Murder, She Wrote


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GrinnypAre you old enough to remember sitting down in front of the TV on a Sunday night, anticipating the appearance of Angela Lansbury in one of the longest-running mystery series ever? If so, you will be thrilled with Murder, She Wrote by Legacy Interactive, a wonderful mystery hidden object/adventure hybrid based on the long-running television series of the same name. Murder, She Wrote allows the player to join world-renowned mystery author Jessica Fletcher as she makes her way through five brand new murder mysteries.

murdershewrote_jessica.jpgFor those who don't remember the show (and those who have never managed to catch it in numerous reruns in syndication) here's the scoop: a widowed, retired English teacher who also happens to be a best-selling novelist solves real-life murder mysteries in her little town of Cabot Cove, Maine (considering the number of killings in this small town Cabot Cove must have been the per-capita murder capital of the US from 1984 to 1996, when the show ran) or wherever she happens to be visiting. Just consider Jessica the Miss Marple of Maine — although, to be precise, she's more like the Ariadne Oliver of Maine, but if you don't read Agatha Christie you wouldn't understand the reference, so... moving on.

Each mystery, triggered by a novel in the menu bookcase, begins with a cut-scene setting up the story and the nefarious deeds that make up the central mystery. Three of the scenarios take place in Cabot Cove itself, one in another town in Vermont, and one takes place in London, as the original show would occasionally do. Once the cut-scene is over, the HOG fun begins. A nice conceit of Murder, She Wrote is the list of items to be found comes out of Jessica's old manual typewriter, which happens to be missing the vowel keys. Before you do anything else you must find the six keys in the scene (A, E, I, O, U, and Y) to complete the list. Several items that are found in the scene interact with other items or are needed to find other items. Some items or areas in the scene open up mini-games as well. Once the scene is done you will be treated to another dialogue cut-scene which leads to the next HOG scene, and on it goes until the mystery is solved. Navigation between the scenes is accomplished with a map of the town or city in which the mystery is taking place.

murdershewrote_scene.jpgEach of the five mysteries contains a large number of HOG scenes, mini-games, and puzzles. Hints are on a refilling timer that can be refilled faster if you find the typewriter ribbon hidden in the background (for those unfamiliar with "typewriter" and "typewriter ribbon", I suggest a trip to the local museum). Most mini-games can be skipped after a period of time. HOG scenes and mini-games are timed, but there is also the choice of a relaxed mode for those who don't like the pressure. All of the dialogue and cut scenes can be sped up by clicking, or skipped altogether. Skipping the dialogue, though, is taking much of the fun out of the game. Unless, of course, you don't care about the story at all and are just aiming for the HOG and mini-games.

Analysis: Legacy Interactive has done a stellar job of creating a game that is literally like wandering through an episode of Murder, She Wrote. The voice acting in the cut scenes adds to the illusion, a standout being Phoebe Moyer who does a great Angela Lansbury impersonation, capturing both her "Mainer" accent and her natural British accent (playing a dual role in one of the mysteries). Although we are treated to a lot of fake Maine and British accents, none of them are painfully egregious to listen to. All of the HOG scenes are about gathering evidence, and the mini-games are all about piecing together the clues. All you need are some commercial breaks and you'd feel like you were experiencing the real thing.

The artwork in Murder, She Wrote is, for the most part, bright and a little cartoony, with a sort of hand-painted feel. The soundtrack is the famous title music and incidental music from the show itself. Along with the spot-on background noises and voice acting, the sound is a great part of the game experience.

murdershewrote_hogscene.jpgOne of the nicest aspects of the game is the "twist" put on the mini-games and puzzles. Granted, they are familiar iterations of puzzles that have been done before, but many add their own individual spin that makes them feel fresh. Many of the hidden match 2 games, for instance, will cause the hidden objects to shuffle if you don't make a match, forcing the player to employ a lot more memory skill than the average hidden match 2. There are also several logic puzzles that add to the feel of investigating a crime.

