From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
GAME DESIGNER:Eric Miller
GAME DEVELOPER:Norland Software
GAME PUBLISHER:Norland Software
Copyright 1983, Norland Software
Sleuth is a simple, but fun and memory-challenging ASCII-based murder mystery written by Eric N. Miller, the man behind the well-made Norland Hangman series. In the author’s own words:
“Sleuth is an interactive murder mystery. As a game of Sleuth begins, a murder has just been committed. It is your job to explore the house (which is displayed on the screen), to question the houseguests for their alibies, and to locate both the murder weapon and the scene of the murder. The challenge of Sleuth is to solve the crime, gather all of the suspects together, and accuse the guilty party before the killer becomes suspicious of your investigation and eliminates you from the game. Each game of Sleuth is different from the last, so you must always explore the house fully before you can solve the murder. Also, to make things more interesting, you can choose a ‘Personalized’ option which allows you to populate the house with your friends and acquaintances.”
During the course of the game you’re required to ask people for their alibis to find out “whodunit”, and additionally you need to find the magnifying glass so you can examine every room and object to discover “howdunit” and “wheredunit”, too. The difficulty lies in figuring out which person’s story doesn’t match those of the other guests, or who had the opportunity, which is made harder by the fact that you can only question people once or twice since the more time you spend solving the mystery the more suspicious the murderer becomes.
The ability to use the names of your friends and relatives makes the game a lot of fun; there’s nothing better than randomly dotting down names only to find out that your cousin has been brutally murdered in his home, and there’s a whole house full of your friends and relatives who all had a reason to do him in.