The Trace

The Trace is a puzzle-based adventure game with a forensic angle, produced by the BAFTA-winning Relentless Software. Pocketgamer has described it as ‘The Room meets Phoenix Wright meets CSI,’ which is pretty much what we were aiming for. It was originally designed for tablet and mobile devices but the Apple TV version has also topped the app charts in 20 countries.

The Trace is good. Really really really good.”


On iOS launch day, the game was Editors’ Choice in the UK App Store and in a dozen other App Stores across Europe. At the end of that month, it was named Best Game of March 2015 in the UK App Store. At the end of the 2015, it was named in several ‘game of the year’ lists too. On top of that, it was nominated for an International Mobile Gaming Award for ‘Excellence in Storytelling’.

“What makes it so fun is that the storyline is on a par with high-quality TV dramas.” 

The Guardian in their Best Android Games of 2015

I wrote the story and script, as well as a series of in-character blog posts published in the run-up to the game’s launch.

I should also say that the game was huge fun to write, haggling with the team over just how decapitated we can make that corpse…

“The storyline is tight and the clues are clever.”


“With smart visuals and a plot that pulls you through, The Trace is undoubtedly an adventure of real quality – 9/10.”

Trusted Reviews, also one of their Best iPad Games of 2015

“Twisted artistry… thought-through storytelling… a great iOS game to get stuck into, turn up your headphones and ignore everyone around you.”

The Independent

“A crime-solving game lives and dies on the strength of its narrative… The storyline was scripted by David Varela, who’s had quite a bit of success recently, and it proved to me once more that good writing makes good games.” 4.5 stars

Touch Arcade

“A wonderfully immersive experience with a satisfying narrative and innovative gameplay.”

Jay Is Games

The Trace is a precisely planned out mystery with a strong, well-written script… so well written that, by the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve solved a real mystery.”


“Like stepping into an interactive episode of CSI… instantly intuitive.”

The Guardian

“There is a story here – but it’s unveiled subtly, and in pieces, like a jigsaw – giving it a much more realistic feel… a greatly executed narrative that’s oh so satisfying upon completion.”


“The iOS game that is taking the gaming world by storm and for good reason… a murder mystery game that will keep amateur sleuths playing right into the night.”

Addicted to Media

“A well-constructed, compelling app and a great deal of fun to puzzle through.”

Washington Post

“A must-have for your iOS device.” 4.5 stars

Apple ‘n’ Apps

“A captivating murder mystery game… It feels like you are living out an episode of Law & Order.

App Addict

“Another exceptional puzzle game… beautifully rendered.”

My Apple Podcast Game Award 2015

“I actually laughed out loud when I first walked in there. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone… but I can honestly say I did not see any of it coming… The Monument Valley of crime scene investigation.”

App Unwrapper

“The Trace ist endlich mal ein tolles Detektiv-Spiel für iOS.

App Gemeinde