You are invited to spend some time on Niklos Karaboudjan's boat. Quickly after arriving, Karaboudjan, a very wealthy person, is murdered! A coincidence, probably not! So in a rue Agatha Christie style, you need to gather as much evidence as possible and question other passengers and staff of the ship, piecing together the events and deciding who could have possibly committed this terrible crime. People dropping dead all over the place while you have to be at the right place at the right time to watch things happen and to question the passengers, before they are killed. By using a simple point-n-click system, you need to interact with your environment, establishing links with the evidence you find in many of the different areas of the ship. Much like the most of the point-n-click types of adventures, each object found can be highlighted and will activate a list of possible actions, for example, you find a cupboard and can either search, examine or open a drawer. The ship is quite big, so you need to travel around the many rooms by using the map or by guiding Raoul to go in the direction you wish. There several animated - story sequences that add to the plot and give clues on what to do next too.
Different events happen through the game too. Some rooms may be inaccessible earlier in the game but later can be accessed and interesting clues can be picked up. There is a list of topics of conversations displayed relating to the character which allows you to question the suspects on information you've gathered previously. According to the answer, new topics of conversation may be added to the initial list too.
An unnecessary 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 different ways, so the story is not linear (as in most of the adventure games back then, except the all mighty Monkey Island series and s few others)
Overall Cruise For A Corpse is one of the best adventure games released for the home-computers, and although there were other of the like back then, still looked and played great! For me, it was the first adventure ever played, and gained my interest pretty much.
The game offers some great graphics and some of the finest by Delphine Software using their unique and incredibly powerful adventure interface called Cinematique that offers nicely detailed bitmapped backdrops along with vector animated characters (remember Another World and Flashback?). The Atari ST version offers beautiful 16-color screens and smooth enough vectored-character animation. The action though is slower when compared to the PC version, and also a little bit slower when compared to the Amiga version. Visuals, although using 16 colors on screen, look great and comparable to the more colorful Amiga and PC part. In the overall graphics, there have been some nice touches of humor and the animation of the characters work well especially when you get the chance to question them.
Sound is quite good offering a nice introductory tune as well as several in-game short tunes that accompany some of the screens or actions. The SFX are ok too, but not sampled as found only in the Amiga version.