Murdered by Midnight is a straightforward murder mystery game - which, ironically, isn't a trait you'd want a murder mystery to have. Cases are aplenty, but they're mainly just rearranging facts randomly to yield a different result. What exactly do I mean?
In Murdered by Midnight, you take your pick from a host of colourful characters (with stunning artwork) and play detective inside a fab 1920s Art Deco mansion. Complete with the excess of rooms and the fancy character names, the game immerses you into the story right from the very beginning, along with an appropriate background score that's easy on the ear. There's a read-aloud function you can toggle on and off, by the way, which is a nice accessibility touch.
To help you reach the right conclusion, you can move through different Rooms (or cards) to ask around and look for clues. A Room you step into may be empty, or in some instances, you might chance upon a housemate or two inside.
You can tap on "Witnessed" to figure out the Time of Death, or tap on "Suspicions" to confirm the "Motive". Everyone will, of course, say a bunch of stuff to protect their own interests and to confuse you, but here's the thing - you only need to find the murder weapon and you're golden.
While the visuals and the music of Murdered by Midnight are top-notch, the content ultimately lacks flavour. I do appreciate how there can be tons and tons and tons of combinations that make for great replayability, but there's really no need to put on your thinking cap here to solve any actual mystery. The murder case itself is created by a random generator, which only goes to show how just combining all those four elements in different ways creates such a simplified murder case.
As for the multiplayer element, you can play with others via the Game Center on iOS. This does create a slightly different experience than playing all by your lonesome, as I felt pretty pressured whenever my opponent would move into rooms and ask around. I'd get a sense of FOMO each time my opponent asked a witness for clues, which really makes me want to know what they found out and if they're any closer to solving the case than I am.
Because there are so many rooms and even more possible combinations, a game can take forever - or if you happen to find the murder weapon right next door, then a game can be over in ten minutes. This randomized element makes sure that no two playthroughs are the same, but the repetitive nature of the gameplay is, sadly, just not for me. Auntie Agatha is a hoot though - her commentaries are entertaining, at least.