So the other day when I blogged about how when I was a kid, I used to play that really low-budget Clue-style game on my family computer, I got totally nostalgic. And I thought, weren’t times so much simpler, when you could just put in the names of seven of your friends, and one of them would totally get killed off in the first few seconds, and then you would wander around a game with poor graphic quality, trying to solve the murder? YES THEY WERE.
So I went online last night to try to recapture some of the magic of my childhood.
LAST NIGHT? I can hear you yelping like wounded hyenas. But AMY! Last night was SUPERBOWL NIGHT! SURELY you watched THE SUPERBOWL. It is an AMERICAN PASTIME!
Nope. Sorry. Not a single shit was even given. NOT A SINGLE SHIT.
The problem was, I didn’t know the name of the game, because honestly, I think the last time I played it was 1992 or thereabouts, because I am a very old old person. So I poked around and ended up finding it with “old computer game sleuth.”
Why? Because it was CALLED Sleuth. I am the SMARTEST.
There’s a Wikipedia page and everything. It was a real thing. I wasn’t even making it up.
And guess what? YOU CAN TOTALLY DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREEEEE YO. Without getting a virus or ANYTHING. I know. This is totally a charmed day.
So of COURSE I downloaded it. What do I look like, someone who wouldn’t? I’m trying to reclaim some of my lost childhood, here.
OK, so the graphics are totally retro and awesome and just as bad as I remembered.
You have an option of playing their basic version – they make up character names for you – BOOOORRRRIIINGGGG – or you can personalize it. YES I WILL THANK YOU.
So of course I used my online people’s names. Because I can’t use my real-life people’s names. Because I can’t use their names online, because they are UNDERCOVER. And I think they don’t want to be on my blog, honestly. I mean, I talk about honey badgers not giving shits, maybe they wouldn’t like that, I don’t know. Also, I liked the idea of my internet people being murdery, because my dad is ALWAYS SAYING how the internet people are killers. I wanted him to have a win, just once, you know? That would make a great novel. JIM! Another novel idea! The blogger who murdered off his or her competition!
So I blithely input five online people’s names, one real-life person’s name who I knew wouldn’t mind being on my blog, and my name. THIS IS EXCITING WHAT WILL HAPPEN.
The game begins! Cara is murdered. Aw, Cara. I will miss you. You were my ORIGINAL honey badger. This is already the worst. I’m totally out for blood right now.
Mandy is in the conservatory, “playing a somber concerto” on the piano. That seems suspicious. I don’t even know if she knows HOW to play the piano. Dammit, Mandy, DID YOU KILL CARA? I can’t figure out how to question her (I bumped my icon into her, I typed in a question mark, I waited, nothing, until I typed in the actual WORD “question”, and then all was well) and then I finally do. She was with Erin all night. She accuses Susan. Damn, but women are backstabby!
So Inspector Icon Smileyface goes to the next room. In this room is BFF, reading the newspaper. HI BFF! “That is not a valid command.” Shut up, computer game FROM THE PAST. I question BFF, now that I know how to do that. He tells me he was with Susan, and accuses – GASP! – AMY. That’s ME! My OWN BFF, you guys. This is the WORST. First, he spent the whole night with Susan, which, listen, I get it, she is the most awesome, but WHY NOT ME, BFF. Second, he accuses ME? Of MURDERING CARA? Oh, hell, no, BFF. This means war. Also, BFF answers me in a whisper and says, “I hate to meddle.” These are very uncharacteristic behaviors, BFF. I think maybe, once I solve this murder, we’ll get you deprogrammed, because it’s obvious you’ve been kidnapped by a cult.
Then I see a tin of salmon on the floor and I remember you’re supposed to examine clues and I try but the computer tells me “that’s kind of hard to do without a magnifying glass” and I remember I’m supposed to find a magnifying glass. DAMN but there are a lot of things to remember in this game. Also, way to take a tone with me, GAME.
Erin is in the dining room “examining a silver serving set.” What? Why? That’s shady. Are you going to steal that, Erin? She says she was with Mandy all night (YES! They totally corroborated each other’s stories. THEY ARE NOT THE KILLERS. That’s good, because Erin would never kill Cara. They are totally in a BFF-romance) and then she says she “despised Cara” which is a total lie. Why you frontin’, Erin? Is it because you’re sad? It’s ok. You can cry. It’s not a sign of weakness.
