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2nd Place overall; 2nd Place, Miss Congeniality Awards - 13th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2007)
Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best NPCs; Winner, Best Individual Puzzle; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2007 XYZZY Awards
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An Act of Murder is a classic country-house mystery: an isolated estate, a small group of suspects, a limited amount of time to solve the crime.
The country-house mystery premise has been done numerous times in interactive fiction... An Act of Murder stands out because it does ask the player to focus on drawing conclusions: what do you know? What do you need to find out next? What do these alibis mean? There are a few objects to discover, a few pieces of evidence that have to be searched for, but for the most part, Act of Murder is about the conclusions you draw, and how you figure out where to look next.
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Rezension zum IF-Comp 2007 (German)
Dein Vorgesetzter überträgt dir als Inspektor die Ermittlungen in einem Mordfall: Frederic Sheppard ist tot am Strand, unterhalb des Fensters seines Arbeitszimmers, aufgefunden worden. Noch in derselben Nacht beginnst du deine Untersuchungen, und mußt dabei die fünf weiteren Anwesenden im Hause des Ermordeten geschickt ausfragen. ...
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Number of Reviews: 9
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
I realise, reading back on that paragraph I just wrote, that it sounds rather like one of Infocom's old murder mysteries. But that's the point -- it is. Just, as it's an IF Comp game, a lot shorter and easier. It also manages to avoid one of the main problems of the Infocom murders: you don't have to rely on being in the right place at the right time. Characters stay put and obligingly give their alibis on demand as many times as you ask them, and time passes slowly enough to give you plenty of time to finish your assignment. There's even an automatic notebook that records what you've found out so far. The in-game hints are very helpful, although I did find myself relying on them too much.
An interesting element of the game is the randomisation. There are five suspects; each time you restart the game a new suspect is chosen. The timing, murder method and motives also change to reflect this, making for five games in one ... except it isn't. Once you've played through it two or three times, you'll be able to guess what the motives of the other suspects would be in the other scenarios, and you won't really need to play them. (Plus even the best writing can get stilted on the fifth reading.) The basics stay the same in each variation: names of suspects and the main facts like the musical, (Spoiler - click to show)Cedric's theft from the Trust, and the secret passage.
Overall, I had more fun playing this game then I've had with IF in a long time. Highly recommended. Oh, and don't forget to type XYZZY.
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Recommended ListsAn Act of Murder appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Xyzzy "Best Individual Puzzle" winners by Nusco
All the games that won the Best Individual Puzzle award, year by year. I'll avoid giveaway spoilers in my comments, but I'll still comment on the type and difficulty of the puzzle. I'll describe the puzzles by my own categories....
Detective and mystery games by MathBrush
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PollsThe following polls include votes for An Act of Murder:
Games that inspired you to MAKE a game. by MyTheory
Whether it was the witty dialogue, the charming atmosphere, or the cleverness of the puzzle - you played "this" game and it inspired you to write your own. Selfishly, I'm looking for my own inspiration, but I am also very, very curious...
Solved without Hints by joncgoodwin
I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.
This is version 9 of this page, edited by Dave Chapeskie on 29 April 2009 at 4:51pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item