The Screaming Skull
mystery / thriller
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 520 times (finished 42)
"March in the swamp"
"A well spent lunch break"
"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 be 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 :)
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.
on 7/9/2020 11:18:07 PM with a score of 0
pretty engaging, fun, made me think
— john on 5/23/2023 12:39:17 AM with a score of 0
Great story, and I had a ton of fun writing down all the little details I noticed. My one qualm is that it felt a bit short, but I understand and see that a whole lot of effort went into this. Great job!
on 5/15/2023 2:28:32 PM with a score of 0
Really engaging and well written murder mystery. As soon as I started reading I could hear the Luther theme song start playing. Good job.
There are a few minor tweaks that I would recommend. First, it would be fairly easy to implement a few tracking variables to tweak the descriptions of the some of the rooms based on where you have already been (i.e. the comparison between the two maintenance rooms if you haven't been to the downstairs one first), Secondly I'm not sure how realistic it is that the body would burn so completely in less that four hours with only half a bottle (or so) or high-proof vodka. While it would certainly char the skin and maybe make identification difficult, but it wouldn't have reduced half the body to bones without a lot more fuel. Lastly, Richard wasn't all that bad off, wouldn't he have smelled the burning body when he came down to the kitchen and broke the trophy?
on 4/4/2023 9:41:16 AM with a score of 0
it was nice and it was worth the time you should make more
— GenesisRebbot1 on 3/29/2023 12:20:11 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.
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. ^_^
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.
on 7/9/2020 2:18:46 PM with a score of 0
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