Get your game on…

Most people don’t know that, besides writing fiction, non-fiction, plays, graphic novels, children’s books, and graffiti, I’ve also written a computer game, one that you could be playing in, oh, say, five minutes time.

Last year, the computer game titan Square Enix, creators of the Final Fantasy series and many more, sought my services in writing a mystery game set in Meiji Japan, and made me the first western writer (as in terms of world geography, not in the “stick ’em up, owlhoots” sense) to ever work for them as a game writer. The result has been released with the title: “Season of Mystery: The Cherry Blossom Murders,” only available for PC users (sorry, Appleites).

It will charmingly waste a good four hours of your time, and is primarily a hidden object game, with other puzzles and clues you must use to solve the murder of an American diplomat in Tokyo in 1895. You play the role of Irene Pemberton, the diplomat’s wife, and you wander around old Tokyo gathering clues and talking to suspects. It’s fun, fairly easy, and gorgeous to look at, with a mellow musical score.

How to get it? You can download it at Big Fish Games and play free for an hour, at the end of which you can stop, or pay $6.99 to unlock the whole game. If you do, be sure to uncheck the box that makes you a Big Fish subscriber, or you’ll get billed $6.99 a month.

Another platform is through Steam, which is the best way I’ve found to play games. Download the free Steam client and then buy The Cherry Blossom Murders for $9.99. A few dollars more, and no free hour, but frankly I much prefer Steam.

Anyway, give it a try. If you’re dubious, go for the free hour on Big Fish and see how you like it. And have fun — that was the point, after all…

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