The Deed seems like an interesting game at first glance. It has a unique take on the traditional murder mystery title where, instead of the detective, you play as the killer. This game has you put in the role of a man visiting his family for his father’s birthday. However, he plans to murder his sister due to his family’s refusal to have her committed, and out of revenge for her sadistic and insane behavior when he was younger. To be more specific with the storyline, Arren’s Family was abhorrently abusive to him. His father would frequently beat him and his sister killed his pet rat, and took great pleasure in doing so. What inspires Arren to commit the titular deed is when his father decides to disinherit him in favor of his sister.
Now this is what The Deed really does well; it puts you in Arren’s shoes very well and makes you want to see his sister get what is coming to them. Never once did Arren feel like a bad guy. Also the game is very well handled in terms of its atmosphere and build up. It also provides a lot of options and multiple different outcomes and choices in regards to how the game can turn out. Just about everything you choose to say to someone and every action will have some type of impact after the deed is done and you are interviewed by the inspector, and these can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
So if this is the case, then one may wonder “what is the problem?” The answer to that is quite simple; an average playthrough will be over in ten minutes. While it is true that these types of games generally require multiple playthroughs, the game still lacked the depth to really motivate one to go through it multiple times.
To give a summary of gameplay, there basically is none other than selecting responses, walking around, and choosing where you want to plant evidence when the time comes to commit the deed. It should be noted that the first playthrough will pretty much always result in an unsuccessful attempt considering that one will not understand the game’s interface. Success is dependent on knowing what effect one choice will have on later outcomes, which is impossible to plan out when you don’t know how said game plays out.
It is flat out bad design when your rate of success is based on either pure trial and error or using a walkthrough, and that is ultimately what the gameplay of The Deed comes down to. When one adds the absurdly short length to the equation, you end up having a game with little value. The game offers so little in terms of depth or content that the only way I could recommend this game is if it was free to play, and that is not the case with this game. There have been Newgrounds flash games that have offered more than The Deed. As such, even at its one dollar price tag, I cannot recommend this game; The Deed has been done.
This review was originally posted to GameFAQs on November 23rd of 2015 and has been updated for posting on this blog as a placeholder for my current review schedule. You can read my newer reviews one week before they are posted on Guardian Acorn if you pledge $1.00 or more to my Patreon account. New reviews are are posted every Monday. You can also follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date on my stuff, or you could follow me on any of my social media pages (listed at the bottom of the page) and could stop by The Guardian Acorn Discord chat if you would like to talk to me and my homies.