Another fine feature is the length of the game itself. If you don't skip the dialogue sections or mini-games, each of the five "novels" can generate at least an hour of playing time. Completion of one book triggers the opening of the next, and there is always the possibility of going back and replaying any of the stories. This puts Murder, She wrote ahead of the pack when it comes to sheer playing time.

The novel structure of Murder, She Wrote lends itself well to casual gameplay. You can marathon the game, but it is much more enjoyable to play one story at a time, like reading a good book or enjoying an episode of a beloved television show. If you like hidden object madness and are a murder mystery fan then it's time to pull out the magnifying glass, put on your thinking cap, and play Murder, She Wrote.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
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Get the full version

Walkthrough Guide


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Murder, She Wrote

Book 1: A DEADLY CATCH

Lobster Pound

  • Identify Andy's Buoy

  • Follow the steps and switch the names one at a time so they fit the rules

  • Screenshot

Marine Research Lab

  • Reassemble Test Tube

  • Start at the bottom and piece together the test tube

  • Screenshot

The My Turn

  • Assemble Torn Note

  • Turn each piece the right direction and place in the correct place

  • You don't have to put them in any order. Feel free to spread the pieces around the table to help organize them.

  • Screenshot

Harborside Tavern

  • Sort The Jewelry

  • Keep in mind the jewelry will always go in the same containers but they may be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Library

  • Identify Serial Number

  • The answer will always be 389416 though the position may be different than this example
    Screenshot

The My Turn 2

  • Plot The Course

  • Watch the radar and identify the silhouette of each ship and place them in the correct position. Keep in mind you won't use three of the ships.

  • Screenshot

Book 2: MURDER IN THE MAPLES

Maple Hill Sugar Bush

Police Station

  • Identify The License Plate

  • The license plate will always be DW 5724 though the position may be different than this example. Screenshot

As Ewe Like It

  • Make Three Squares

  • Follow the rules to make three squares without a repeating color on each square

  • Screenshot

Book 3: A GARDEN TO DIE FOR

O'Neil's Garden

Jack's Garage

O'Neil's Garden 2

  • Open The Box

  • Complete the names of the flowers on each square. Also, you'll have to move the pieces of the flower imagesbetween the four frames before you can reassemble them correctly.

  • Screenshot

Emily's Patio

  • Arrange Photos

  • Keep in mind the photos will always go above the same captions but the captions may be be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Garden Supply Store

  • Arrange Seed Packets

  • Keep in mind the seeds will always go on the same racks but the racks may be be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Garden Club Office

  • Unlock The Box

  • Find the one flower which is an all five wheels

Screenshot

Avery's Garden

  • Swap Tiles To Complete Pattern

  • The key is to start on the top left with the tile with red on the left and white on the right.

  • Screenshot

Book 4: SECRETS AND ASHES

Library

Susan's House

  • Arrange Book Spines

  • It's easiest to start by putting the two end books on the right and left, first

  • Screenshot

Susan's House 2

  • Tune The TV

  • Try and turn one dial first until you see a few lines combine. Each knob has three positions.

  • Screenshot

Real Estate Office

  • Reorganize Model

  • It's easiest if you start with the coastline on the right

  • Screenshot

Hardware Store

  • Open Candlestick

  • Find the pattern which is on all five rings

  • Screenshot

Susan's House 3

Book 5: FINAL CURTAIN

Dressing Room

  • Put Image In Order

  • The best strategy is to start with the edges of the masks. Don't forget you have to have the velvet arranged as well

  • Screenshot

Bajpai's Office

  • Organize The Timeline

  • Follow the logic of what comes first and what comes after. It seems like he spends a lot of time eating and not much time working.

  • Screenshot

Bajpai's Office 2

  • Find The Safe Combination

  • Follow the steps outlined. Sometimes it's easier starting with the last clue and work backwards.

  • Screenshot

Winslow's Office

Jester's Pub

  • Identify Owner Of Car

  • The license plate will always be 539 ELT though the position may be different than this example

  • Screenshot

Thanks to Walzer for writing up this walkthrough \o/!

