Death off the Cuff
There'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. 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.