Player Comments on Discretion of a Sleuth
I enjoyed this quite a lot :D As you say it is unique and an enjoyable experience, though I did find a few things a bit dubious (SPOILER ALERT: the motive for one). A few of your conversation choices during the conversations (people don't say "..." or "ghg") were a bit bizarre. Overall though I think you did very well with this.
The "mini games" were interesting and highly original, some of the statements we had to analyse though were a bit emotional and ambiguous, I wasn't entirely sure what some of the statements meant. Overall the use of logic and emotion were both very good though.
I have a few objections. There might have been an over-descriptiveness of the layout of the school, a few simpler sentences would have given me a clearer idea of things. The characters were not given names, just roles, physical descriptions were a bit sparse and some of the dialogue struck me as a little unrealistic and melodramatic. The dialogue perhaps could have been shorter and snappier. Of course in a murder mystery you want to have red herrings but even the red herrings could have been a bit less wordy. Some of the conversations seemed to be a bit circular before getting to essential points.
You definitely crafted a very intelligent and logical mystery (which is not always an easy thing to do) where all the ends tied up and which engages the readers rationalizing abilities (the sort of thing I try to do with my detective series) very effectively. I personally preferred the realistic immersive detection experience of the first half to the script-based approach of the second half but that's just me, both are valid forms of expression. The mini-games particularly impressed me as an extremely creative, effective and enjoyable idea (though as mentioned the statements being analysed could have been a little clearer).
Overall I would congratulate you on an enjoyable and engaging mystery and I definitely hope you will write more. It's a very enjoyable way to spend half a hour. :D
on 4/15/2020 10:26:59 AM with a score of 0
Some people like to read reviews before purchasing products online--likewise, I like reading storygame reviews before reading the story. In consideration of any likeminded people, this review will contain no spoilers.
First things first, I love the attention to detail present in this storygame. Of course, that should be a given considering its genre, but one's standards plummet quite a bit after reading a number of this site's newest. There is, however, a typo on the second page, where both the office's chairs and reception desk is said to be both on the right side of the room, rather than the chairs left and desk right.
*OKAY, SO I LIED--SLIGHT FUNCTIONALITY-RELATED SPOILER*
There is also another issue during the second perspective minigame, where you are unable to use the security guard's account to attempt to disprove the last argument line.
On the topic of the minigames, this story was certainly a game as much as it was a story; most fitting of the title of a storygame. I also actually felt like Pheonix Wright for a bit before losing twice, so that's nice.
The story itself is great with (unsurprisingly) no contradictions or holes. At times, it annoyed me how conveniently the pieces seemed to slide together at times, but it was overall satisfying.
Perhaps my least favorite part, however, was the characters and their development. Actions often contradicted their words (in ways irrelevant to the plot), and some characters seemed to almost change personalities halfway through the story, also not mentioning intentional examples. Many characters lack development, and others seem to be completely empty. Even the (intended) end, satisfying in its "Mission accomplished" way, was dampened by the unlikability of some of the characters.
Regardless, the story itself was amazing, and its gameplay was unlike anything I've seen here. Even considering the characters' perpetual crimes of merely existing, this story was amazing to read and was certainly challenging to successfully complete. Anyone here who hasn't already and has an hour to spare should definitely give this a read.
on 4/14/2020 4:10:49 AM with a score of 0
on 3/28/2021 5:05:11 PM with a score of 0
I was unable to finish the story. I can't tell if it's because my reasoning is wrong, or because I can't select the proper evidence. Someone mentioned it in the functionality related spoiler. Security footage can't be used to disprove an argument and I am confident that is what I need to use. But it was very interesting.
— Chi on 11/28/2020 10:19:00 PM with a score of 0
i feel smaret.
on 6/8/2020 10:32:47 PM with a score of 0
It's sort of confusing how the reader is referred to as both "you" and "I", but other than that it was well written. All of the characters had cliche personalities (except the student, whom I actually liked), so I feel like more effort should have been put into creating the characters. It was still well written in general, though.
