An online and app game. Figure out the suspect, location, and weapon, all of which are historical and have Wiki pages.

UX and game design suggestions from Greg Marques

Many suggestions and much of the AI-generated content from Matt Corkum

Available as an .apk file to run directly on a laptop (easier to type guesses) if you have an emulator. This or a tablet or the MacOS versions are recommended best experience, and this is also always the latest version. There are many Android emulators available for PC, Mac, Linux. I find the easiest to use on a Mac and on PC is Genymotion. (Probably just us, but we have not been able to get the app to work with BlueStacks, but we have not tried other emulators.) Here is the .apk file to load into your Android emulator: (version 1.25)

The mobile versions sometimes lag by several weeks. Latest version in the app stores is 1.22 (that is the same as 1.25). This is a full release.

Currently available for Android: (version 1.22)

Currently available for iPhone/iPad and MacOS: (version 1.22)

This is also available for Windows 10 (or newer): (version 1.25) and as an approved Windows 10 app in the Windows Store:

Currently a working prototype for browser is here. This version is always the latest. The browser version takes a long time to download and sometimes an image will lock up the browser. But if it loads and starts, this is a good experience.

To learn how to play this game, go through the walkthrough to get the basics. You can always get back to the walkthrough with the help (?) button on each screen.

There is also a YouTube video on how to play the game:

The setting is a village with 12 (historic) museums around the town. Because it is a fantasy village, each museum can contain anything including buildings, palaces, towns, nature preserves, barrier reefs. There are 12 suspects (also witnesses) and 12 potential weapons spread out in the 12 locations. Play consists of moving around the square and asking witnesses questions. You can ask each witness:

  • Have you seen anything sharp or heavy with blood on it?
  • Did you see anyone running or acting suspiciously?
  • Did you kill anyone?

Each location has an image. These images were all (except a few) created by AI, and are decidedly not historically accurate. They are often beautiful, very generally historical (columns for Greek and Roman, stupas for Indian subcontinent, pagodas for China and Japan), but more fantasy than historical.

Descriptions of museum contents and witnesses are generally accurate. They are the basis for you to search the web to find the name of the location or person.

Suspect and weapon descriptions are ‘from an unreliable witness’ as given by ChatGPT or Anthropic (thanks to Matt Corkum for the idea and for getting many of the descriptions).

HINT: Some witnesses give answers about suspicious others that are made up, as witnesses do. Witnesses that actually saw the murderer (based on the murderer’s route) tell more-or-less the truth.

The goal of the developer is some side-effect learning a bit of history. To that end, the locations are selected by the developer and the game shows reasonably accurate Wikipedia or Bard or Anthropic descriptions of the historic locations.

Progress is made by identifying the specific location, suspect, and weapon of the murder and then tapping the correct accuse button.

Here is a screenshot of an evidence board in the game to keep track of information you have found:

The current version has:

  • Locations: 202
  • Suspects: 106
  • Weapons: 50

If you are a history teacher, and can give me a list of historic locations, I will make a special version just for your students. I will add descriptions and images for you, but you can optionally give me your own descriptions.
If you also specify historic people, I will include them in your version.
I don’t recommend that you specify objects, though that can be accommodated.
Students will not need a special version of the game to use your content, I just need to put your list on my server (after I add descriptions and images) and anyone can play the game with your list as a topic.