Murder at the Diogenes Club

by Gerald Lientz

Episode 1 of Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries
Mystery
2002

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Choose Your Own Inaction, June 2, 2008

This is a converted game book or "solo adventure", turned into Z-code, so I wasn't expecting exactly the same things I might have expected from a different piece of IF. I was looking for something I could compare to other choose-your-own-adventure style offerings in the IF world, such as One Week, Desert Heat, and When Help Collides, The Geisha Section.

The game has an RPG element, which is to say that you're allowed to adjust some basic skills up or down for your character. Later, these affect the success or failure of your attempts; the calculations are done automatically by the game and you are told whether you succeeded or failed and what the outcome was. (I presume that in the paper version of these game books, the reader/player would have had to perform some dice-rolling at these points.)

What this left was a handful of decision points with a lot of intervening text (in which there would occasionally be a bold-faced You attempted a Communication roll, and failed. [I paraphrase.]) This was, frankly, more reading than I really wanted to do. Then, the writing was nothing terribly stand-out, and most of it consisted of pointed plot exposition, rather than action. Many of the decision points consisted of the choice:

(a) Do [interesting action]
(b) Otherwise

On the whole, a lot of binary choices like this, especially when one of them is "do nothing," doesn't seem to present even the basic level of challenge and interest I expect out of a choose-your-own-adventure scenario. I gave up before the actual mystery really got off the ground.