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Father Leofwine is Dead, March 14, 2022
General Recommendation: I recommend this game. Itís a very engaging story, and the mystery is realistic and clever. It has appeal for both puzzle-solving players, and those who prefer more traditional narratives
Preview: You are tasked with finding out who murdered Father Leofwine, a priest and friend of King Alfred. You play as two characters, one the official court investigator of the murder, and an unofficial investigator with less resources and more difficult methods.
Basic Plot & Coherence:
The plot shines here. A lot of mystery stories (interactive or otherwise) seem to throw in suspects and twists just to confuse the reader into missing the true guilty party, but in this story, each development of the plot was logical, and made perfect sense in retrospect. Even the surprises made sense in the context of the characters and world the author had developed. The idea of having two seperate and unrelated guilty parties is a clever plot device, it complicates the story without sacrificing continuity. This historical context also adds a lot.
Characters & Development:
Cynehelm and Wulf work well as a duo, and bring a sense of scope the story that might be hard to replicate with just one narrator. Cynehelm is experienced in the kingís court and bureaucratic matters, while Wulf is both more experienced in the real world and far more jaded. Each brings their own unique take on the story.
The side characters, even the ones who had only a few scenes, all showed their character and personality. I liked the dynamic between the members of the kingís court. Itís clear during any of the scenes where they interact that nobody trusts anybody, and several of them have their own private plans.
I also particularly liked the queenís role in the story. Her being the murderer was both satisfying and surprising.
I saw no mistakes.
Mastery of Language:
I was impressed with how the language was adjusted to fit the tone of the work. Itís really believeable that these characters are living in medieval europe based on how they talk and act.
This story is fairly linear, but thatís not really a problem in the context of an investigation. I take off a point because the choies about trusting wulf seems to have little impact on the story, and that could have been an interesting branch.
Player Options/fair choice:
No problems here, I thought many of the insta-death paths were unusually well foreshadowed for save-or-die choices.
I enjoyed my playthrough a lot. Though I died a lot, I did figure out the queen was guilty of the muder about halfway through. I wasnít sure of Alrdic though until the end.
CONCLUSION: A fun and engaging game with a compelling mystery.