games were completed and reviewed in magazines but are
nowhere to be seen today. Did you had any of them? If
us, and your name will be placed in this same page
for the glory of the C64! :)
you have actual C64 screenshots of a game that, although
released, is nowhere to be seen? Then please contact
us with the relevant info and screenshots in order to
be included in the present column.
(C) 1990 U.S. GOLD
are some good detective games for the Commodore 64 (Argus
Press' The Detective and Accolade's Killed
Until Dead come immediately to mind), but none other
could generate 3,000,000 different scenarios than Murder
reviewed the disk-only game back in issue no.65 (September
1990) and awarded the C64 version an impressive 93%,
one point more than the Amiga version! Now, let's follow
the atmospheric ZZAP! review to see how a typical case
Some names have been altered in order to protect the
scream pierces the night air, penetrating every room
of Gamebase Manor. The maid has discovered something
rather chilling on the dining room floor, the crumpled
(ie dead) body of Sir Michael Plate. Was it just an
accident with his borg equipment, or suicide after discovering
he still had 2,300 games in his to-add folder? Well,
NOT unless he battered himself to death and hid the
weapon afterwards! It's just as well there's a supersleuth
such as yourself on hand to investigate -- Scotland
Yard won't arrive for another two hours.
Another murder! The suspicious guy in the brown overcoat
The icons are, from top to bottom, go into question
mode, display house
maps, display notebook pages, take fingertips, examine
wipe object clean, take object, and make an arrest.
thing to do is question a few of the many people staying
at the mansion. You can ask about any of the other occupants,
the many rooms and various household objects (including
five types of pistol and four knives!). In addition
you can ask more specific questions about the relationship
between two people (murder motives include inheritance,
blackmail and lust) or about a particular person in
a particular place with a particular object etc. Of
course the person may not know anything, or even lie.
Any useful answers can be entered in your notebook by
clicking on an icon. The notebook is divided into four
sections: people, places, clues and motives.
maid tells you she saw Lord Demetrius near the scene
of the crime just before it happened and also that he
stood to inherit the leadership of a popular 8-bit computer
project from Sir Plate. You decide to explore the Manor's
four floors in search of more clues. Movement is achieved
by clicking the cursor over an exit. A map screen comes
in useful for navigation -- and knowledge of the house
layout is also essential for working out if a suspect
could have reached the scene of crime in time.
many rooms, household objects will have been left lying
around. These can be examined for fingerprints which
can be stored and compared. Aha, what's this on the
assimilation room mantelpiece?: a candlestick -- some
very strange prints on this... hmmm.
Interrogation mode, icons from left are: two character
(ask A about B), ask about a room, object, relationship,
erase question, make a note, and speak question.
here comes Lord Demetrius. Now if only you can get his
fingerprints. A pity he's not carrying anything at the
moment. The best thing for you to do is grab an innocuous
item -- this bottle of Ouzo will do --, wipe it clean
and wait for him to pick it up and drop it again. There,
that didn't take long. Now let's examine those grubby
prints... well, well they perfectly match those on the
candlestick. Now all that's left to do is pick up the
candlestick for evidence and arrest Lord Demetrius...
whoops, what's that ball of Greek Fire doing stuck between
your shoulderblades? Looks like another murder!
mind, by varying the date and the name of the mansion
at the start of the game you can investigate approximately
three million uniquely generated murders! You can even
change your sleuth's appearance (and name) by altering
his facial features, hair and glasses. There are four
skill levels ranging from novice to supersleuth.
examining objects recently dropped by a suspect, you
store their fingerprints for matching with those on
the murder weapon.
ZZAP! reviewers offered personal comments for the game.
Here's what they had to say:
King: Anyone who's ever enjoyed Cluedo will love
this. It's a truly interactive whodunnit with plenty
of witnesses and suspects to be questioned. I wouldn't
say it was that realistic, what with dangerous weapons
left lying all over the house, but the game certainly
has a marvellously tense atmosphere. The monochromatic
graphics may look a bit dull at first sight, but on
both machines, they are beautifully detailed with an
enormous variety of art deco furniture and period-dressed
characters who move around at will, picking up objects
and even lighting cigarettes. Interrogating characters
is a fascinating process, often with humorous results:
in one game two characters were having a secret affair
which everyone else seemed to know about! Even funnier
(and sicker), the victim's body is left sprawled on
the floor for the other characters to walk over! Quirks
apart, though, Murder is a seriously brilliant
concept, perfectly implemented.
Hogg: Murder doesn't look all that hot at
first glance and the idea of taking your time analysing
evidence, cross-questioning suspects and wandering around
many a similar mansion isn't one to set the gaming world
alright. Amazingly through, the game is incredibly addictive,
the piecing together of information becoming an engrossing
task (akin to the best of puzzle games). What is really
clever is the way the skill levels expand the game challenge
immensely. Choose a higher skill level and suspects
know more information (be it relevant or merely red
herrings), more events happen to disguise the crucial
time of the murder and suspected murder weapons tend
to get moved around more. On novice level it's a nice
and gentle trail to follow but come the likes of an
average/experienced skill level and beyond and you've
really got to be on the ball (even Sherlock Holmes may
have detective difficulties at Supersleuth level!).
Addictive and highly original, Murder is a great
game to while away the hours with.
Wynne: Murder is one of those games you're
either going to love or hate. The complex web of clues,
motives and characters provides an excellent simulation
of those ever-popular murder mysteries. Of course, these
mind-bending puzzles can test your note-taking and map-making
skills, so programmer Gran Harrison provides both maps
and a surprisingly detailed automatic notebook. This
means 'all' you have to do is put the clues together
to get your man -- or woman. You don't even have to
type in any questions, it's all ambitious scope and
comprehensive features might seem unworkable, but the
icon system makes it all very easy to play. Of course
with any brain-bending game the graphics are secondary
but artist Jason Kingsley has set the period scene well.
The subtle detail and monochrome shading work best on
the Amiga due to higher resolution, but the C64 still
looks pretty good and the large number of different
rooms is impressive. There's also some limited, but
excellent sound FX on both machines. If you fancy yourself
as a sleuth, you can't miss this!
Presentation 90%: Impressive
loading screen, plenty of locations, four skill levels,
one load and automatic note-taking.
Graphics 74%: The restrained, realistic settings
don't work as well as on the Amiga. But they're effective
enough and there's plenty of variety.
Sound 72%: Most of the excellent, superbly atmospheric
Amiga FX have been duplicated.
Hookability 85%: The icons aren't quite as clear,
but you soon get the hang of things and crime-solving
has never been more addictive.
Lastability 96%: Over 3 million murders on your
C64! An immense amount of playability to keep you occupied
Overall 93%: An absolutely fascinating and compulsive
was selling the game through it's mail-order column
-- Where were *YOU* then?
Screenshots from the Commodore Format Review:
daughter of the deceased looking suitably distressed.
got a lot to say either. Honestly, you try to help people...
Peters falls under suspicion. All these facts will have
investigated, but are you on the trail or just falling
for red herrings?
layout of the house is one of the few things in Murder
doesn't change each time you play (phew).
him banged to rights, caught the villain red handed,
"It's a fair cop, guv, but society's to blame."
knows or can contact programmer Gran Harrison or Artist
Jason Kingsley (that Stuart Wynne mentions above)? Pls
to DUFFY DUCK