Our examiner, Angela Hickman Newnham, first checked The Magister 19 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 19 months ago.
Play consists of exploring the area to examine clues and interview people. To solve the case you need to find someone with a motive, means, and opportunity to have committed the crime. You can keep track of the web of information on your visual investigation board and your journal.
Obtaining the information you need often requires “tactical diplomacy” encounters, which are battles where you play cards to gain empathy and convince the other person to cooperate before they get fed up and refuse to negotiate further. When diplomacy doesn't work (or isn’t an option) "combat battles" are fought with a different set of cards.
There's also a real-time element to play, so that time passes as you move around and some people or places are only available at certain times of the day (or night). This is accentuated by the many distractions on your quest that can eat up time. Other murders to puzzle out, cults to investigate, people to please, locks to pick. Everywhere you turn there is someone or something interesting to investigate or spend your money on. However you only have 14 days to solve the murder of the Magister, so managing your time, money, and relationships is one of the fun challenges of the game.
The result is a unique point-and-click style adventure with unusual card-battle-and-diplomacy interactions. There's a real tensions because of the limited time and the difficulty of getting the information you need from the people you meet. With a new procedurally generated story each time you start again, no two murder mysteries are the same.
In the US, ESRB state: Suggestive themes.
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