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Murder on the Big Nothing

by Tony Pisculli


Web Site

(based on 9 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

In its heyday, the Burlington-Northern Railroad criss-crossed the country, a favorite of tramps and vagabonds who called it... The Big Nothing.

Game Details


Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2018


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Surreal vignette-driven Western, July 10, 2018
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: phlegmatic

[Time to completion: 5-10 minutes]
[This game contains descriptions of gun violence.]

You’re on a boxcar, but something’s not quite right… You need to figure out why you’re here.

Murder on the Big Nothing is told through a series of vignettes, each described with enough visual detail to suggest cinematic inspirations. Indeed, there is a bit of the classic Western of it, from the storyline to the setting.

This game feels a little rough around the edges, and it felt like it ended before I had seen all the story has to offer. There was an implied puzzle (i.e. an obstacle stopping you from seeing everything there was to see), but no way I could figure out to solve it. It’s interesting enough though, and calls the reader to draw their own conclusions.

If you enjoyed this, you might like Niney, another surreal game set on a train (well, boxcars, trains… moving boxes on rails, right?).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A clever parser take on memory and time with some unfinished corners, April 11, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game reminds me of last year's spring thing game Niney, where you gathered up 'roles' and distributed them to other characters.

This game isn't similar in form or content, but it's similar in creativity. Your motions affect time, and there are hidden stats affecting what you are able to do.

My main interest in playing this game was piecing together the backstory, which was fun.

There were some unifinished corners here and there; many of the standard responses (like X ME) are left with their standard forms. But I enjoyed this.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Let it tell you a story, April 4, 2023

This is one game in which I actually didn't know what was going on or what I should do until I gave up and that was when the "Aha" moment struck me. 'Nuff said. (Spoiler - click to show)Bittersweet.

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Murder on the Big Nothing on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Murder on the Big Nothing appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Surreal games on trains by MathBrush
There is an unusually large amount of surreal games on trains (maybe from the Dark Tower?). Here are the ones I can find.

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