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The developers of 80 Days and Heaven's Vault are making a 1920s school detective mystery

"One scholarship place available"

The matron of a girl's boarding school grinning at you menacingly from a brochure page
Image credit: Inkle

UK national treasures Inkle - they who looped the globe in 80 days, vaulted the heavens and sang of the highlands - are making a brand new investigation-ma-jig called Miss Mulligatawney's School For Promising Girls, though the presskit notes that this might not be the final title. It's set in a 1920s boarding school, where you can expect "tuition in Latin, Geometry and a wide range of team sports, all within the beautiful setting of our isolated country estate". Also some murders, possibly.

There's no trailer yet and there are no screens of the game, but an accompanying brochure hints at a kind of Enid Blyton reworking of Persona, in which you carry out chores by day under the eye of senior prefects, and seek after strange events at night, at peril of being caught by the Matron and her tyrannous owl (disclaimer: owl possibly heraldic in nature). There's mention of a Scriptorium, too, which reminds me of Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose - also a tale of investigation after dark. I hope there's a labyrinth. Perhaps the owl can live there.

Who are you? Well, the Steam page notes that "one scholarship place is available to a promising candidate from a lower-class background", which suggests you might spend a fair portion of the dialogue dealing with toffee-nosed snobs, toffee being the preferred means of cleansing aristocratic nostrils back in the roaring twenties. The school building itself used to be a 17th century nunnery, which was "dissolved in disrepute", perhaps because one of the nuns had a child. Her statue yet stands in the school quad, "as a reminder to the girls of all they can achieve". The brochure also describes a "miraculous" rose window in the school's main tower - I'm guessing it's the one in that final slide, there, with somebody falling out of it.

A picture of a school matron scowling on a brochure page with an image of somebody falling out of a tower in the background.
Image credit: Inkle

Ugh, this would have been one for Alice B, who has written whole bloody mystery books reminiscent of this, and who deemed Inkle's most recent game, A Highland Song, "a beautiful snapshot of wild places that stumbles a little" but is nonetheless "a trip worth taking". What's Alice B up to these days? We can only speculate.

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