Then I find Jenn and Jenn is examining a calorie chart on the wall of the kitchen (what a shitty thing to decorate your kitchen with) and Jenn nonchalantly throws out there that she spent the evening with Erin. OH SHIT OH SNAP JENN IS THE KILLER YOU GUYSSSSS
Jenn also says “I would so enjoy being accused of murder!” WHO SAYS THAT.
I still haven’t found the magnifying glass. This is bad. This is so bad. Bloodthirsty Jenn’s about to kill me, I just know it.
I went into another room and OH SHIT Jenn’s in there and SHE LOCKS THE DOOR AND BASHES MY HEAD IN WITH AN OBSIDIAN EGG. Eff. I’m sorry, Cara. I couldn’t avenge you. I’m the worst.
So of COURSE I had to play again. Because I can’t be defeated by a game that I used to win when I was thirteen since I’m totally a grownup now.
This time I was PREPARED. Find the magnifying glass; find the room that the murder happened in (the interwebs said that you know which room that is because various people stare at the floor in that room so it can’t be that hard), find the murder weapon, and find the killer. BAM. I can DO THIS.
Some new people, though. I feel really bad about that last group. And BFF totally betrayed me.
Susan has been MURDERED! Aw, Susan. I am sad because I adore you. Although, you did steal BFF the last time around. I’m not saying you DESERVED all the murdering; I’m just saying, HANDS OFF MY BFF.
First, we find Ken playing a sonata! Well! This is promising. Ken is totally musical. Although I don’t know if he plays the piano. Or sonatas. KEN. Is this behavior you might participate in? Ken says he spent the evening with Andreas (that seems valid, Andreas and Ken would be awesome BFFs), but would totally enjoy being a suspect. Shit. That’s what the killer said last time. I hope Ken’s not the killer. I totally like Ken, and he doesn’t seem at all murdery.
Then Lisa is reading the paper in the living room. I hope you are finding all the current events, Lisa! She says she was with Andreas. OH SHIT. It’s either Lisa or Ken, you guys. I feel really bad. Because I’m totally the one who introduced Susan to Ken and Lisa. I am the reason she is dead. This is HORRIBLE. Lisa accuses Jim of murder, and says, “Now, why don’t you let me be?” Well! That’s rude. My investigator icon doesn’t like to be spoken to that way.
DUDE I TOTALLY FOUND THE MAGNIFYING GLASS. This rocks.
Jim is sleeping in the guest room. In the middle of the day? Jim. WAKE UP, dammit. Someone was just murdered. I think you’re shady right now. He says he was with Amy’s Dunderheaded Coworker. (I had to put that guy in there because I wanted him to get murdered but he wasn’t murdered and that was the worst. And then Jim had to spend the evening with him. Sorry, Jim. He wears too much cologne and would call you “big guy” all night and punch your shoulder a lot. SORRY, SO SORRY.) Then Jim falls back to sleep. Um. Jim. I think you might be narcoleptic.
Then I find Andreas. Guess who he was with all night? KEN. Oh, damn. Lisa killed Susan. LISA. This is awful. I hope they let you blog from prison because I totally found the murder weapon and you are GOING DOWN. But also I would miss your blogging. Oh, shit, and your tweeting. Please get a prison that allows these things. Thanks in advance.
Oh, also, Andreas calls Jim a “sniveling sycophant.” Aw, listen, I don’t think I’d go that far at all. I just think he’s sleepy.
I find Amy “admiring the craftmanship of a wooden dresser.” Yeah. That sounds like something I’d do. I say I was alone all night. SO SO ALONE.
Then I find Ken in a room staring at the floor so I know it’s the room that the murder went down in. So I ran out, grabbed the murder weapon (a bottle of vitamins FORTIFIED WITH IRON, I know, those are totally murdery) and RUN BACK TO THAT ROOM. Then I type in “accuse” and the computer’s all “you haven’t even gathered the suspects yet!” GAH. So I type in “gather suspects” and in the time it took me to do that I apparently totally forgot that Lisa was the killer and typed in “accuse Ken” and then the computer was all “that’s slipshod detective work, because Lisa’s the killer.” ZOMG I am the worst at this children’s game.