27 Comments

LittleLight Author Profile Page November 15, 2009 4:34 PM

the mysterious "monitor out of range" happened to me on this game... blank screen plus sound... a first for a BFG title. a disappointment.

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I'm waiting for Matlock: The Game. It will either be a hidden object/mystery game... or some kind of Grand Theft Auto clone. You haven't lived until you've run jacked cars and run over pedestrians-as Andy Griffith!

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Sophia Davidson November 16, 2009 5:47 PM

Hello,

My name is Sophia and I work at Legacy Interactive. I wanted to personally thank you for such a thoughtful review of Murder, She Wrote.

Thank you
Sophia

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It's "per capita" (= "per head"), no "per-capital".

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Murder, She Wrote

Book 1: A DEADLY CATCH

Lobster Pound

  • Identify Andy's Buoy

  • Follow the steps and switch the names one at a time so they fit the rules

  • Screenshot

Marine Research Lab

  • Reassemble Test Tube

  • Start at the bottom and piece together the test tube

  • Screenshot

The My Turn

  • Assemble Torn Note

  • Turn each piece the right direction and place in the correct place

  • You don't have to put them in any order. Feel free to spread the pieces around the table to help organize them.

  • Screenshot

Harborside Tavern

  • Sort The Jewelry

  • Keep in mind the jewelry will always go in the same containers but they may be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Library

  • Identify Serial Number

  • The answer will always be 389416 though the position may be different than this example
    Screenshot

The My Turn 2

  • Plot The Course

  • Watch the radar and identify the silhouette of each ship and place them in the correct position. Keep in mind you won't use three of the ships.

  • Screenshot

Book 2: MURDER IN THE MAPLES

Maple Hill Sugar Bush

Police Station

  • Identify The License Plate

  • The license plate will always be DW 5724 though the position may be different than this example. Screenshot

As Ewe Like It

  • Make Three Squares

  • Follow the rules to make three squares without a repeating color on each square

  • Screenshot

Book 3: A GARDEN TO DIE FOR

O'Neil's Garden

Jack's Garage

O'Neil's Garden 2

  • Open The Box

  • Complete the names of the flowers on each square. Also, you'll have to move the pieces of the flower imagesbetween the four frames before you can reassemble them correctly.

  • Screenshot

Emily's Patio

  • Arrange Photos

  • Keep in mind the photos will always go above the same captions but the captions may be be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Garden Supply Store

  • Arrange Seed Packets

  • Keep in mind the seeds will always go on the same racks but the racks may be be in different positions than this example

  • Screenshot

Garden Club Office

  • Unlock The Box

  • Find the one flower which is an all five wheels

Screenshot

Avery's Garden

  • Swap Tiles To Complete Pattern

  • The key is to start on the top left with the tile with red on the left and white on the right.

  • Screenshot

Book 4: SECRETS AND ASHES

Library

Susan's House

  • Arrange Book Spines

  • It's easiest to start by putting the two end books on the right and left, first

  • Screenshot

Susan's House 2

  • Tune The TV

  • Try and turn one dial first until you see a few lines combine. Each knob has three positions.

  • Screenshot

Real Estate Office

  • Reorganize Model

  • It's easiest if you start with the coastline on the right

  • Screenshot

Hardware Store

  • Open Candlestick

  • Find the pattern which is on all five rings

  • Screenshot

Susan's House 3

Book 5: FINAL CURTAIN

Dressing Room

  • Put Image In Order

  • The best strategy is to start with the edges of the masks. Don't forget you have to have the velvet arranged as well

  • Screenshot

Bajpai's Office

  • Organize The Timeline

  • Follow the logic of what comes first and what comes after. It seems like he spends a lot of time eating and not much time working.

  • Screenshot

Bajpai's Office 2

  • Find The Safe Combination

  • Follow the steps outlined. Sometimes it's easier starting with the last clue and work backwards.

  • Screenshot

Winslow's Office

Jester's Pub

  • Identify Owner Of Car

  • The license plate will always be 539 ELT though the position may be different than this example

  • Screenshot

Thanks to Walzer for writing up this walkthrough \o/!

