Murderous Muses Review – A Radomizer for Murder Mystery

Developed and published by D’Avekki Studios

Available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S

MSRP: $13.99

Murder mysteries are a very peculiar brand of games, and they don’t come around often. And when they do, they can go one of two ways, depending on one specific thing. The signature twist that is inherent in every murder mystery. 

 That’s where Murderous Muses put its unique spin on the genre. Giving you a replayable FMV whodunit is exactly what I needed. 

The story of Murderous Muses follows a night shift employee of the gallery for artist Mordechai Grey. After his murder, it is up to you to clean up the gallery, view the interrogations done by the detective and deduce which one of the six muses committed the murder. But at the start of each run, the killer is randomized. 

By hanging up each muse painting above specific key phrases in order you unlock an interrogation clip. These clips contain clues that help you deduce who the murderer is. Throughout three nights, you’ll traverse the museum gathering clues. On the final night, it is up to you to figure out who the murderer is because if not, your own life could be on the line.

The trick with trying to unlock these clues is you can only hang a painting six times a night. As you hang a painting, the keyword changes after you hear the clue and remove the painting. This leads to having to plan out your questions methodically because you can get yourself in a position where you run out of questions you can ask before the keyword you are looking for comes into play.

There are a couple of systems in place to make it so you can ask more questions about a specific painting if required. To keep track of how many questions you have remaining, each painting starts with the six Eyes of Mordechai. These are represented as red swirling objects in the corner of each painting. And around the gallery, you will find these table that allows you to sacrifice two eyes of Mordechai on one painting to add one to another. Along with that, you can solve these environmental puzzles in each wing of the nighttime gallery, awarding you with a key each night. These keys are used to enter the backrooms, and inside there are more clues to what is going on with your character, an extra eye to be placed in a painting if you want to ask an additional question, and finally, a vase.

This vase is interesting. Originally I still needed to learn what it was for. It wasn’t until the second playthrough that I realized you can take these to another area of the night museum to unlock the story of Kira, a mysterious seventh figure. This is where I also take my biggest issue with Murderous Muses. D’Avvekki has done a fantastic job of creating a replayable Whodunnit with the randomizing nature of picking a killer. But that makes having to rewatch through the same keyword answer pictures a bit tedious. This is a shame because each of our key players does an absolutely fantastic job of bringing their A-game and making me believe they have embodied their character. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Aislinn De’ath as the undertaker Lilith.  That’s not to say the rest of the cast isn’t great, because time and time again, I was blown away by how D’Avekki nailed the casting for Murderous Muses. I found Xavier to be incredibly gripping to watch as well.

The only real other takeaway issue I had with Murderous Muses was that on my first night, I had no idea what I was doing. I had to ask everyone everything and try to piece it together. I didn’t know I had to ask three specific questions in a certain order in order to unlock the true detective interview, so my first play-through was around three hours. That was listening to everyone about every keyword I could afford without going over with the Eyes of Mordechai. Needless to say, I didn’t catch the killer on my first night. I was on the final night with two questions left when I finally figured it out, so at least on the second run, I was more than prepared and haven’t gotten it wrong since. 

Overall, I think D’Avekki put themselves out there with Murderous Muses, and it paid off incredibly well for the most part. With an outstanding cast and crafting replayability into the nature of the game, it is one of the more modern FMV games that I would recommend to anyone starting out in the genre and to long-time fans alike. Admittedly, there is a little bit of a learning curve to get over, and replaying the same Keywords over again can get long in the tooth, but it’s all still worth it, and I can’t see what is in store for us next from D’Avekki Studios.

 For more reviews, features, and interviews, head to DreadXP and check out our upcoming FMV game, Hand Of Doom!