ONE MORE TIME DAMMIT.
THIS TIME. I’m totally exhausted so I recycled some of the names. Andreas is killed. OH SHIT ANDREAS. Who will answer my science questions now, and be generally awesome? No one.
Randomly, the computer set up the game area differently, with different rooms. THIS IS DISCONCERTING. I was just learning the OLD setup. Sheesh.
The Hot Guy from the Dunkin’ Donuts (he totally grinned at me last week, he gets to play) is taking a nap on the sofa. What’s up with this house? I think it has a CO2 leak. He spent the evening with Lisa. DAMMIT LISA. You stole my hot boyfriend from Dunkin’ Donuts. This is the worst. He falls back to sleep. I am not amused.
Mer was alone all night. Aw, Mer, that sucks. I hope you had a good book and some Ewan DVDs! She calls Andreas “a little manipulator.” I don’t think she even KNOWS Andreas. This is very unlike her. Mer would never do that. Again, I’m blaming that CO2 leak.
Ken spent the evening with The Nephew. OK, Amy didn’t get to spend the evening with either The Nephew OR The Hot Guy from Dunkin’ Donuts? It’s my game, how come I don’t get to spend it with my choice of people? I’m going to pout. However, if someone had to spend the evening with The Nephew, I’m glad it’s Ken. He’s very cultured and would take good care of him. UNTIL KEN ACCUSES AMY. Now he and I are in a feud.
I find Amy! (And my magnifying glass. And the murder weapon, which is an effing TUBA. Ouch. Sorry, Andreas. But you didn’t see that coming? Tubas are HUGE. How did someone sneak up on you with that bad boy? Come ON, Andreas. Be more aware of your surroundings.) Amy says she spent the evening with Lisa. Oh, ok, that’s pretty awesome. I hope we were riding mechanical bulls and drinking. That’s ok, then. Then Amy accuses The Nephew. LISTEN GAME. The Nephew is a TODDLER. He can’t kill anyone. He’s not the Bad Seed. He’s two and a damn HALF. Also, he’s PERFECT. ALSO, Amy would NEVER accuse The Nephew. It’s like you don’t know me at ALL.
The Nephew, who can speak quite well for a two and a half year old (I’m so proud) was with Ken all night. OK, good. I’m glad he’s not the killer. How would be even lift a tuba?
Wait a minute. The killer is either Amy or The Hot Guy from Dunkin’ Donuts. Well, I KNEW I shouldn’t have invited over some BARISTA. This is awful. I’m so sorry I got you killed with a tuba because I wanted to have slightly kinky sex with a stranger who smelled of vanilla and arabica beans, Andreas.
I FINALLY find Lisa, after the computer starts flashing “the killer is NOW STALKING YOU” at the bottom. Lisa says she spent the night with The Hot Guy From Dunkin’ Donuts and accuses Amy. You’re just saying that because you stole my barista, Lisa. You’re dead to me right now.
Oh. Wait. Shit. The killer is totally Amy right now.
I AM THE KILLER.
So Inspector Icon Smileyface RACES TO THE MUSIC ROOM and GRABS THE TUBA and RACES TO THE KITCHEN and GATHERS THE SUSPECTS and ACCUSES AMY and…yeah, I totally killed Andreas, but it doesn’t say why.
I AM SO SORRY ANDREAS. If it helps, I plan on pleading temporary insanity. Mostly because I have no idea why I would have killed you with something as unwieldy as a damn tuba. That seems unlike me.
SO! This game gets a thumbs up from me, because it entertained me for like an hour, and also countless hours of my misbegotten childhood. And also:
A thumbs-up from this polydactyl cat named Jimmy I found on the internet. Because Dumbcat is a polydactyl and I like to give his kind some love.
OK, so what have we learned today? That Jenn, Lisa and I are all totally murdery; that Inspector Icon Smileyface is really 1/3 for catching killers; and that I’m really not very good at children’s games.
SUCCESSFUL EVENING? I think YES.