There really is no better way to describe the game's setting than to use Robin's own words:
Struggling to cope with a crumbling Empire, troublesome peasants, and recently some ghastly Great War that your chums tell you you slept through, it's been a tricky business lately for the English aristocracy to keep the old wolf from the old door. Especially you, the Honourable Ampersand Fodge. You've already eaten, drunk and gambled your entire family fortune, so unless you want to be in the workhouse by Christmas, you'd better get some lolly rolling in pronto.
Cue dear old Aunt Cedilla, your only unmarried elderly relative. For the past few weeks she's been threatening to come round for tea. It may have occurred to her that she's getting on a bit, so if you can squeeze yourself into the old witch's good books, she's more or less bound to leave you a tidy sum. Then maybe you'll find some way of topping her, if you can stop the rozzers from taking notice. Murder's never been your forté, but needs must and all that!
Aunts and Butlers plays like any text-adventure game where you interact with the world by typing commands into the text box. Use the cardinal directions to move (north or N, south or S, etc.) and clever terms such as "get", "talk", "use" and "kiss" to do much more interesting things. Because of its relatively simple plot and small environment, Aunts and Butlers is a good introductory game for anyone new to the world of interactive fiction. And apart from a rather stale maze sequence, the game feels fresh and interesting at every turn. Put on your tailcoat and grab the teacup, Aunt Cedilla is waiting for you in the drawing room.
Thanks to Paul for sending this one in!
For more great interactive fiction, be sure to check out interactive fiction in the JIG archives.