Well I'm back from my magical mystical world tour - tanned, hungover and not entirely sure of where I've been. Sure I can look at my album of embarassing pictures to fill in the alcohol-induced holes in my memory, but after playing this week's game I'm not sure I could tackle this. Relying on pictures, I'd have to piece together a timeline from static flashbacks. Like Memento but with more coconuts and rum. If this week's game has taught me anything, it's that I'm not very good at this.
Youdunnit is a murder-mystery game where you are the murderer. The game is set on some kind of steampunk spaceship where the captain has been murdered. You play while an investigator goes over the evidence. You take control during flashbacks, recreating the scenes where the various pieces of evidence were left by the murderer. You go gradually further back in time with each flashback until the flashback is set just seconds after the murder.
The struggle for you as the player to not break causality. This means that as the investigator goes back through the story, everything has to make sense. If you replay a flashback and you don't have an alibi at the end of the flashback, or the murder weapon is found in someone's room who has an alibi, the investigator will get suspicious. That ends badly for you. So you need to recreate a nice, neat little package for the investigator—one that not only makes sense but also frames one of the other crew members. If not, you end up floating outside the airlock.
The writing itself is a pretty fun mix of the absurd with a steampunk Victorian style. The game was written and coded in 48 hours as part of a Global Game Jam, so it's fairly rough around the edges. It's also insanely hard. It will take several playthroughs to get the hang of the mechanics. How long will it take to win? I'll let you know when I get there.
Why You Should Check This Out: Youdunnit is a challenging, unique puzzle game where you're piecing together the evidence of a murder after the crime has been committed, in reverse order during flashbacks and playing as the murderer trying to frame another crew member. This game is mind-bending in all the good ways and has just enough of a sense of humor about itself to keep it fun througout. If you want to give your brain a good workout, this is a game worth checking out.