Monster Ink

By kylemawer  

Level: Upper intermediate/ Advanced

Topic:  Horror

Language skill: Writing

Game: Monster Detective

When a mysterious murder takes place in Fog Town it’s up to you to find out what lies at the bottom of it.  This is quite a dark and atmospheric game so is not suitable for young children but will entertain and engage older adolescents.

Screenshot from ‘Monster Detective’

This is a great game for stimulating writing especially for learners interested in mysteries, point and click games and mysteries.  They also get to practice reading for pleasure outside the classroom if you set this as a nice little optional extra homework.

Easy Play

During the game you need to talk to people, pick up items and clues as well as drag objects out from your inventory to a place on the screen where you want to use it.  Alternatively you can drag objects onto each other to combine the two to make a new item.  This may sound complicated but character dialogues direct you to where you need to go next and generally moving the cursor around the screen will indicate if there is a useful object on the screen by changing into a hand when the mouse is hovering over it.  There’s also a nice walkthrough that can act as support within the game and provide extra reading practice.

Monster Detective Walkthrough

Finding Clues

 

When you find a clue it gets dragged to your inventory which is at the bottom of the screen just below the game drawings.

You can examine each object in the inventory by clicking on it.  You’ll be told what the clue is and if there is text you will be able to read it at any point in the game.  Just press on exit when you have finished looking at a clue and click on it in your inventory to have a look at it again.

Introducing the game in class can provide a great opportunity to focus on any interesting language you or your learners identify within the game.  There are also opportunities for your learners to discuss what they should do next, why they should do that action rather than another and to speculate about the mystery at the heart of the game.

You should introduce the game in class even if your intention is for your learners to play it on multiple computers or read it at home.  By playing the game in class you emphasize the importance of the text and orientate your learners towards reading.

Interesting Language:

Encourage your learners to record any interesting language they come across within the game.  This is something you can help with while monitoring or later back in class as a post game play stage.  These notes are useful when it comes to writing a more structured composition.

You could also ask your learners to answer these questions:

Who are you?  Who are the other people in fog town?  What do each of the items you find do?  What happened to the victim of the murder?  Why were they murdered?  What do you think happened?

Writing Tasks

  • Review the game giving their opinion on the drawings, storyline, game difficulty etc.
  • Story as a blurb to the back of a book or DVD cover.
  • Story as a newspaper article.
  • Short story based on the game (such as a 50 word mini saga).
  • The story from the perspective of the murderer/ victim.
  • A police report.

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