Death off the Cuff

by Simon Christiansen profile


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Number of Ratings: 52
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- k42write, October 28, 2023

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very enjoyable mystery, August 15, 2020
by Jason Lautzenheiser (Navarre, Ohio)

I've seen this one before, but I'm not usually a big fan of mysteries. However inspired by the recent release of the source code for many of Christiansen's games, I tried this one out.

Overall I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It did guide you pretty well so the only thing you really had to be sure of is to keep reading the descriptions closely and examining everything. If you do that, you'll have no problem progressing.

I really enjoyed the logical as the PC worked through the solution himself was quite pleasing. Also the humor, while subtle, was fun as the PC tried to play it off that he knew this stuff all along.

The parser was very forgiving and there were some nice touches to simplify what could have been some tedious typing. The tutorial was a nice touch as it guided you through some of these niceties. Also the hint system, while I didn't need it really, was available and gently guided you to the next thing to do.

Overall, I liked this and would love to see more along this line. Not only will I be checking out the rest of the author's games. I might give the mystery genre another go.

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- RichCheng (Warwickshire, UK), August 17, 2018

- play_all_day, June 21, 2018

- Stas, April 14, 2018

- nosferatu, January 29, 2018

- Wanderlust, August 3, 2017

- EngineerWolf (India), December 24, 2016

- hoopla, November 9, 2016

- verityvirtue (London), May 26, 2016

- itsdnoftheworld, May 9, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A mid-length conversation parser game that Agatha Christie fans can love, February 3, 2016

I played the Android app of this game, which is the first parser app I've tried on a smartphone. I had some trouble at first getting used to the interface, but I worked it out eventually. It was nice that the author made the necessary commands quite short.

This game is perfect for Agatha Christie fans. You are a famous French detective, wrapping up your concluding speech after figuring out who the murderer is. Except you have no clue!

This is a conversation game with emphasis on details, much like Toby's Nose, Lime Ergot, or Out of the Study. You look at people, pick out details, and talk about it. This prompts people to spontaneously confess. The details that come out are classic Christie, slightly exaggerated.

The version I played had cartoon illustrations. There are about 6 or 7 NPCs, each with a unique personality.

I enjoyed this game as a Christie fan, right up until the end, when the real murderer confessed out of nowhere. I think it's because I had pressed them before, and forgotten about it, later completing the rest of the tasks. Even though I felt the last challenge was too easy, the steps leading up to it were marvellous.

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- Deeborm (Virginia), January 11, 2016

- Sobol (Russia), November 10, 2014

- Katrisa (Houston), March 3, 2014

- Otto (France), January 18, 2014

- IxPrefect, November 9, 2013

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting, but ultimately frustrating, September 30, 2013

Death off the Cuff has a very original and interesting concept: you are a Poirot-style detective, and all the suspects are in the room, waiting for the final reveal; you must observe and evoke relevants topics to move the case forward and ultimately discover who did it.

The mechanics of the game are quite simple, since it's about focusing on the case and the suspects and find out what is not quite right with the facts. However I found several problems with this in the game. First of all, there are a few topics that weren't implemented, and others that quickly run dry, so when you're stuck you end up trying a lot of different things that get rejected by the parser. Second of all there were a lot of reveals, and maybe a bit too many: every character has several things to hide, but they may not all be relevant to the case, in which case they feel a bit futile. Lastly, some clues were very subtle and involved looking around to detect a very small change in the situation, which was a bit frustrating for me because I didn't always think of it and instead tried to talk about different topics that seemed logical but didn't work. (But I guess you can't expect the case to solve itself either, eh?)

On the other hand, the game's writing is very good, since I found it managed to stay in the style of Agatha Christie but with a touch more humor, which made it a refreshing and genuinely funny exercice in style. All the responses to action furthermore fit very well the setting, in that they all seem like parts of the exposition that the detective is attempting to create, and seam together very well. The responses to the observations you make to stall are almost guaranteed to make you chuckle.

On the implementation side, there was a few typos (missing " for instance), the hints were linear (when you can find the reveals in any order, meaning you can find a few of them and get stuck and the hints will hint at the things you've already discovered, which isn't very good), and, unfortunately, a pretty big bug that meant I had to restart and follow the walkthrough to see the end of the game (Spoiler - click to show)(I think I had looked at the constable a bit too much before getting all the other reveals done, and right after I focused on Jonathan's wounds, there was a picture of someone with a gun, and I barely had time to see that the constable had turned into a German murderer without explanation without dying. I imagine that's the trouble with having several reveals you can find in any order, is that if you didn't think of a particular order it produces a bug.) However, the rest of it was well implemented and well made.

To sum up, I wish I could have liked the game more, for its very nice writing and concept, but there was a few issues that made playing it frustrating.

Note: this review is based on older version of the game.
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- Zeofar, September 1, 2013

- DAzebras, April 29, 2013

- Ann R. J., April 19, 2013

More than meets the eye, April 14, 2013

(This review is based on the original IF Comp release.)

We begin the game with a exceedingly clever and original premise (at least, not a premise that I've ever seen before). The writing is witty and fun... a few typographical errors here and there to distract, but the prose manages to do what it needs to do without being repetitive, which is a trap it could easily have fallen into given the premise.

This game is interesting in that it's almost entirely conversation driven, but you can only talk about objects in plain sight. This at first makes it seem as if the game will be pretty short, as you're in a room with six people and limited objects, but there is a lovely layering of detail that is not at first apparent, and it turns out there's more to the conversation than it would at first appear. The game looks as though it'll be a banana, but turns out to be a bit more of an onion, and this is a dreaful metaphor, so I'm going to move on and give this game a score.

It wasn't perfect, there were a variety of ways it could have been better. It probably deserves four stars, but I had a lot of fun, so I gave it five.

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- DJ (Olalla, Washington), February 6, 2013

- E.K., August 14, 2012

- Molly (USA), July 25, 2012

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