We Used To Be Friends is an arc-based teenage-detectives game that takes a lot of its influence and tonal pointers from Veronica Mars.
It's 50 pages, runs on the PbtA engine, and has really extraordinarily clean and good layout, although no illustrations.
Somewhat surprisingly, We Used To Be Friends is both GMless and a mystery game. These two elements are totally doable independently, but their nature makes them hard to combine.
That said, We Used To Be Friends pulls it off by giving a lot of advice on how the game is meant to be played---and also through some clever mechanical innovation.
In order to be suspenseful, a mystery needs to have information that's hidden from the players. We Used To Be Friends hides that information behind dice rolls and the choices of other players. Furthermore, it adds an extra layer of atmospheric suspicion by having multiple mysteries running concurrently. Every 'episode' or scenario has a mystery, but so does every PC---and the player mysteries are long arcs that stretch across multiple episodes and involve the recurring cast, making the game a *really* effective vehicle for long-running character drama.
There's also some other cool mechanical flourishes in We Used To Be Friends. For example, there are five core Moves and five core stats, and you get to lock a stat to each Move. So your Fight might be based on spotting weaknesses, but your friend's Fight might be based on throwing wild haymakers. There's also a sort of Dunbar's Number friendship system, where the more friends you have, the less strong those individual relationships are. The fewer friends, the tighter the bond. And how and where your friendship is allocated can shift over the course of a single episode of play.
Overall, even if you're not usually sold on GMless games or mysteries, I think this one is worth checking out. It *really* does a good job of using the other players as a sort of 'chorus' to GM scenes, but it *also* makes sure individual PCs get to have strong time in the spotlight and cool arcs with a lot of personal intensity. It's strange to see a game so successfully committing to elements that push in such different directions, but the result is a wonderful alchemy.
-This page doesn't show up when I search "We Used To Be Friends". It only shows up in the search results if I search for "ashcan". No idea what's causing that, but it makes it harder to find casually.
-Some section headings are missing caps from some words. Not sure if this is stylistic and intentional.