Victorian Detective

by Peter Carlson

Mystery
2014

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Number of Reviews: 4
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Long choice-based Quest game with a Holmes feel, August 22, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

You are not, in fact, Sherlock Holmes in this game, but you are pretty similar.

In this game, you read several paragraphs of text, then make a deduction based off of it. You have to read carefully, and may require occasional google searches, but most of the choices are deducible through logic. Some, though, just seem like guesswork, which I suppose increases the replay value of the game.

You are investigating the murder of a man after being pulled off of a big bombing investigation.

I played online, and it became slower and slower until it crashed near the end.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Mildly entertaining detective romp, January 22, 2018
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: sanguine

Time to completion: 45 mins - 1 hour

One of the top-rated games on textadventures.co.uk, Victorian Detective has you take on the persona of a distinctly Sherlockian police detective to solve a murder.

The structure of the game is, intentionally or not, very similar to the Conan Doyle stories, in that the titular detective makes an impressive but slightly far-fetched inference about some tiny observation, which determines the entire course of the investigation. Victorian Detective rewards detailed reading by carefully firing Chekhov's guns, even if the clues given are sometimes frankly esoteric (Spoiler - click to show)(I don't know, but can you identify the smell of haddock compared to other fish? This isn't Toby's Nose!).

Although this game predates Toby's Nose, the way both games get the reader to come to their own conclusions is quite similar, and indeed constructing a web of clues for the reader to pick apart is no mean feat.

This game is relatively well thought out. Occasional illustrations add a whimsical tone to the story, and in at least one point serves as a plot point. Not the most solid mystery, but mildly entertaining.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fun mystery with original and effective game mechanics, January 12, 2017
by streever (America)

This linear mystery story uses an inventive puzzle design for a link-based game, taking the form of a multiple choice quiz after most sections. Puzzle design is tough but fair, and provides a great example of modern interactive fiction design: as hard as some of the puzzles may be to solve, the game never ends when you can't get the right answer.

The writing is competent but oddly disjointed from it's inspiration, the work of Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock references didn't quite the mark, partially because the voice and prose didn't feel appropriately Doyle-esque, but also because the protagonist is clearly not Sherlock Holmes but owes him a debt. The protagonist is more of a blank slate. I think the piece may have been better if the protagonist was either Sherlock or a recognizable character in their own right, but I think this would be a challenge for a short work of interactive fiction. I hope that the character expands and develops over the next pieces and comes into its own.

The mystery itself was satisfying and well-plotted, a clear homage to classic Doyle mysteries with a seemingly minor case revealing a much larger one.

While failing a puzzle never ends the game, it does deduct from your final score, a combination of deduction points and action points. The former is the best aspect of this work: thorough investigation will make it fairly easy to get the highest score possible in deduction, but I was unsure of the action phases, which were used less and felt less thought-out. I'm not sure that the best choice from the perspective of the author in each of these sequences was well broadcast, and these were largely a matter of guesswork for me, but I may have missed clues and hints.

I am looking forward to future works by this author, and really enjoyed the creative way they incorporated puzzles into a hypertext piece.



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