Sleuth


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How to play: 

As you begin a game of SLEUTH a murder has just been committed.
Your job is to mingle with the house guests and to search the
contents of the house until you feel you have solved the crime.
Every game of SLEUTH is different so you must fully explore the
house each time that you play.

You can move through the house by using the four cursor keys
(udrl) located on the numeric keypad. Be particularly careful
when moving on the stairways since you must change direction
each time you move from one floor to another.

You can search rooms, people and objects by using simple
phrases such as EXAMINE DOOR, SEARCH VICTORIA, or LOOK AT JAR.
When you want to SEARCH or ACCUSE a person you only need to
type in their first name. To get more information from the
guests you may QUESTION them, or ask for their ALIBIs. The
characters tend to be rather moody and will not always answer
your questions the first time around. They are also rather
restless and will be moving around the house during the game.
*****
The murder weapon will be obvious as soon as you EXAMINE the
correct object. (Though you will need to find the magnifying
glass before you can really conduct an adequate search of the
various objects.) You probably should not GET the weapon at
first since the murderer is likely to become nervous if you are
carrying the evidence around with you. If you accidentally
pick up the object at too early a point in the game, you can
DROP the weapon. But be forewarned! Once dropped there's no
telling where the object might end up!

Finding the scene of the murder tends to be somewhat difficult
since it is rarely possible to examine every inch of the house
with your magnifying glass. Fortunately for you, one of the
keen-eyed guests will probably notice something amiss at some
point during the game. To discover the murder room you must pay
close attention to the behavior of the guests!

The murderer will be the one person whose ALIBI contradicts the
alibis given by the other house guests. Be sure to keep track
of everyone's story!
*****
Once you have discovered both the murderer and the murder room
you should hurry back to GET the murder weapon, and then
move as quickly as possible to the murder room, GATHER the
suspects together, and ACCUSE whoever you believe to be the
guilty party. But be careful! The murderer is a very
suspicious sort and may decide to get rid of you before you
have a chance to make any accusations!

Most of the strategy involved in playing SLEUTH you will have
to learn by playing the game. Since the game changes every
time that you play you should be sure to fully explore the
house. Don't forget to explore the room which has no obvious
entrances since the murderer often discards the murder weapon
here. Also, the murder is occasionally committed in this room.
The occupants will be moving about the house throughout the
game. If you become confused at any time about who is actually
in the house, you can request a GUEST LIST.

As your investigation proceeds the murderer will begin to grow
suspicious and will most likely start plotting your demise.
If you have not figured out who the murderer is by this point
in the game, your chances of survival are slim. Be careful!
*****
To make things a little more interesting, you can populate the
house with people that you already know. Just select the
"Personalized" option at the beginning of the game and the
computer will prompt you for the names of seven people (six
suspects and one victim!).

SLEUTH uses a fairly limited vocabulary, so only one or two
words should be necessary to communicate your intentions. If
you like, you can abbreviate "QUESTION" as "Q" and "EXAMINE" as
"EX". If you are having difficulties, you can get a summary of
these instructions by typing HELP. You may also QUIT or RESTART
at any time during the game. To get a hard copy of these
instructions, just hit the `PrtSc' key as each page is shown to
you. When you exit from these instructions you should be all
set to enter the world of SLEUTH. Good Luck!

P.S. You cannot use the four cursor keys (udrl) while you are
typing in other information. To clear the message line on the
bottom of the screen simply use the backspace key or the "Esc"
key.

Description: 
Sleuth is a text-based "whodunit" computer-game created by Eric N. Miller of Norland Software. It was first released in 1983. When the game starts, a murder has just been committed. The object of the game is to solve the murder mystery by examining the house and talking to its occupants. Being a text-based game, the graphics are rather simple and consist of ASCII characters. The user can move the character using the arrow keys, and interact with persons and objects by issuing commands (from a fairly limited vocabulary list) at the game's prompt (similar to Sierra's "Quest" games). To win the game, the player must accurately identify the murder weapon, murder location, and the murderer. The player can do this by examining different objects in the game, talking to the occupants and observing their behavior. The murderer is the one whose alibi contradicts everyone else's. The game is made challenging by the fact that the player has to keep track of everyone's stories and also can only question people once or twice before the murderer becomes suspicious. If the player takes too long to solve the mystery, the murderer will eventually kill the player's character and the game ends. The game has two modes: a "Basic" mode and a "Personalized" mode. The only difference between the two modes is in the naming of in-game characters. In "Basic" mode, the game randomly generates the name of the characters, whereas in "Personalized" mode, the player can supply the names of the characters. Although the game is simple, no two murder scenarios are exactly alike as the game randomizes attributes of the game like the victim, murder scene, murder weapon, and murderer.
Cheats/Hints/Walkthroughs: 

No posted cheats for this game yet.

Platform: 
DOS
Game year: 
1983

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