For the Other City

This week we played a two-player game on Storysynth called For the Other City by Thomas Manuel, in which we play detectives from parallel cities who must solve a case together. Our detectives are Enders from the technological city of tomorrow, Grandis, and Wormwood from the expansive magical city of the green, Vibrantis. The crime a pair of murders, one victim from each city.

Our collaboration begins with the two detectives meeting and planning their investigation. Wormwood shares with Enders a vision she had of an indistinct person sitting in a small room in front of a table with papers strewn across it. Enders tells Wormwood of the witness he interviewed who saw a street Roomba apparently malfunctioning, so it never left the spot where hours later the Grandisian victim would be murdered. Together they discover that the victim was growing a Vibrantean flower in his apartment, a flower that powers all that city’s magic. Could the victims have been lovers and the killing due to jealousy?

For the Other City logo from Storysynth.

We’re able to corroborate the lovers hypothesis, the flower a token of affection, but we’re unable to confirm the jealousy. A member of the Vibrantean ruling council offers Wormwood a promotion if she can ensure the case is never solved, but she tells Enders all about the bribe attempt when next she sees him. The political angle makes us wonder about their connections on each side. Could they have been collaborating in an official capacity?

The Grandisian was a researcher at a major corporation (Suntex) and could have been conducting experiments on the flower, which could provide a motive. Perhaps the killer feared the fallout if the researcher discovered the flower’s properties. Stuck in Grandis for the night, Wormwood stays at the same hotel as the CEO of Suntex, who seems overly curious about her progress in the case. While Wormwood keeps the CEO occupied, Enders searches his room and discovers a table strewn with papers, the schematics for the model of street Roomba observed at the murder scene.

We finally conclude that the victims had been envoys working in an official capacity, who fell for each other, but were killed by the Vibrantean council, or at least elements within it. The council feared a scientific investigation of the magical flower would lead to industrialization of flower production that would leave Vibrantis without the flowers they need to maintain their civilization. To try catching the culprit, Wormwood pretends to report back to the council member on the case, but they don’t detect the technological wire that Enders gave Wormwood to wear, which leads them to incriminating themselves. Once they’ve got the evidence, the Grandisian police and Enders swoop in to make the arrest.