If you always wanted to be in the shoes of Miss Marple, Inspector Poirot and the like, then Cruise For A Corpse is a great choice since it's one of the best murder-investigation adventure games ever created. The game was released for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and PC (MS-DOS) computers and received some of the best critics back then. The disk-swapping (5 disks) is rather frustrating though!
STORY / GAMEPLAY The story takes place somewhere in 1927 and you play the role of Police Inspector Raoul Dusentier, invited to spend some time aboard a luxurious boat owned by Niklas Karaboudjan, a very rich person. Upon your arrival, Niklas is found dead! A coincidence maybe? Or maybe not! And here's when the action begins since you are called to gather as much evidence as possible and question the other passengers and Niklas' employees, piecing the events together and deciding who could have possibly committed such a terrible crime. People are left for dead one by one while you have to be in the right place at the right time to investigate and question the passengers, before they are vanished for good. By using a simple point-and-click system you can interact with your environment(s), establishing links with the evidence you find in many of the different areas of the boat. Much like in most point-and-click adventures, each object found can be highlighted and will activate a list of possible actions. For example, finding a cupboard you can either search, examine or open its drawers. The boat is quite large so you need to walk a lot by using the map or by guiding Raoul in the direction you wish. There are also several animated story sequences that add to the plot and give clues on what to do next. Different events happen through the game as well. Some cabins may be inaccessible earlier in the game but later can be accessed granting you with interesting clues. There is a list of conversation topics displayed relating to the character that allow you to question the suspects based on information you gathered earlier. According to the answer, new conversation topics may be added to the initial list. An unnecessarily annoying feature here is that actual time progresses through the game, but it seems that it only moves on whenever you pick up another clue. The game can be completed in a variety of ways, so the story is not linear (as in most adventure games of the time, except of the almighty Monkey Island series and a few others)
Overall, Cruise For A Corpse is one of the best adventure games released for the home-computers of the past and although there were others of the like, it still looks and plays great!
GRAPHICS / SOUND This game is superb and some of Delphine Software's finest, using their great, cinematic, unique and incredibly powerful adventure interface. It offers detailed, bitmapped backdrops along with vector-style, animated characters (remember Another World and Flashback?). Overall, the game's graphics sport some nice touches of humor with nicely details indoors and outdoors and the characters' animation works well, especially when you get the chance to question them. The Amiga version runs a bit faster than the Atari ST but slower compared to the DOS version, which is rather obvious. All screens have up to 32 colors and the visuals here are comparable to the PC version (that runs on VGA only). In some screens (i.e. when walking at the boat's decks) the screens have the same amount of colors both in Amiga and PC versions (around 30) while he indoor screens are way more colorful on the PC version. Soundwise, Cruise For A Corpse is quite good with a nice intro music as well as several in-game tunes that accompany some of the screens or actions. There is also a variety of sampled effects that add a lot to the game's great atmosphere.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs