Death off the Cuff


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Death off the Cuff

HopefulNebulaThere's been a murder at the Seafront Hotel. Luckily, you're the famous detective Antoine Saint Germain, who is in no way related to a certain Agatha Christie character, and you solve every case. There's just one little problem this time: everybody's gathered for the obligatory "one of the people in this room is a murderer" monologue, but you have no idea who did it. Death off the Cuff That's really only a minor obstacle, though, since people do love talking about themselves, and surely someone can give something away. All you have to do is get a confession, and save your reputation. If this premise sound familiar, it's because Death off the Cuff was originally written for our 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition. It's been through a lot of improvements in the last three years, though: Simon Christiansen has fleshed out the content, added illustrations, and optimized the interactive fiction game for Android.

Though the story remains quite short, it's full of hidden treasures and things to do. There are more endings than there are characters, so you can accuse anyone. There are secret identities and romances and sordid pasts aplenty, but the plot isn't any more outlandish than the genre demands. Death off the Cuff's main strength, though, is its efficiency. You're going to be typing on a tiny keyboard, and Christiansen accounts for this by adding plenty of shortcuts. The "focus" system, for instance, means that if you're already talking about James, you can just type "motive" instead of "talk about James' motive." You don't have to type "examine" or "talk about" every time you want to examine or talk about something; the game automatically fills in the blanks depending on context. Just type the name of an object or person to get a description, and repeat the entry (or type "g" to talk about it. The text parser is smart enough to accept quite a lot. Can you save the detective's reputation? And oh yes, do try to accuse the right person in the process.

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the LG Optimus L9. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.

Walkthrough Guide


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Death off the Cuff walkthrough

General hints and tips

Most of this is covered in the in-game tutorial, but given the nature of mobile screens, it can be helpful to have everything all in one place. (Especially if you're like me and are the type of person who can remember the names of everyone in your sixth grade class but not what you had for breakfast this morning.)

The commands you can use are: look, examine, take, slap, ask about, leave room, accuse, confess, undo, hint, twirl moustache, credits, tutorial off. Most of the time you don't need verbs. The first time you type the name of a person or object, you'll get a description. The second time you type the same thing, you'll start talking about it (if you have anything to say). You can also talk about people's motives and alibis by typing, say, "James' motive," or just "motive" when the character is in focus

type "g" to repeat your previous entry (useful for when you want to examine something and then talk about it.)

If you get stuck, type "look" to take a look around. Even if you're not stuck, look around a lot, and take notice of what's changed.

Long press anywhere on the screen for options, including bookmarks and the ever-important "undo" function. (Or you could just type "undo" but where's the fun in that?)

Walkthrough

These are the steps as provided in the in-game walkthrough, not including the steps provided in the tutorial. I highly recommend not using it unless you're extremely stuck, as half the fun of the game is in making mistakes and discovering the various endings.

The prompts are sorted by person. Each description outside the spoilers is the person's initial description, so as to avoid spoiling people's secret identities and whatnot.

The hotel owner

James
suit
pocket
pocket
revolver
revolver

The count

Heinrich
beard
beard
take beard
articles

The doctor

doctor
book
book
shirt
stain
stain
slap doctor

The writer

Shane
hands
finger
band

The waiter

Jonathan
hands
wounds
wounds
look

The constable

Goodfellow
uniform
buttons
buttons
cap
cap
gun
gun
take gun

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