Critical Play: Mysteries — Blake Sharp

I chose to analyze Sour Grapes of Wrath. I organized this game a few weeks ago with my friends. I took the 70 page document and changed each of the names to my friends and changed a few details (the town, jobs the person had etc). The game was created by Micheal Akers in 2007 and is offered for free online. You can print out the PDF and give each person participating their part of the script. As the game host, you are narrating and moving the game along in case someone missed something. The target audience is people who know each other and probably 16+. The age range is partly due to the cost and partly due to the fact the game is relatively intricate.

The formal elements is that everyone is playing against each other and the game. The objective is to figure out who killed Elizabeth Killingsworth at a dinner party. The outcome is that the players guess at the end of the game who actually killed her.

The types of fun are narrative, fellowship, and challenge. The narrative facet comes from the evolution of the plotline. The fellowship comes from working with each other to get all the information to figure out who killed Elizabeth. The challenge fun comes from the fact you are trying to piece together components and figure out the plot line.

The biggest moment of success is that the game is incredibly complex and engaging. When people were bought in, the game was really fun. The plotline is funny and great when all the plotlines come together. The failure came from the fact that everyone is guessing for who killed Elizabeth and the person who killed her doesn’t even realize that they killed her. It is kinda fun, but a little awkward. When we played, the person voted for herself. So she was happy she got it right, but kinda bummed that she was the one who committed the murder. I don’t know what I would suggest to change it though. I wish he would make more settings and storylines. However, the game is so involved and difficult to make, so I do understand why he hasn’t written a new narrative.

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