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#88931 - 03/20/06 07:25 PM Scratches Review
Bruce Fielder Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 638
Loc: Amarillo, TX USA
My review of this atmospheric game won't be as in depth as Inferno's. He did an excellent job in giving details and subjective views of the game.

The main reason I'm putting in my two cents worth is because Scratches was the first new adventure/suspense game I've played in quite a while. I was disappointed in the newer games I played over the last few months and I began to collect and play the older "classic" adventure games: Amber, 7th Guest, Tex Murphy Overseer & Under a Killing Moon, Reah and JourneyMan Trilogy games just to name a few. When I saw Scratches' demo, I was immediately reminded of the level of fright I experienced when I played DarkFall and was really looking forward to playing it.

Overall, I'd give Scratches a solid "B" and maybe I can be convinced it is a "B+". I liked the fact that the story took place in one fairly confined setting: the house and the three outlying buildings. The atmosphere and setting is first rate in design, graphic looks and overall execution. The game played flawlessly on my HP laptop running XP Pro and having a 16MB video card - - playing glitch free is a major plus for the game in my opinion.

While I enjoyed it overall and I think it is a fine first effort by the game designer and programmer (I particularly liked the music in it), I think the game fell down somewhat in the fact that the sequences and the things you could do or not do depended on the "time of day or night" that was then occuring.

For instance, near the end of the game, you must use a shadow as a major clue. But, even though you know what must be done, you cannot accomplish the task until 4pm of the final day when the shadow is at it's most detailed. And before you can get the time to advance to 4pm, you must do two other steps involving the main character's car.

There were a few other instances where the time, represented on a grandfather clock, had to be observed but the sequence described above was the most irritating to me - - and to several other players judging by the posts in the Hints section. I believe that the game would've been more enjoyable if I could've accomplished what I knew needed to be done at the time I realized it versus having to "wait" until the game time was arrived at.

Still, the game was better than average but, in my opinion, not equal to Jonathan Boakes' DarkFall, The Journal, or DarkFall 1 as it's also called.
_________________________
Live by the Golden Rule at all times.

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#88932 - 03/20/06 07:46 PM Re: Scratches Review
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42199
Loc: Alabama
Bruce, thanks for your thoughts on this game. I have it, but have not played it yet--so will have to wait to see if I agree with you or with Inferno or fall somewhere in between. wave
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#88933 - 03/22/06 05:21 AM Re: Scratches Review
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Bruce -- interesting comments! It's a good idea to compare the game to Dark Fall, which has (IMO) become a standard in the genre. thumbsup

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#88934 - 03/22/06 11:28 PM Re: Scratches Review
InlandAZ Offline
Glitches Forum Moderator
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 6765
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I think the game fell down somewhat in the fact that the sequences and the things you could do or not do depended on the "time of day or night" that was then occuring.
I actually enjoy this in a game - take The Black Mirror for example, several objects were obviously intended to be used in the game - but no interaction was possible until you discovered what it was to be used for. Several of the objects (and their related puzzles) seemed to follow this same approach in Scratches. Reading specific news print for example, could only be accomplished when you knew what to look for.

Much like the Watchmaker, another time based game - the time of day does not change until specific tasks are completed (which was as simple as uncovering a new clue).

All in all I think it was a job well done. I hope we see more of them.

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#88935 - 03/23/06 10:48 AM Re: Scratches Review
Bruce Fielder Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 638
Loc: Amarillo, TX USA
InlandAZ,
Thanks for the info re Watchmaker. I found that game for $2 at EB Games in the used games area and intend to play it next.
_________________________
Live by the Golden Rule at all times.

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#88936 - 04/11/06 04:58 PM Re: Scratches Review
Urabeth Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/29/00
Posts: 481
Loc: Tennessee
I'm almost finished with the game and I can't wait for it to end. I think it's boring. There hasn't been one puzzle to solve yet and the game has crashed 3 times so far. I've done nothing but walk around in this old house and talk on the phone to a guy named Jerry. There is nothing scary or fun about this game. Sorry I bought it.
_________________________
Once you know, you cannot, not know.

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#88937 - 04/27/06 09:53 PM Re: Scratches Review
starlight Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 3
Loc: houston,tx
I played the game and i think it was scary frown frown blush laugh

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#88938 - 05/15/06 01:31 PM Re: Scratches Review
Dineke Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/29/06
Posts: 4046
Loc: Netherlands
I enjoyed scratches.
A lot of walking around though, but thats allright. It was sure mysterious and yes, some scary effects, but the story was interesting.
While playing, i felt the embiance of Darkfall and Lights out. And those games i liked as well.

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#88939 - 10/02/06 04:52 PM Re: Scratches Review
patchman Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/28/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Modesto,CA
Quote:
Originally posted by Urabeth:
I'm almost finished with the game and I can't wait for it to end. I think it's boring. There hasn't been one puzzle to solve yet and the game has crashed 3 times so far. I've done nothing but walk around in this old house and talk on the phone to a guy named Jerry. There is nothing scary or fun about this game. Sorry I bought it.
I know this reply is a little late but here it goes....Urabeth i finished the game and found it very well done , ...But I can't understand how you say your "Almost finished" and have not come across not one puzzle. Let me assure you there are plenty of "Puzzles",... keys to found, oil for lamp to be located, secret room entrances, wall safe...are just a couple.The first day has several puzzzles.<span class="spoiler_containter"><span class="spoiler_wording">Click Here For A Spoiler</span><span class="spoiler_text">There is a key in the hallway but you can't get it until you have seen something that reveals it. there is a fuse box that has to be fixed. </span></span>The story is the real star, reading newpapers and personal notes that are very eerie. Music & ambience sounds are top notch. So keep at it, play it at night with sound turned up. I think you will get a chill down your spine...well at least i did....One more thing this site http://www.nucleosys.com/site/ has a patch for the game which may help with the crashing. ..I hoped this helped, well somebody....Patchman

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#88940 - 10/02/06 06:08 PM Re: Scratches Review
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hello patchman and welcome to GameBoomers! thumbsup

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#88941 - 10/08/06 08:19 AM Re: Scratches Review
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Congratulations Bruce Fielder -- I just noticed that 1000 people have read your review!

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#88942 - 10/08/06 08:45 AM Re: Scratches Review
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42199
Loc: Alabama
Outstanding bravo
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#88943 - 10/09/06 11:07 PM Re: Scratches Review
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23330
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi smile

And another one has just read it !! thumbsup

Cheers.

Mad wave
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#88944 - 10/10/06 07:51 AM Re: Scratches Review
MsMercury Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 11733
Loc: Scotland
Nice review Bruce! Thanks bravo

I really enjoyed playing this game.

Mary wave
_________________________
"It's not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts." puppy

I'm not getting old....just 'Marvelously Mature'! grin

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#88945 - 10/11/06 11:02 AM Re: Scratches Review
Sierra Rat Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 10/07/06
Posts: 28
Loc: Northern California
To me this game was about as frightening as a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Have you ever read a book where you keep thinking, "this has got to get better," but is never does and the ending leaves you thinking, "huh, what was that all about?" That, in essence, is this game.

To be fair, some may enjoy this game and to give you perspective, games that I liked are: Black Mirror, Syberia I & II, and The Longest Journey; games I disliked are: Dark Fall and The Omega Stone.

One final word of warning, if you have a computer using a Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading technology, you will need to install a patch from the Nucleosys website. Failure to do this will cause the game to lock-up when you least want it to. Install this patch BEFORE you play the game. There is a small warning in the description of the patch download that says, "please note that any current savegames are not supported." This means that if you install the patch after you have saved any of your game plays, you will lose all of them and have to start the game over (more tedium)!

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