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Cruise for a Corpse

MobyRank MobyScore
Amiga
85
4.1
Atari ST
...
4.2
DOS
69
3.4
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Description

Cruise for a Corpse is a graphic adventure game with a point-and-click interface.

1927. When Inspector Raoul Dusentier is invited to a cruise upon a mighty sailing ship by the wealthy businessman Niklos Karaboudjan, he looks forward to nothing but a relaxing week on the sea. Instead, his host manages to get himself killed on the second day. Murdered, to be exact. Too convenient that a policeman is aboard -- Dusentier sets out to search for suspects. He doesn't need to search long. Why is it that none of the family members seem awfully sad about the demise of the old man? Is the mysterious Father Fabiani really as pious as he says? In the best tradition of Agatha Christie, each and every person on board has a motive for the murder.

You advance in the plot not so much by solving common object-based puzzles, but by talking to the right persons about the right subjects at the right time, thus collecting clues. You will also find pieces of evidence scattered throughout the ship. However, most items suddenly appear in cupboards and drawers that were previously empty -- an awfully unnerving process. The clock advances in ten-minute-steps whenever you discover an interesting clue, which conveniently informs you of your progress. The protagonists move around the ship; so whenever time passes, different persons to talk to might appear at certain locations.

With Cruise for a corpse, Delphines Cinematique interface reached "Evolution 2". Instead of containing a fixed number of verbs, the command menu is now context-sensitive. The mouse cursor will change its appearance when moved over an interesting object; a left-click brings up a set of appropriate verbs. For example, a cupboard may be opened and searched, whereas a key can be picked up and turned. A right-click accesses the inventory. Another interesting improvement: All the persons in the game are animated polygons (see Trivia).

Screenshots

Cruise for a Corpse Amiga Exploring the ship.
Cruise for a Corpse DOS Intro: ...fate decided to knock on my door... (How rude to knock on my door this early in the morning!)
Cruise for a Corpse DOS What's under the kitchen? Behold!
Cruise for a Corpse Amiga Title screen

Alternate Titles

  • "Croisiere pour un Cadavre" -- French Title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Interwar mystery game, complete with its annoyances DOS Boston Low (92)
The butler did it! DOS Zovni (9367)
Wonderfully constructed adventure game with immaculate presentation Amiga Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker (419)

The Press Says

Datormagazin Amiga Oct 10, 1991 96 out of 100 96
Amiga Action Amiga Oct, 1991 93 out of 100 93
Amiga Format Amiga Oct, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Amiga Joker Amiga Sep, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft DOS 1993 89 out of 100 89
The DOS Spirit DOS Mar 17, 2008 5 out of 6 83
Adventurearchiv DOS Aug 08, 2003 65 out of 100 65
Power Play DOS Aug, 1992 64 out of 100 64
Power Play Amiga Nov, 1991 63 out of 100 63
Adventure Gamers DOS Jan 13, 2005 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Cruise for a Corpse appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Polygon

Cruise for a Corpse is notable for a technical feature: Most animated objects in the game, from door to persons, are filled vectors rather than bitmaps. This allows for animations which are not only fluent, but consume only a fraction of the disk space that sprites would require. Also, the figures are scalable without loss of detail, although the rather crude vector models used in Cruise for a Corpse are not too spectacular in close-ups.

The Delphine team demonstrated its mastery of the polygon technology impressively -- unfortunately not so much in the game itself than in the ending sequence. It consists of roughly a dozend second-long full-screen animations consisting entirely of vectors. This was an astounding display at the time.

By 1992, Delphine had already successfully used the vector technology in two games (Cruise for a Corpse and Another World). However, it was another game that made it truly popular in that year: Alone in the Dark. Incidentally, this highly successful action-adventure was developed by Infogrames -- another French company.

References

There are a couple of references to Operation: Stealth, one of Delphine's earlier games: At one point you discover the name 'Ostrovitch' (Ostrovitch and Karpov were two Soviet agents from that game). Also, if you examine a waste basket in the toilet, the game will tell you that there is 'no razor' this time (referring to a certain puzzle in that game).

At the epilogue of the game, one character is described 'rich as Donald Trump'. However since the game is set in 1927, it is an historical error: Trump would not be born until 20 years later!

The game includes a few elements which can be understood as references to classical French language comics. For example, the victim's name 'Karaboudjan' is the name of a ship in the Tintin comic-strip album The Crab with the Golden Claws by Hergé. At a point of the game, you discover a tin can of crab meat, as a cover for a smuggling operation, exactly as in the comic book. Finally, a puzzle includes the name "Incal", which is possibly a reference to the title of the comic book by the same name by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius.

Awards

  • ST Format
    • January 1993 (issue #42) - #35 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list

Related Web Sites

  • Cruise for a Corpse (official website)
  • ScummVM (supports Cruise for a Corpse under Windows, Linux, Macintosh and other platforms.)
Contributed to by POMAH (32608), -Chris (7365) and Kabushi (120742)