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About the Story
1899: On the way to your well-earned summer vacation, the Orient Express gets stuck in a snow drift – and there is a murderer on board. Time to get out of your coffin and investigate!
1st Place - Ectocomp 2011
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Written for ECTOCOMP, Bloodless is a short game which takes inspiration from - what else? - Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. You play a vampire on board a delayed train. Someone's had the life sucked out of them, but it definitely wasn't you. Time to investigate!
Bloodless may not be hugely surprising, but is a solid, short game, with light-hearted, bare-bones narration along with relative straightforward puzzles, of a variety familiar to IF.
Bloodless, being set on a train, has a spatial layout similar to the long, featureless corridors so beloved to this genre, but grouping rooms into carriages chunks them into more memorable sections. Bloodless is a pretty entertaining, bite-sized riff on the vampire genre.
1899: a train is trapped by snow, and a murder has been committed; but you are Count Dracula, and identifying the murderer is only one part of the more pressing objective of getting some blood.
Written in 3 hours for Ectocomp, in which it placed 1st of 8, this is essentially a speedIF. That considered, it's an impressive piece of work, if not a hugely distinctive one. It's designed along unadventurous but very solid lines; gather some inventory, assess the situation, solve a straightforward puzzle. The map is well-organised, the puzzles are easy to pick up without being obvious, and you are deftly turned away from red herrings. The terse efficiency failed me at (Spoiler - click to show)lighting the stove, where failure responses don't really signal the correct action; otherwise, for a game written this quickly it's remarkably robust.
Genuinely horrific effects take time to build and a lot of fine-tuning, and few Ectocomp games really attempt to create them; Bloodless is no exception, and mostly feels like a neutral-affect oldschool piece. It does, however, manage to develop a strong, atmospheric setting in a few minimalist strokes; I got a good impression of the creaky, dimly-lit, narrow environment of the train carriages.
This game is similar to both Murder on the Orient Express and Dracula.
You awake from your coffin on a train to discover that a passenger has had their blood drained--and not by you.
This game has many of the usual speed-IF problems (undercluing and underimplementation), but it is in the top 10% of all speed-IF, and quite enjoyable.
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My new walkthroughs for April 2021 by David Welbourn
On Tuesday April 27, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of...
Ectocomp Games (All English Winners/Entries) by thecanvasrose
A list I created for myself so I can play all of these games. Sorted by rank and year. English entries. I'll add descriptions and my own ratings (out of 5 stars) to the entries in this list as I go through them.