Ten Little Indians

Moby ID: 29414

Description official description

Number 10 in the Mysterious Adventures series of interactive fiction is inspired by the Agatha Christie book "And Then There were None". The player's aim is to find the gold statue, formed by Major Johnstone-Smythe from most of his assets shortly before his death. The Major also made 10 worthless copies in various colours, and hid them in and around his mansion. Only the 10 'little indian' figurines, assembled together, would reveal the location of the final golden one. These figurines are hidden behind and under ordinary household objects, and in various hiding places. The game begins in a train carriage and the player's first task is to prevent the train from crashing, which must be achieved in a limited number of moves. Once this has been achieved the train arrives at Lower Massington station and the player must then find their way to the Major's mansion in Upper Massington.

Around this time, Scott Adams' game engine was redone to allow complete sentences instead of the more primitive 2-word input that had been used previously. Brian Howarth gained the chance to use this in the Mysterious Adventures games, although early versions of the game may have still used the cruder parser.

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 1 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 1 reviews)

The tenth Mysterious Adventure is as exciting as the ones before it

The Good
Ten Little Indians is the tenth game in the ”Mysterious Adventure” series (coincidence, much?) designed by Brian Howarth and Wherner Barnes. It is said that the late Major Johnstone-Smythe has hidden a mysterious gold figurine inside his mansion. Its whereabouts are only revealed by finding other figurines that are of different colors. Some of them are easy enough to find, while others are rather difficult. Locations you will explore include the railway station, riverside wharf, and the mansion itself, as well as its surroundings.

The game is presented in much the same way as every Mysterious Adventure, with the game split between text or graphics and command input. The illustrations look fantastic, and I enjoyed watching the game draw and color in each scene; it bears a striking resemblance to the 1984 version of King’s Quest. If you don’t want to see them, you can press [Return] to be presented with more detailed information including a one-sentence description of the scene, the objects in that scene, and the available exits. This is ideal for moving between a lot of scenes quickly without seeing the game redraw the graphics.

Commands are usually in the verb-noun format, but directions and the inventory can be shortened to one letter (e.g. E for east, I for inventory). What I like about this parser is that if you happen to make a typo, the game will know what you mean and accept your command. This happens in other Mysterious Adventures that I have completed, not just this one. A maximum of five items can be stored in your inventory, and at some point you will have to drop some items to make way for any that you need right away, then come back for the dropped items later.

Like many adventure games, it is important to track where you have been and the objects in a particular location. The game world is huge, and it is quite easy to go around in circles without a map of some sort. It is also possible to die in the game, from certain situations like waiting too long on the railroad tracks until a train runs you over and spending too much time underwater. In which case, an illustration appears with a black background and a gravestone in the middle.

The Bad
When you switch to text-only mode then change back to graphic mode, the illustrations re-draw themselves. This can be frustrating especially if you have to move between a whole lot of scenes.

The Bottom Line
Ten Little Indians is game number ten in the "Mysterious Adventures" series, presented in the same way with a split between text/graphics and command input. Two-word commands need to be entered, but certain abbreviations can be entered as well. I enjoyed this game since you do not have to deal with obstacles as much and can explore your surroundings as long as you like.

Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2022

Trivia

References

There is actually no connection with the Agatha Christie novel now known as "And Then There Were None", apart from the fact that the novel has been published with the title "Ten Little Indians".

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by mocagh.

Commodore 16, Plus/4, Dragon 32/64, BBC Micro, Electron added by Rola. Oric added by S Olafsson. DOS, TRS-80 added by hoeksmas. ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit added by Martin Smith. Browser added by Pseudo_Intellectual.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold, Jonathan O.

Game added August 6, 2007. Last modified February 21, 2024.