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Detective and mystery games

Recommendations by MathBrush

These are games where you play a detective or someone else investigating a mystery. Most of them are realistic games which I am splitting off of my realistic list. Some are more magical or science fi-ish.

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1. Make It Good
by Jon Ingold
(2009)
Average member rating: (68 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A dark, grungy, and very difficult murder mystery. As a alcoholic, washed up detective, solve a murder.

2. Death off the Cuff
by Simon Christiansen
(2010)
Average member rating: (51 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A humorous game where you play as a famous French detective giving there wrap up speech. But you don't know who did it!

3. Deadline
by Marc Blank
(1982)
Average member rating: (44 ratings)

MathBrush says:

The first mystery IF. You are a detective investigating the murder of a wealthy businessman. Make it Good was patterned after it as a homage.

4. Walker & Silhouette
by C.E.J. Pacian
(2009)
Average member rating: (41 ratings)

MathBrush says:

This game made me laugh. In a slightly fantastical setting, team up with a flapper to solve squid based deaths.

5. An Act of Murder
by Christopher Huang
(2007)
Average member rating: (70 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A randomized murder mystery game. Good writing, difficult puzzles

6. Ballyhoo
by Jeff O'Neill
(1985)
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Search a dark circus for the child of the owner.

7. Mystery House Possessed
by Emily Short
(2005)
Average member rating: (10 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A rogue like mystery game. Discover the murderer in a house with a dark and mystical past.

8. Moonmist
by Stu Galley, Jim Lawrence
(1986)
Average member rating: (34 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Infocoms easiest mystery. Choose one of four variations, and investigate a death and a ghost.

9. 1893: A World's Fair Mystery
by Peter Nepstad
(2002)
Average member rating: (19 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Very, very long fully illustrated detective game. Though based on real life, the lush setting and international character feels like fantasy. Find 7 diamond, two criminals and a murderer

10. Suspect
by Dave Lebling
(1984)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Someone dies at a Halloween party, and you are the prime suspect.

11. Who Among Us, by Tia Orisney (2013)
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A Twine take on And Then There Were None set in Russia. Some rough edges, but tight pacing.

12. PataNoir
by Simon Christiansen
(2011)
Average member rating: (40 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A surreal detective game where you can manipulate metaphors as if they were reality.

13. Guilty Bastards, by Kent Tessman (1998)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Investigate the death of a movie star. An interesting depiction of San Francisco, based on real locations.

14. The Witness
by Stu Galley
(1983)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)

MathBrush says:

You witness a man being shot in his office. Perhaps the shortest Infocom mystery.

15. My Name is Jack Mills
by Juhana Leinonen
(2007)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Short, easy, smooth, and a good read. You are hired to recover a stolen rare coin.

16. Robin & Orchid
by Ryan Veeder and Emily Boegheim
(2013)
Average member rating: (51 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A teenage newsletter columnist investigates ghost sightings in a church. Help system that is intertwined with the game.

17. Beyond
by Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi, and Alessandro Peretti
(2005)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A dead child helps a detective from beyond the grave.

18. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective", by C. E. Forman, Graeme Cree, and Stuart Moore (1995)
Average member rating: (51 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A parody (with the author's permission) of a game made by a 14 year old.

19. Bell Park, Youth Detective
by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
(2013)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A Nancy Drew Twine parody showing what kid detectives would really have to go through.

20. Toby's Nose
by Chandler Groover
(2015)
Average member rating: (59 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An innovative one room game. As a dog, solve a murder by smelling and recalling locations you can explore in memory.

21. Missive, by Joey Fu (2014)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Investigate a series of mysterious letters. Twine game.

22. Madame L'Estrange and the Troubled Spirit, by Ian Ball and Marcus Young (1997)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Awesome story with mediocre writing and implementation. A psychic investigates a mystical murder.

23. Bolivia By Night
by Aidan Doyle
(2005)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A newspaper reporter investigates mysterious disappearances. Turns mystical. Well illustrated.

24. Flat Feet, by Joel Ray Holveck (2005)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
MathBrush says:

An absurd detective game. Your partner is a talking ferret. Not that great, but fun NPC and PC.

25. Film at Eleven, by Bowen Greenwood (2001)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A news reporter gets a tip about the mayor and an intern stuffing ballot boxes.

26. Foo Foo
by Buster Hudson
(2016)
Average member rating: (35 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Solve a nursery rhyme mystery. Polished and witty and excellent.

27. Dangerous Curves
by Irene Callaci
(2000)
Average member rating: (21 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A big mystery game with a wide-open map a cool in-game hint system. Very well done.

28. Detectiveland
by Robin Johnson
(2016)
Average member rating: (39 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A parser hybrid noir parody game with 4 cases.

29. Color the Truth
by mathbrush
(2016)
Average member rating: (51 ratings)

MathBrush says:

My own game, a parser murder investigation in a 1980's radio station.

30. Stone Harbor
by Liza Daly
(2016)
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A web-based game with illustrations about a psychic detective.

31. The Profile
by Mike Snyder
(2013)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A die-and-repeat game that's actually really fun and very short.

32. Murder at the Aero Club, by Penny Wyatt (2004)
Average member rating: (12 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A small-to-mid size IFComp game about a murder at an airplane club.

33. Harmonia
by Liza Daly
(2017)
Average member rating: (49 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An excellent mystery set in a women's college in the northeast. Web-based with gorgeous styling.

34. Redstone
by Fred
(2017)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A nice little hybrid parser game set in a casino on a reservation.

35. Sherlock Indomitable
by mathbrush
(2018)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A game I wrote that gamifies two Arthur Conan Doyle stories: The Speckled Band and The Six Napoleons. Won Introcomp.

36. Dungeon Detective
by Wonaglot, Caitlin Mulvihill
(2018)
Average member rating: (11 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A mystery game about a gnoll detective helping out a red dragon.

37. Erstwhile
by Maddie Fialla, Marijke Perry
(2018)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A ghost mystery game where you combine clues in a Twine environment.

38. Grimnoir
by ProP
(2018)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A monster-based detective game with 7 well-written cases.

39. The Empty Chamber: A Celia Swift Mystery
by Tom Sykes
(2019)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A fine little parser murder mystery. Solve investigative puzzles in a single room, then deduce.

40. The Missing Ring
by Felicity Drake
(2019)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Spring Thing winner. This game has you as a child-turned detective to find their grandmother's missing engagement ring on Christmas Eve.

41. The Myothian Falcon
by Andy Joel
(2011)
Average member rating: (10 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A Quest game. You are a detective in a depression-era grunge city that happens to be set on an alien planet in the future. Bugs make it hard to complete without walkthrough, but good story.


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