The Screaming Skull

Player Rating5.89/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 15 ratings since 07/08/2020
played 103 times (finished 18)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length4/8

"A well spent lunch break"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.
In this medium-length Whodunnit you assume the role of a professional Detective having to solve a crime with a difference: not only do you need to identify the perpetrator of a brutal and gruesome crime but you also need to identify the victim too... In this one I've deliberately gone for a more grim and gritty "true crime" sort of thing than my usual stories so if you suffer from a delicate nervous constitution or are just a bit of a wuss then probably this story is not for you :)

Player Comments

This is indeed an enjoyable story! One could argue that it is a bit linear (there are choices galore, yes, but most readers are going to methodically go through every room and ask every question, and ultimately there are only two pass/fail endings) but it is a fun and well-crafted read.

As a mystery, it differs quite a bit from a typical mystery story. For instance, the usual mystery detective is interested in determining not only the killer's identity, but also the motive and opportunity. Often, a few miscues are intentionally thrown in to keep everyone on their toes (i.e. the creepy gardener who seems suspicious at first but turns out to be a real nice dude). But often one character emerges from the crowd as having the most compelling motive to have done the deed, as well as the perfect opportunity.

Here, we don't even know who the victim is, and none of the housemates seem to have grudges with each other. Thus I was thinking "spontaneous combustion" the entire time, especially since everyone was a "social chain smoker." One too many Malibus, and the next thing you know you've set yourself on fire. Oops.

But that's not where this is going. Some readers might find the final revelation either a true surprise or a disappointment, but either way Will11 provides his reasoning on an optional epilogue of sorts.

There is no real branching here, although it is possible to reach an unwinnable conclusion; the only way to guard against that is to behave like a good detective and be methodical. And maybe take notes, too.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 7/9/2020 11:18:07 PM with a score of 0
I am not a fan of mystery If games. However, this one is well crafted with a good pace, and good developed interviews. However, the game is superlinear and doesn't feel really interactive Extra interactive content and one or two endings more different could make game better. But as writing is a very solid piece.
-- poison_mara on 7/12/2020 8:38:15 AM with a score of 0
Thanks for that, Will! I do love a good murder mystery and this one was particularly good. Really nicely detailed crime scene to investigate, lots of suspects to interrogate. Really well made and just generally awesome all around.

I suppose if I only had one complaint, it's that the identity of the victim and killer are a bit too obvious. I mean, I figured it out pretty early on and thought I was super clever for solving it... But then all of the other suspects popped up with nice, tidy alibis until only the suspect and victim were left, so... That made me feel less clever. :(

Other than the down-side of making me feel like slightly less of a genius though, it was pretty awesome! Wish the site had more games like this. ^_^
-- Avery_Moore on 7/10/2020 3:09:44 PM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed this. The writing is fluent and it was fun seeing the events of the evening come together. I took some notes which made it easy to piece the story together (without them I would have been totally lost). The story felt very authentic (those were the days). I liked the gritty realistic style and it was a good decision not to make the case too convoluted. This was was certainly more game than story, but it was a very enjoyable game. I would have appreciated some scripting of the corridors. They could provide room for conversations with Habib, which remained relatively featureless as a character. Nevertheless, overall the story was very well done and was fun to play. Highly recommended.
-- Northwind on 7/9/2020 2:18:46 PM with a score of 0
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