At the end of March, I attended the 72nd Insomnia Gaming Festival at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, and met-up with friends from the video game streaming community. In addition to history, true crime, and writing, video games are another of my great passions. I have vague memories of playing the Atari when I was young. Yet, I didn’t get fully pulled into video games until my uncle allowed me to play his copies of Resident Evil 2 (1996) and Silent Hill (1999) on his PlayStation X. I also have fond memories of me, my mum, and nana watching him play Tomb Raider on the small TV in my mum’s kitchen at around the same time. In this month’s blog, I’m going to explore the (arguably) unlikely connection between literature and video games, and how modern indie authors are utilising unconventional platforms to connect with their peers and fans.

The clues are there: adaptations.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie was first published in 1939 and is the most bestselling mystery novel of all time. Controversy around its original title aside (I won’t mention it here, but you may Google it if you’re curious), it’s one of (if not the) finest examples of clue-puzzle detective fiction from the Golden Age of the genre. In 2005, the video game  Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None was released.

Designed by Lee Sheldon, developed by AWE Productions, and published by The Adventure Company, it was a point-and-click game that put the player into the Agatha Christie’s story as Patrick Narracott. The game deviated from the plot of the original novel by including several possible endings. Yet, players could see the novel’s original ending by completing an additional puzzle at the end of the game.

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None was followed by Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (2006) and Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun (2007). In 2016, Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders was released by Anuman under their Microïds brand. Developed by Artefacts Studio, it was another point-and-click adventure. Then, only last year (2023), Microïds released the PC game Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The London Case. Developed by Blazing Griffin, it was another puzzle-based adventure. This most recent game wasn’t based on a particular Agatha Christie novel, though. Instead, it was a new plot inspired by her work (as far as I can tell). 

Above: Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None (2005)
© AWE Productions / The Adventure Company / Lee Sheldon

A title more well known amongst my fellow gamers is Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper (2009). It was the fifth instalment in the Sherlock Holmes series of games. The others being Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy (2002), Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring (2004), Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2007), and Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin (aka Nemesis) (2007). Rather than being an adaptation of an original Sherlock Holmes story, Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper poses the question that’s been on the minds of crime fiction fans since Holmes’ inception: could he have unmasked the notorious serial killer?

Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously put forth his own theory about the unsolved case. He suggested the murderer could’ve been Jill the Ripper, as midwives routinely walked through London’s streets covered in blood without anyone remarking upon it. Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper notably omits the 100+ suspects (and accompanying theories) put forth by Ripperologists over the years, and focuses on one suspect and theory instead. The suggestion there were more victims (other than the canonical five) is also unexplored. Having played (and completed) this game, my personal opinion is it was an enjoyable puzzle-based game, but it lacked certain historical accuracy of the period. I fully intend to explore the other titles in this series, however.

The mastermind unmasked: authors in video games.

Many of my friends within the video game streaming community were found via the online platform Twitch. Regular readers of this blog may remember I based the character of DCI Matthew Rupert Peter Donahue in the Bow Street Society short story The Case of the Contradictory Corpse on streamer MattRPD. The vast majority of my friends stream video games. Yet, there is an emerging (and growing) community of writers on Twitch. Streaming under the Writers category, they connect and engage with fellow writers and fans whilst completing their projects. Some will show their WIP (work in progress) on the screen, whilst others will show a holding screen whilst writing in short stints.

To fans of the writer’s work, it’s a fascinating insight into the process of creating their favourite book. To other writers, it’s a way to gain hints and tips to use in their own writing. As any author will tell you, writing is a lonely process. Many full-time video game streamers may tell you the same. Twitch allows writers to feel connected to humanity whilst also giving them a sense of accountability: their fans will know if they haven’t made progress. To non-writers and non-gamers, the sound of a person typing may also induce a calming reaction usually associated with ASMR. For me, Twitch presents an intriguing and exciting way to combine my love of video games with my love of writing. Therefore, I plan to start streaming on Twitch before the year is out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief exploration into the world of literature and video games. I find it a fascinating topic, and one I intend to explore more on
my Twitch channelonce I start streaming. There are some video game honourable mentions I’d like to include here: Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness (2000) and Dracula (1999). If you know of other book-to-video game adaptations, please let me know either by my Facebook, Instagram, or X (Twitter), or by email at


                                                                                                                                                ~ T.G. Campbell,April 2024

Above: Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper (2009)
© Frogwares / The Adventure Company / Pullup Entertainment /

Daedalic Entertainment GmbH / Spiders

© Saphatthachat Sunchoote / Alamy Stock Vector

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None was met by mixed reviews upon its initial release. Some critics dismissed it as a poor adventure game with archaic graphics, whilst others praised its character dialogue and captivating story. The general consensus amongst Agatha Christie fans was it was a good adaptation of the novel. Yet is it a video game that can only be enjoyed by fans of the Queen of Crime? I’d read the book prior to playing the game, but I was prepared to enjoy the game for what it was: a fun point-and-click adventure game.

After talking to those within the gaming community, it became apparent to me the Agatha Christie series of games is a niche category. Although the games aren’t the best in terms of graphics, I believe they’re undervalued as a legitimate addition to the Agatha Christie canon. I also believe they’re a great introduction to the Golden Age of clue-puzzle detective fiction if you’re not a big reader.

​Red herrings and false leads: inspired by literature.


When literature meets video games

​​Bow Street Society logo artwork by Heather Curtis:

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In recent times, adaptations have reached a point where the plots and characters of well-known novels have been explored as fully as possible. Therefore, adaptations have shifted away from the novels and onto the authors. A notable example of this is the television series Houdini and Doyle (2016), wherein Harry Houdini and Dr Arthur Conan Doyle investigate several mysteries. Although the real-life illusionist and author were friends, they didn’t solve crimes together. I’m inclined to believe Doyle would’ve enjoyed unmasking criminals (he was involved in several high-profile criminal cases in Scotland), but I’m not so sure about Houdini. Furthermore, the only photograph I’ve seen of the pair is when they were much older than the men depicted in the television series (they may have known each other earlier but I’m unsure of this).

I digress, however. This part of my blog is about the inclusion of author likenesses in video games. Notably, Charles Dickens in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2016). I’ve not played this game, so I can’t comment fully upon it. Yet, personally, I feel uncomfortable about an internationally renowned author being included in a video game in such a way. My problem has nothing to do with the author’s work or reputation (both of which are open to interpretation), but rather the assumptions made about the author’s personality and traits. His impressive legacy aside, Charles Dickens was still a human being. Furthermore, no one involved in the development of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate would’ve had a living memory of Charles Dickens the man. All they could’ve based their representation on is historical documentation and third-hand accounts. Therefore, regardless of the amount of research they might have done, their representation would’ve been ultimately flawed. The cynical side of me also feels Charles Dickens might’ve only been included to superficially raise the intellectual elements of the game. What do you think?

The process can be as entertaining as the result.

Above: Me and my friends at Insomnia Gaming Festival i72 in March

(I’ve circled myself so you can find me). 

Above: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2016)
© Ubisoft