GameNotes February 18, 2020

Mysteries, mysteries!

It seems to be a Golden Age of Mystery Games.   Ever since I searched out games with mystery elements at the Winter Steam Sale, I’m seeing reviews and notes about upcoming games everywhere.  It’s so exciting!  I want to collect them all in this window of time while they’re being produced.  I read mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I’ve always loved Mysteries as well.

They’re often an intellectual exercise as we attempt to solve a crime, there are puzzles to solve, justice to be meted out.   In a game environment, you step right into the shoes of the detective, you can be in danger, you must be observant, ask questions.  As a way to generate plot in a game, mysteries can be rich stories with all of humanity’s foibles and strengths portrayed.

If the game’s stories and plots and characters are engaging, you can have a series starring your detective solving cases, and enjoy a return to the world just as you do in novels.

In a recent article, PC Gamer asked Who is your favorite videogame detective?

They present some suggestions from their forums and staff, there are lots of good suggestions!   They also link to an article they did last year The Best Detective Games On PC, which has even more ideas.

There are others I’ve noted recently:

Backbone (Developer Eggnut)   Description from Adventure Gamers

The planet is sprawling with anthropomorphic animal species. Streets of Vancouver are overgrown with ivy and humongous trees, branches and vines piercing through the concrete, and huge flowers nesting on top of the roofs. Howard Lotor is a raccoon private investigator. His mundane life is interrupted with the appearance of a powerful technology that can blur the lines of conventional order and change society forever.

Visit Eggnut


From  developer Media Tonic Murder by Numbers

I saw it mentioned on Rock Paper Shotgun.

Their description:

Honor’s boss is dead and she’s the primary suspect for foul play, meaning it’s time to roll up her sleeves and catch the real murderer. Unfortunately, Honor’s no detective, she just plays one on TV.


Via Kotaku, Aviary Attorney from Developer Sketchy Logic.

Kotaku’s description:

A frog has been murdered, a cat has been arrested, and the cat’s father hires Jayjay and Sparrowson to exonerate his daughter. Bird puns ensue. Great bird puns. Then come horse puns. Jayjay uses his deductive reasoning. Sparrowson uses his tenuous grasp of how the law works.

The artwork is incredible.


Out last year on PC (but I missed it)  Draugen from Red Thread Games.

The developer’s game description:

From the studio that brought you Dreamfall Chapters, and the creative team behind The Longest Journey and The Secret World, comes a first-person psychological mystery set in 1920s Norway.

The year is 1923. You play Edward Charles Harden, an American traveller who’s come to Norway to find his missing sister. But you’re never alone: every step of the way, Edward is accompanied by Lissie: a lively and enigmatic young woman with a mind of her own.

Together with Edward and Lissie, you must explore a forgotten coastal community nestled amongst the dark fjords and towering mountains of rural Norway, and unearth the terrible secrets that lie beneath the picturesque surface. And what begins as a quest for a missing woman becomes a journey into a painful past.


Not a mystery, but looking intriguing, was a post from Rock Paper Shotgun

I love Arthurian tales, myself.

Inkle Studios did 80 Days, which I’m familiar with, and Heaven’s Vault, an “archeological science fiction adventure game”.  Sounds perfect to me 🙂

They have lots more on their page, including a beta of Inklewriter, Write Your Very Own Interactive Stories.


Atherne is back to iLevel 426 so she’s just hanging around waiting for Whiplash to spawn in Stormsong.  Speaking of Stormsong, one of her World Quest rewards there was a 420 Ring that I didn’t immediately notice had +35 Corruption on it.  I popped that thing right in the Scrapper.  I’ll have to look more closely at the item stats everywhere, it seems.

I got my Mage to iLevel 314, so thought she could handle Nazjatar.  Pretty easy for her, to my surprise, and she’s on her way.   I remember when I fist got to Nazjatar, everything seemed to hit so hard.

My Hunter, on her last Pandaria level, is doing the Nesingwary questline before leaving the area.  I’ll miss her farm (sniff).


Darkmoon Faire, Classic

It turns out I was south of Thunder Bluff and the Mulgore Darkmoon Faire.  Checking a modern map, I made my way along through a fairly thickly infested area.   Finally the Faire!

It is very small, but most of the most familiar characters are there.

It turns out you give them 5 Copper Modulators (Rinling) or 3 Toughened Leather Armor and 3 Embossed Leather Boots to earn rewards (Chronos).

I was very tired when I got there, and there was no repair, so I just talked to all the carnies and gratefully ported home to Darnassus.

No repairs, but TWO Outhouses!

All that damaged armor and weaponry only cost 8 silver and 96 copper to repair, because her stuff is no good to begin with.   There were many parts of the trip where I wished I’d brought spares of everything.

I’ll just visit the Faire when it’s in Elwynn from now on!