Mahjong Crimes (Murder on the Orient Express)

I took on the Game Writing and Narrative Design for the mobile game Mahjong Crimes (Android/iOS) by Spil Games.

By working closely with the game designer, we ensured that the powerful classic story was respectfully translated to the medium of game.

CEO AC quote

Quote by Agatha Christie Ltd CEO James Prichard (source)

As an admirer of literature, I tried to be as faithful to the source material as possible. Fans of the book will recognise their favourite lines as they play through the game. At the same time, those who first pick up the book after playing the game should already be accustomed to the writing style.

During my work process, I was able to overcome challenges such as:

  • grant all 17 characters their moment to shine in the complex murder mystery;
  • tinker with the sequence of events for gameplay variety reasons, without spoiling the mystery or hampering the flow of the investigation;
  • fit in the plethora of clues, interviews and reveals in the book, in no more than 120 interactions (monologues, dialogues, cinematics);
  • keep these lines and interactions as brief as possible; the story could and should not hamper the game.
Murder Samples

Samples of in-game dialogue

My responsibilities were to:

  • write succinct yet lively dialogue for the puzzle mysteries;
  • work within the limits of no more than 8 lines per interaction, spoken by no more than 2 characters; and a character limit of 120 characters per line;
  • reshape Agatha Christie’s classic tale to suit a thrilling mobile Mahjong game;
  • explain or defend my writing for the licence holders of the Murder on the Orient Express Intellectual Property (Agatha Christie Ltd);
  • assist in the editing phase and writing glossaries and tone of voice guides.
Murder Reviews

A selection of reviews from the App Store and Play Store

Mahjong Crimes was released worldwide on the 9th of November, 2017. This page will be updated as the game is updated.


Promotional art – More cases coming soon


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