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One Show Only Impressions: The Game Is Afoot, Murder Most Foul

One Show Only

What would the greatest detective of all time would do, were his methods for interrogation and deduction limited to the randomness of a card game, I wonder? Probably lose his darn mind, and yet, that’s exactly how you’ll be interrogating witnesses to a crime – murder, it seems – at a circus. Time to find out whodunit, perhaps even who’s to blame for turning this into… One Show Only.

Between the clown, lion tamer, manager and everyone else who makes up the usual crew of a travelling(?) circus, there’s no easy way to tell who’s the guilty party – or parties? And I don’t just mean because of the seemingly random nature of the card game used to question suspects either, although that is a pretty big deal. In fact, that’s pretty much what you’ll be doing most of the time, bouncing back and forth between the lot after uncovering more details.

There’s no collecting of special ones that let you use Jedi Mind Trick™ or similar stunts though, even if it is all… in the cards. Sorry. Anyway, played on a three-by-three board, you start off by dragging one of three ‘questions’ onto it, immediately triggering the first of many questions for your choice of suspect. Questions that he or she may end up dodging skillfully, try to cast blame on someone else instead, or attempt to throw the player off with a bit of sarcasm; none of which are really all that useful. Or?

See, being an outsider, you obviously don’t really know a whole lot of what goes on after the crowd ‘s gone and the tent sealed up tight, so even if an accusation may seem like someone’s trying to hide something, who’s to say he or she isn’t actually trying to help? Hard to say, honestly, and did I mention the randomness of the cards?

As you move them up the three rows, questions on a specific topic become more direct, sometimes even leading to a potential clue. That is, if you can manage to avoid having the suspect eliminating your cards before they get too far. Come to think of it, in One Show Only sure is quite the mix: Tic-Tac-Toe, card game played on a board, interrogations and deductions. Groovy, yet at times, oddly confusing.

Oh and then there are the added question cards you get by having one reach the top. In my experience, some of these – 9’s, in particular – were either a tad buggy, or I simply didn’t understand how to play them. Because I couldn’t, and I’m fairly certain the pre-requisite was met. Very peculiar. Whether they would have helped me build a solid case against someone, I’ll never know, as I never got to that point. Grilling people for information this way was fun though, even if it turned out inconclusive – for me at least.

One Show Only is available from itch.io, priced at $2.