Murder! is a game designed by Creative Materials and published by US Gold in 1990 for the Amiga. The isometric adventure title was also ported for the Atari ST and MS-DOS.
This is not the only title where Creative Materials explores the theme of crime. But it stands on the other side of the threshold in The Godfather (1991), where the player is part of the criminal world. On the other hand, the game was written and designed by the renowned Grant Harrison and Jason Kinglsey. Kinglsey is well known now since he is the founder of Rebellion!
The title presents a fairly simple plot. A murder has occurred, and all the suspects are at the scene of the crime. Thus, the player embodies the role of the investigator and has two hours to find out who was guilty of the act and arrest him. For this, he has several tools at his disposal. Despite this, the main weapon of the protagonist is his own power of deduction, having to interrogate all the suspects in the room. They all have their own lives, and the story quickly unfolds into secondary plots of conflict between these characters. Besides, while the investigator writes down any interesting dialogue in his notes, he also takes fingerprints all over the crime scene. Setting a trap to collect the killer's fingerprints is necessary to solve the mystery and arrest the guilty.
What is really interesting in this title is the random element: every case is different because it's generated randomly, so you can play several times and every time it will be different, just like Cluedo!
Each painting with the suspects' faces is beautifully drawn in a pixel art style characteristic of the time. Even though there are very dominant colors such as orange or red to a lesser extent, surprisingly, none of these play a significant role in the scene. The mainframes where the investigation takes place are black and white with low saturation. This, intentional or not, is very reminiscent of detective films where this artistic decision is made, which gives them an aura of mystery.
Despite the excellent reception of the critics, the company did not explore this concept again. Despite this, it left us with a great title of mystery and wit, which, if you are a fan of the genre, you can download and enjoy right now.