The Case of the Golden Idol

/ San Francisco, California

If you’ve yet to play The Case of the Golden Idol then here’s another, louder reminder: go play it! It’s a fabulous detective game made up of a series of puzzles in which you have to figure out who is who, how they got murdered, and then why. You investigate murder weapons and fraudulent keys, you dive into the victim’s pockets to inspect charred lottery tickets and letters, you dig through desks and find secret compartments under people’s beds, all in the hope that a sliver of information will be revealed that cracks the case wide open.

As you try to solve each of these grizzly murders in a story that takes place over a few decades, you realize that it’s real hard to tell much about a person when you can’t hear them talk or see them move. You can only see their belongings in this game and you have to make associations and conclusions — conclusions that are often wrong! — and so the world is constantly moving about and changing as you investigate things.

I think it’s the best game like this I’ve played since Return of the Obra Dinn; it’s infuriatingly good.