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Old 11-16-2012, 05:16 AM
Vovin Vovin is offline
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Default Mr. M's Code of Murder - The Byzantine Assassin (by qi ding)


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Old 11-16-2012, 08:31 AM
Vovin Vovin is offline
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Anyone knows this? I am wondering if this is like Scotland Yard or similiar games?
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:37 AM
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sizzlakalonji sizzlakalonji is offline
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I got this, but I won't have a chance to put it through its paces for a while. Once I do, I'll leave some impressions.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:03 AM
Appletini Appletini is offline
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I've been playing this a bit; it's probably my favourite new release of the week so far (the Bastion update doesn't really count).

TBA is based on a physical boardgame that was released in 2009, and the style of gameplay could be described as Clue/Cluedo meets Guess Who? It's similar - but not identical - in theme and gameplay to Scotland Yard, Noir: Killer vs Inspector, Mr Jack, and other such games.

Despite a few grammar and layout errors in the help screens caused as a result of the game's translation from the original Chinese, the game itself is otherwise very polished and a lot of fun. It's definitely not optimal on iPhone/iPod, though, and requires a bit of zooming in if you want to see the details (for some reason the ability to use pinch-to-zoom is an actual in-game option which is turned off by default, which is just weird).

There are twelve human characters (and a roving cat), each with a specific ability they can use each turn, and ten different methods of murder, each of which has different conditions for use and can only be used once per game. The game takes place with 4-6 players (one murderer, and between 3-5 investigators), each of whom use the same pieces, although the murderer gets dealt two character cards at the beginning of the game and secretly chooses which one they will be. Although both sides move the same pieces around the castle, the murders "activate" from the room that the murderer's chosen character is located within.

The overall idea is for the murderer to move a variety of characters and cleverly use murder methods so that it never becomes obvious as to who their character is; for example, if you play a female character, only kill off other female characters and then use the "Lovesick" murder to kill a character of the opposite sex (male), it makes it far more likely that you'll be caught because all the surviving male characters can no longer be suspects.

On the other hand, the investigators keep track and cross-reference movements and murders, and try to move pieces to places that will inconvenience the murderer and potentially shine a spotlight on their strategy; however, the investigators can only tell what type of murder was committed (and by extension, the required conditions to perform that murder) if they move a piece to the same room as a corpse, or use a specific character's ability to detect this. Thus, if somebody doesn't check out a body until a turn or two has passed, the players may not remember where everybody was standing when the murder occurred, which makes it more difficult to pin down who could have committed it.

The game allows pass-and-play multiplayer and single-player versus AI, but at the moment only the investigator AI is functional, with the murderer AI noted in-game as "coming soon". This means that for now you have to play as the murderer and try to outwit the investigators, but the computer plays fair and only eliminates potential suspects based on logic, the special abilities used by the characters, and your own actions. If there is more than one suspect left at the end of the game after all investigations have been exhausted, the AI will accuse one but won't magically know who your character was, which is always nice to see.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:09 AM
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sizzlakalonji sizzlakalonji is offline
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This is actually based off of a physical board game. From BGG:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/89610/mr-m-s
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:20 AM
Appletini Appletini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlakalonji View Post
This is actually based off of a physical board game.
Yeah, I noted that in my post, but didn't bother to add a link as there is literally no feedback or commentary for the game on BGG, nor any reviews. I don't think an English-language version of the physical game was ever even released.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:40 PM
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sizzlakalonji sizzlakalonji is offline
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So this seems pretty fun, but I've only played one game. I won, but it really came down to me and one other person being the only viable suspects after the first two turns. I just made sure that I kept that other person in the same room with me, and that brought it to a 50/50 choice at the end. I won, but it didn't really seem satisfying. That being said, this is extremely polished and looks like it has real potential. Perhaps I just had a unique experience in my first game, and this doesn't happen very often.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:51 PM
thevagrant thevagrant is offline
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Thank you guys for the impressions, I'll buy this right away.
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:53 PM
Bool Zero Bool Zero is offline
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Argh, I wish this would have came out earlier! It has me at board game! Also, the premise sounds really cool! Regrettably, I will have to pick this up later though! I really wish I would have known about this before Wednesday night though! I am usually pretty knowledgable on board games but honestly, I don't think I have heard of this one before, so now I want to check out the physical one as well!
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:42 PM
Appletini Appletini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlakalonji View Post
So this seems pretty fun, but I've only played one game. I won, but it really came down to me and one other person being the only viable suspects after the first two turns. I just made sure that I kept that other person in the same room with me, and that brought it to a 50/50 choice at the end. I won, but it didn't really seem satisfying.
The thing is that it's not really supposed to be a satisfying win under those circumstances, because winning in that situation was really just a matter of luck, not skill; you could have lost the game there just as easily. The real challenge is to have as many potential suspects as possible still up in the air by the end of the game, rather than just make random choices and hope the metaphorical coin comes up heads at the end.

Remember too that your opponents can easily stop you from keeping characters together by moving them away from each other if they see what you're trying to do (although the AI likely won't do this deliberately; try setting the investigators to five to provide a greater likelihood of you being hindered in this way), and if, for example, the Augur reveals your "companion" to be innocent, or the Cook locks a door you need to use, you're also pretty much screwed.

The real weakness of the AI here is that while it can cross-reference moves and conditions very well, and doesn't cheat, it also can't read intent into your moves, fall for bluffs or deduce that you're acting in a "suspicious" manner in the same way a player would, and won't deliberately move to counter you accordingly.

The in-game text for the murderer's choice of movement also appears to be incorrect, and confusing by extension: the rules state that you can choose to move two characters that haven't been moved yet this round, or one that has been, but the in-game text for the first choice states, "Select two characters that were moved this round," where it should be, "Select two characters that were not moved this round."

This movement scheme works to prevent the kind of strategy you were employing; if both of your pawns get moved in different directions, you can only move one of them on your next turn, meaning you likely won't be able to keep them together, and there's a chance that the next murder you're forced to commit will eliminate your decoy as a suspect because of your relative locations.
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