Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in the Hotel Lisbon

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Murder in the Hotel Lisbon details

Main role: Director
Secondary roles: Co-Producer / Writer / Designer / Artist

Year: 2013/14 (PC), 2015 (mobile), 2020 (Switch)
Platforms: Windows / Macintosh / Linux / iPad, iPod, iPhone / Android / Nintendo Switch
Support: Digital / Steam / Desura / iOS / Google Play / BMT Micro / Humble Store / Amazon / Nintendo eShop
Production: 8 months PC + ports
Company: Nerd Monkeys®
Publisher: Nerd Monkeys®


Murder in the Hotel Lisbon is a videogame inspired by the classic point and click adventures from the 80’s and 90’s. It adopts these eras distinctive design and it is built using only the pixel art technique. The game itself runs at a native resolution of 256×192, the same resolution used by the old ZX Spectrum 48k and most recently by the Nintendo DS.

A strange murder has occurred in the Hotel Lisbon, a man committed suicide with 14 stabs to the back while at the same time he peacefully drank his coffee.
This case with contradictory facts was too complex for Policeman Garcia to solve, so he decided to hire the only detective duo in town capable of solving it: the mythical Detective Case and the unmistakable Clown Bot.
Together, they will solve a network of love relations so complex and so intricate, that it would take at least 14 clairvoyants, 5 apocalyptic sect prophets who can predict the end of the world and 3 of those gypsies that can read the palm of your hand just to guess the final outcome.

With the mythical Detective Case, also known as the world worst detective, a man so rough and rude that his witnesses would rather be run over by a slow moving freight train than to be questioned by him.
And the hilarious Clown Bot who, although he works as a Detective Case’s sidekick, he hopes in reality that one day he will get a job as a circus clown. Unfortunately, and no matter how many applications he sends, no circus will ever accept a clown that is afraid of children. He never sleeps, so besides working by day as a sidekick, he also works by night as a stand-up comedian in a local bar. People say that he is a joke machine.


The Case and Bot duo was always a personal project. Directed and written by me this is the type of game I always wanted to do but never really had the opportunity to do so. The amazing team that gathered to produced this game was absolutely fantastic and I could have never done it without these guys.



Original soundtrack

Murder in the Hotel Lisbon may be low res and retro on the visual side, but we made sure that on the audio side your ears would rejoice with a complete original soundtrack. Composed of an orchestral band, a jazz band and a typical Portuguese Fado trio, the musical landscape contrasts beautifully with the colorful graphics. 

Game music :
Throughout the game you will ear over 20 different tracks of orchestral music composed and recorded specifically for the game. 
All these tracks were recorded on studio with a 10 member band composed of friends and colleagues. All of them brought their soul and heart to these recordings and the results are absolutely AWESOME! 

Jazz music:
Inside the GAF Bar, a 4 man band plays some cool Jazz. 
The character at the Piano is actually Filipe Melo who is doing a cameo and allowed us the rights to use some songs recorded previously with John Ellis, Romeu Tristão and João Pereira! BAM! 

Fado music:
To top it all, inside the Noitadas Restaurante we have a Portuguese Fado trio ready to entertain the guests. The song they sing was also recorded on studio. It is called “A Caldeirada” and it was originally written for famous Fado singer Amália Rodrigues. 


International trailer


Starr Mazer / Murder in the Hotel Lisbon – CROSSOVER!

During the Kickstarter campaign of Starr Mazer, I got in touch with Don Thacker from Imagos Softworks and BEGGED him to do a crossover with our game. He heard my plea and judge me worthy of such an honour and thus, the most AWESOME CROSSOVER was born! Well, it wasn’t really like this but in my head that’s how I remember it so… Anyway, Detective Case will appear inside Starr Mazer and will be chilling out in Jaruga’s, a cool space bar where the main protagonist of Starr Mazer, Brick M. Stonewood hangs out. AWESOME!


Original Team

Director: Filipe Duarte Pina
Producer: Diogo Vasconcelos
Lead Programmer: José Rua
Sets: Luís Bacharel
Music: Rafael Pina
With characters art by: Nuno Saraiva
Guest musician: Filipe Melo
Additional programming by: João Cabral
Additional art by: Uriel Cordas

Port Team (Nintendo Switch)

Director: Filipe Duarte Pina
Producer: Diogo Vasconcelos
Lead Programmer: Iuri Martinho
: José Rua


Murder in the Hotel Lisbon is full of references, stupid jokes and crazy moments. Some were written to be that way while others just came to us along the production and some even were originally a bug that was just too funny to fix. Here are just a few curiosities.

1 – Detective Case name in the prototype was actually Detective Dick. I thought it was too blunt and an easy joke so my girlfriend suggested Case, as in “Justin Case” which was perfect.

2 – Every team member is present inside the game in a dark alley called “DLC Alley”. If the player goes there and talk to us we even ask for more money and direct him to a website where it is possible to donate. Talk about “charity” :p

3 – At the Police Station, the secretary called Filomena often breaks down and starts repeating herself. Case and Bot even get a bit confused and scared sometimes by this strange reaction but eventually just forget about it and move on. This type of joke was not in the game and actually came to be through a bug where the character would constantly repeat herself. I found it so funny that we decided to indeed fix it but then go back to the actual script and incorporate that behavior into the character. AWESOME!

4 – Nuno Saraiva, the guy who did the characters design, was not an original member of the project. I was going to design them myself and hire someone to animate all of the characters. For better or worse, a project for a client dropped and suddenly I had more free time to go in and animate the entire game (which is something I always wanted to do). So all of a sudden we had a surplus of money that I could use on the project somewhere else, and what better way to invest than to get someone that is actually better than me in creating characters?

5 – We produced an old school type cassette with audio tracks from the game. The design simulates a Spectrum 48k videogame cassette. You can order it from Nerd Monkeys store on facebook. It comes with 12 tracks, some not used in the final version of the game, and a Steam code. It is also the coolest piece of marketing ever, right? RIGHT!?



Polycount Post Mortem

Contains spoilers! ->

Praxe do Gangue das Capas Negras

After the first release in December 5th 2013, a huge number of updates were planned for the game and one that included a demo. But a demo always felt a bit wrong for this kind of game so I thought about doing a free episode. And if I would be doing a free episode it would need to be something really special, something that would strike a chord with our Portuguese audiences… hence “Praxe do Gangue das Capas Negras“.

This is a Portuguese only episode that satirizes the rituals that are done when people enter universities for the first time. It features brand new characters that only exist in the free episode and it is only available to download on the Portuguese page of our website. I really feel like this was a great opportunity to expand Detective Case and Clown Bot into the more gritty reality of our world and at the same time satirize our school system. Unfortunately if you don’t know Portuguese, you can’t play. Unless you go here of course.

Free episode!



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