(none) Quintin Stone - Interactive Fiction Review
Interactive Fiction
Role-playing Games

A Party to Murder

Author: David Good
Language: Adrift
Genre: Mystery
Score: 6

"A Party To Murder" takes on the tricky task of a murder mystery and falls a bit short. That's not surprising though, as I feel that mysteries are one of the more difficult realms of IF to create. The game starts off with a long cut scene involving numerous pauses and conversation that you can't control. It's a bit long and frustrating to sit through more than once.

From there, you move on to the actual party, where you interact with multiple guests and the furnishings of the house. It starts off well enough, but then devolves into a morass of confusion as you try to figure out what in the heck to do next. There's a hidden piece of evidence you find and according to the walkthrough, if you examine too closely at the wrong time, you can't win the game. Then there's the bizarre final puzzle, where the only way to get the information you need from an NPC is to perform a completely unrelated series of actions. Mind you, there is no basis at all for believing that doing so will produce ANY kind of result. This puzzle is a good example of a "guess what the author is thinking", especially considering that when I examined the items involved, the game's reply was that they "don't interest me."

Then there were the other technical problems I encountered. An attempt to examine a woman led to this helpful disambiguation message: "Which woman. The woman or the woman?" My attempt to "ask billy about the piece of paper" netted me the response: "You can't talk to that."

At least the guests were interesting. For example, the couple making out in the laundry room make their way into the girl's bedroom for a little privacy. Interrupting them may be rude, but damn is it funny.

Too bad scenes like that couldn't carry the rest of the game. A good mystery is a very formidable beast to create and while I can see that a lot of effort was put into "A Party To Murder", the author should have taken a longer look at the game overall before releasing it.

(View this game on Baf's Guide to IF or The IF Ratings Site)

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