Murder on the Zinderneuf

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 18

Nov/Dec 85

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Electronic Arts/Ariolasoft
48k disk only 14.95
1 player



Fancy a game of Cluedo? This strategy game from Electronic Arts is more or less an enhanced version of the popular Waddington board game.

The plot reads exactly like an Agatha Christie 'whodunnit' and goes something like this: The year is 1936 and the luxury airship ZINDERNEUF is flying 5,000 ft above the Atlantic Ocean on a voyage from London to New York There were 16 passengers on board when the ZINDERNEUF left London but now one of them has been brutally murdered. You play the part of the detective who has the job of solving this hideous crime and you have just twelve hours (36 minutes of real time) in which to do so.

You begin by choosing your detective character from a list of eight. They are all based on famous fictional detectives but their names have been altered slightly to give them a comical appearance. Thus Inspector Cluseau becomes Inspector Klutzeau, Hercule Poirot becomes Achille Merlot, Miss Marples is Agatha Marbles and so on.

The screen display is a plan view of the passenger section of the ZINDERNEUF and you use the joystick to guide your detective round the many rooms and corridors of the airship, searching for clues and passengers to interrogate. You may question the passengers in a number of different ways and your approach is all important as it determines how the passengers will react. If they like your approach you may glean some worthwhile information from them but if they don't like it they may tell you to 'Take a hike' or 'Jump in the lake'! By carefully studying the clues and various pieces of verbal information you should be able to come to a logical conclusion as to the identity of the killer. You then present your 'final accusation' whereupon the murderer's true identity is revealed along with their reasons for committing the crime. If your accusation is correct you are then awarded a rank based on how well you solved the crime. If it is incorrect all you get is a torrent of abuse!

Once again the game packaging is first class and the instruction booklet is a riot. Reading it is almost as much fun as playing the game. If you are looking for a game that exercises the brain rather than the trigger finger why not take a trip aboard the ZINDERNEUF? It beats playing Cluedo anyday.