, but then again that doesn't matter a whole lot in a conversation-focused game like this one.

I think the game is weaker when it comes to the investigation of the murder. I would have liked more clues to discover and analyze. As it stands, there are a few conversation topics that function as clues, but other than those there is only one physical clue in the game (that I saw, at least).

Border Reivers also has a particular crucial event occur after a certain number of terms, potentially revealing who's guilty before you've actually figured that out. This limits the game's replay value.

Overall, strong setting, good writing, and solid implementation, but more physical investigation and an alternative method for having a particular crucial event occur would have made Border Reivers more fun to play.

Border Reivers on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Border Reivers appears in the following Recommended Lists:

The Age of Exploration by Walter Sandsquish
Adventure games typically involve a great deal of exploration, but few are set during the Age of Exploration. Nevertheless, here's a list of games which do explore the 15th through the 18th centuries.


The following polls include votes for Border Reivers:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Setting of 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Setting in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...


This is version 3 of this page, edited by Vivienne Dunstan on 17 November 2018 at 9:25pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item