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on Murder she wrote, in the garden, how do you hang the red lanterns?

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I really liked this game! The middle puzzles were a little short compared to the "bookends" though. Reminded me of the Agatha Christie series. Nice length, would have been better if you had to

actually decide who was guilty instead of being spoon fed.

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how do I get the sink un-clogged, I got the plunger, moved it over the sink, and the plunger keeps going back on the floor when I click??? Thanks

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karen buckney November 26, 2009 10:25 PM

hi, i'm up to "sorting the jewellery " i had trouble solving it so i skipped it but then the jewellery dissappeared now it wont go on to the next scene it's saying in the column sort out jewellery but there is none to sort out.

please help.

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Anonymous December 1, 2009 1:05 PM

I solved the sort the jewelry puzzle and it still says sort the jewelry but there is none to sort and the game will not go on. Is this a bug?

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Walzar Author Profile Page December 1, 2009 3:29 PM replied to Anonymous

Anonymous - That does sound strange. When you finished sorting the jewelry did they all flash and then disappear? That should confirm that you sorted them correctly. Do you have the "skip" button charged and available? See if that does it. Good luck. Happy hunting.

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yes they did flash and then disappear. However, I did read elsewhere that it seems to be a glitch, and to go through the whole book again and it will work. I did this and it did work so I am now past that. Thank you.

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In A garden to die for, I can't smash the bird house with the hammer. Am I missing something?

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In the first mystery, I cannot get the sink to drain in the lab. I have the plunger put together but when I try to use it, it just goes back to it's place on the floor. I see others are having the same problem. Any help sure would be appreciated.

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I've gone through this twice and the plunger will not un-clog the sink. It just keeps going back to it's place on the floor. I guess it's a glitch that will never get fixed and I'll never know if this game was a good one or not. As of right now, it stinks and I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time

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I also cannot use the plunger in the lab. I have even created another "user" and went through the whole thing again, and same problem. I paid $6.99 for this, and I am a little hacked off.

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 4:00 PM

Regarding the plunger issue, once you have the stick and the base of the plunger put together, you need to click with your arrow pointer on the water in the sink, not with the plunger base. That will get it to work.

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nanomaisel February 7, 2010 4:30 PM

I am stuck on the "IDENTIFY THE LICENSE PLATE" portion of the second book, "Murder in the Maples". I did solve the puzzle and the plate was identified to the owner, but I can't get out of that scene. Hint won't work and I am not sure how to proceed. Help anyone?

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anonymously March 3, 2010 10:14 PM

im at the same problem i have replayed the license plate the same part again and it wont contune how do i get past it?

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Anonymous May 3, 2010 11:52 AM

love ho games so i downloaded this game about fifteen times but it wont play please help me find a download that will work

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I've just started Murder in the Maples (second room, I think) and I have to fill a bucket with water. The clue says to turn on the tap, but when I click on it, nothing happens. The bucket is in the right place. I guess it's a bug, but I'd like to be able to continue playing. Any advice?

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Jean -
You should be able to put it in the sink and click on the faucet. If it doesn't work, suggest you contact tech support where you bought it.

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I have the same problem as Roxanne 1/26/2009, Sue 1/7/2010 and Michele 1/10/2010. Regardless what I do I cannot get the sink to drain and unfortunately I am dead in the water at this point. I have no way to even go to the other episodes help!!!

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Joe Stewart -

I don't know which version you are playing, but I've played the download and the first book of the mobile version and had no problem with the sink.

You need to assemble the plunger during the HOS. Once assembled, tap or click on it and place it in the water to empty the sink and get the glass shards.

If this isn't working at all for you, I suggest contacting tech support wherever you bought the game.

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I am, in fact, old enough to remember this show. I can still hear the theme song in my mind -good memories :)
In my country, it was re-named 'Arabesque' but I recognized Jessica Fletcher's features right away.

I've seen it around and was actually wondering whether or not I should give it a go. I'm glad I found this review while browsing the site.

Will definitely play in the near future now! Thank you !

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