The first half of the game was well scripted and I really like the mini-game style, but the second half was not, unless I'm missing something here. After failing to argue against three points in a row, I tried every piece of evidence on number four using the magical go-back button, but not a single one of them worked. I'm pretty sure that wasn't supposed to happen, but maybe it's because I skipped the tutorial.
It's still a good CYS overall, although I wasn't able to enjoy the whole story and find out who the murderer was due to the problem stated above. I gave it a 6/8
on 5/27/2020 4:02:36 PM with a score of 0
This is definitely a style of storygame I don't think I've ever encountered on the site. I'm not sure if it ultimately succeeded at blending the logic puzzle parts with a compelling story, but as an experiment it's an interesting one and it's an impressive effort from a first time author.
The biggest hurdle I had with getting into this was all from a realism standpoint. The characters all seem pretty stilted, and yes I get that their main role is to give the evidence and statements you're supposed to puzzle over rather than be especially nuanced, but that's not very clear at first.
You placed this in a modern real world setting, and not in the home of an eccentric rich person at a dinner party or whatever but in a *school*. And so I kept thinking that not in a million years would a murder--or the other crime involved here (not wanting to give away too many spoilers)--be handled this way by everyone involved deciding to avoid reporting it to the police for several hours and eventually just call in some guy to poke around the crime scene instead.
And then, touching briefly on the conclusions... One choice has you seen by several people leaving with a person who will soon be of a whole lot of interest to the police, from the scene of an hours old murder that still hasn't been reported to anyone. That's surely going to come back and cause problems for you. While the other sort of glosses over the fact that someone was revealed to be the victim of a crime a LOT of people would consider actually just as bad as murder. In fact it actually ends with a weird bit of victim blaming from the people who were actively trying cover it up, and I just don't see anyone involved here having jobs soon OR achieving their goal of avoiding scandal, lol.
But I know I probably shouldn't focus so much on the story since this is ultimately more of a game. And the logic minigames, use of evidence etc was all really well done. Simply put I enjoyed those parts and would look forward to solving more mysteries that way.
I think it would've helped to turn the afterword into the foreword though. Will already mentioned things like having all the "..." as dialogue, but in many other ways the anime is very strong with this one. And if someone doesn't recognize what you were going for, the style could be offputting. Since it was obviously the approach you were taking with all the investigation parts, you might as well have been up front about the games it was all inspired by, just to reduce confusion for people who are unfamiliar with this stuff.
Also, for future references...I'd REALLY recommend putting a couple End Games links around. Because otherwise ratings are going to continue to be very slow to accumulate. There's a lot involved here to reach the ending, and what happens with a story like this is if it's not grabbing someone for whatever reason, they're eventually going to just stop reading. It's not uncommon to give a rating or a quick comment on at least the writing quality and such, even if you choose not to 100% a story...but you need an accessible escape hatch in order to do that.
Anyway, I know a lot of this review was critical, but I think the core idea here is very good and has a lot of potential. It's primarily the way of presenting it all that could be improved, but I don't think running into a few hitches is all that surprising when experimenting around with a new style. I hope to see you refine the format in the future and I wish you luck in testing out more new ideas. There's a lot of possibilities with the CYOA structure and editor here that no one has ever touched on yet.
on 4/30/2020 11:14:28 PM with a score of 0
Great first game. Really you have made an engaging first part. My criticism is there is too much verbose and info, and people like me who are not used to this type of games get easily lost. A quest log diary with who is who and your hints could make this game so much better. Some characters aren't believable in their goals and motives.
Still, great effort. But guides or helping for players, not into the genre could be a great help
on 4/28/2020 9:34:55 AM with a score of 0
Pretty clever, but it loses a point for not letting the player out of the game on a failure, even though there are active End Game Links. Better to not have them in there at all if they are not going to do anything.
on 4/12/2020 9:25:40 PM with a score of 0