The Fencer

A short "Murder Mystery" in interactive fiction form.

The Fencer

Oh no! A terrible murder was commited during a fencing match! To the police and the audience it's obvious what happened. But is that actually what happened?
Can you find the culprit? What was the motive? How was it done? Play the game and try to find out.
This game was created for the sixth Alakajam Game Jam, which has Duel as theme. After you've played the game, please rate it here.

Bug fixes:

  • June 5, 2019: "continue to next part" and "investigage/question some more" choices are now sticky, so they remain available for backtracking.
  • June 6, 2019: "your uncle" is incorrect (and leads to some very strange conclusions). Fixed to point to the correct person.

Used tools:

  • Inky and the Ink language by Inkle
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Logoist 3

Contact the author / / Twitter: @maarten_engels

Licensed assets:

This game uses the Abhaya Libre font. Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Abhaya Libre Project Authors ( License:

Voting results


This game entered in the Solo competition (9 entries).

Comments (10)

 • 4 years ago • 

Text adventure games are not my type, this on the otherhand… The presentation is very clean, the writing is easy to read and makes you feel like a detective, I thought I was Lewis or Morse for a second, talking to everybody was fun and when I found people talking in that one room (not gonna spoil 'everything') I could feel my hearthbeat in my troath, a text game never made me feel this way, i'm speechless, just some sound (ambient noise or these little audio clips you can play) would make it even better, it's a shame not many people like this or even give this a go, I encoutered one bug, didn't know how it triggered but after investigating the rooms I got the message "Go to the rooms" or something but that already happened, the wrong part was triggered, I couldn't go any further so I had to restart the game wich led me to a bad ending

 • 4 years ago • 

I didn't expect a murder mystery with this theme but I was pleasantly surprised.

The story is interesting and it was fun piecing together the clues. If I must nitpick {SPOILERS :P} I was a tad salty that the investigating was in the end quite pointless since the cops already found out everything, and Jessica seems pretty chill about unwillingly murdering her brother at the end :P {/ SPOILERS}.

Some music could have been a cool addition, mute text based game make me feel a bit lonely after a short while.

Overall this was an enjoyable experience ! Good job !

  • 4 years ago • 

@lemur, glad you liked it, but too bad about the bug you found. The only reference to "rooms" I can find in my code is this line:

+ [End questioning] "I'm done questioning", you think to yourself.
    The police detective walks in and beacons the police officer to come with him to the other rooms. Perhaps now's a good time to have a look around?
    -> continue

I think this one might need a cancel option as well, something like "I'm not done questioning!". I will add it as a bug fix.

@ashtrail thank you for your feedback. This was a 5 hour game, unfortunately no time for music (would have been the first on the list to add if I had more time during the weekend). For now, you can just imagine a Midsomer Murders expy as soundtrack.

 • 4 years ago • 

Wow, that's a lot of content for a mere 5 hours! Although there were too few characters to make it really deep, and it could have used some more text near at the start to anchor the story in a particular time and place. But despite those minor points, it's a solid murder mystery!

Also one minor issue that bothered me:

From around the hall, you see your uncle Leo leave the guest room.

If he's really my uncle as well as my ex's, then relationships here are not quite as simple as I thought…

  • 4 years ago • edited • 

@thomastc you are very VERY right. Let me fix that as a bug. :D

EDIT: bug fixed!

 • 4 years ago • 

An interactive murder mystery short story with an old-school, upper-class setting. The theme is in the premise, but at least this is a rather unique take on it.

Quite intrigued by the dialog options, as you can pick only one per person, but let down by the exploration section as you can search through every room. It would have been more tense, if there was only enough time to go to a set amount of rooms and not all of them.

Once again, I'm miffed by being one and the same with the protagonist and a part of the story, as in:

"Wow," you think, "my ex was …"

Yet, I always complain about this so I'll let it slide.

Found many typos, most of these would have been caught by a spellchecker:

devided -> divided
envelop -> envelope
was a little clay -> was made of clay | was a little clay piece
eligeable -> eligible
there helmets -> their helmets
evicende -> evidence
you relationship -> your relationship

Additionally there are two extra linefeeds after "securing the will" and another case of whose relatives? at "You hug your aunt and uncle". I guess typos and such are graphical issues in the case of text based media?

An ok job in all, for 5 hours especially. The text issues are quite distracting.

Overall: Above Average (6.0)
Graphics: Bad (3.0)
Gameplay: Above Average (6.0)
Originality: Great (8.0)
Theme: Above Average (6.0)

  • 4 years ago • 

@huvaakoodia thank you for your extensive feedback. I agree that typos are graphical issues in the case of text based media.
You raise an interesting point between allowing only one dialog option when interviewing a person, but still being able to search through every room. I actually considered a timer (i.e. search max of three rooms or so), like you have at the start of the game (you only get to choose 2 out of 3 options before act 1 starts). In the end I decided not to, because it might feel unfair if you chose the wrong rooms. More sophisticated writing would probably solve that dilemma, but hey, 5hrs!

 • 4 years ago • 

Hey, a fellow text-based adventure game maker!

Nice story! It was easy to understand and get in to, yet interesting to gradually uncover. I enjoyed piecing the truth together.

Perhaps a little hard to believe that you can so freely move around after a murder scene, but hey! details!

I didn't replay to see if there's a bad ending, but I assume you can lose if you don't find the motive/evidence/killer. Cool stuff! If you did this in 5h, that's very impressive!

oh and I liked the way the whole thing was on one page, and how the text gradually is added when you click on an option!

  • 4 years ago • 

@dollarone thank you for your feedback. Inky exports a nice web project that provides all the "add text and scroll" functionality.

 • 4 years ago • 

I liked this little mystery! It had good ideas and was interesting to read from start to end. After winning the game I replayed it a bit to explore the other endings, and the 25% coupon made me laugh.

My only remark would be that it wasn't very clear to me where or when the story took place. I was unsure but thought the action was taking place at a fencing competition (given the audience and the judge), but then things started to look more like a mansion. The story blends contemporary elements and references to duels, nobility etc. which is interesting and blends well with the classic murder mystery vibe, but it left me with a hard time picturing the scenes.

I didn't know about ink, you got me curious about the tech which seems like an interesting alternative to Twine.

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