Genre:  Horror adventure   

Developer & Publisher:  Ethereal Darkness Interactive              

Released:    October 2016            




By flotsam


96 Mill

Ethereal Darkness Interactive

ďAt 96 Mill Street, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, sits the Edmont Worsted Industrial Complex -- a derelict, condemned building with a checkered past of unexplained events since its construction in 1820. You are an employee of Hamilton Demolition Company, tasked with assisting demolitions expert Frank Galvani in ďrigging the building for implosionĒ.

I couldnít have summarised it better myself so I didnít. This is straight from the EDI website.

As you go about your business, moving through the factory and rigging the charges, the checkered past starts to intrude. Notes and files speak of not so good goings-on, and then the apparitions start to appear.  A glimpse here, a peek there; the sooner the factory comes down the better.

96 Mill utilises a photorealistic first person slide show perspective, and is totally point and click. The grainy black and white scenes suit the abandoned factory, but are static and lifeless. Nothing moves, and you donít explore the scene in any usual mouse driven way. What you see is what you get, with an array of directional arrows superimposed on the image, with possibly some smaller images top left of screen. The arrows let you know there is somewhere else you can go, and if you have been there before they will tell you what that place is. If you havenít, it will say ????. Go there to find out.

Assuming you can. That way may in fact be barred, which is where the top left images come in. There might be an image of a locked gate, or a barricaded door. Click on that and a little message might pop up saying the door is locked. So no going that way, unless of course you have the key/crowbar/axe/insert-relevant- implement-here/ in your inventory. In which case, open the inventory, click on the item to make it active, and then click on the image, and if the key fits, voila!

Some of the images arenít of doors, but are of drawers/cupboards/dumpsters/other stuff. Clicking on them might open a window that reveals items (a brick/welding machine/drill/memo) that may or may not be useful. Click the item if you want it, then click an empty spot in your inventory to take it with you, and move on.

There are limited inventory spots, so in that regards it resembles an RPG. But apart from an item or two, the inventory management was a concept rather than a reality.

In terms of gameplay, what I have described is largely it. You move through the factory, plant your explosives, open areas and move on. Frank will speak to you fairly frequently via the radio, and you will find some audio recordings, but that is it in terms of dialogue. You listen, you donít chat with anyone.

There are some additional plot threads related to past events which you can discover for yourself. The audio logs are an important part, and they can all be reviewed at any time, along with documents and radio messages, through the inventory icon. The inventory has separate tabs for items, tasks and memos, and once I worked it out it was all rather efficient.

The factory is big, and there are a lot of rooms, and you will need to find your way back to previous places to move on. A map that is accessible top right of screen will help, allowing you to fast travel to any room you have been to before. Assuming you know which room you want, click and there you are.

Scene loads are fairly prevalent, but short, and the game autosaves as you go. Ambient sound is limited, but perfectly adequate, and there isnít a soundtrack although some ďmusicĒ punctuates events, usually at a jump scare. I didnít think it was scary, not even occasionally nervy, but perhaps that was me.

There are eight endings. I have experienced three, two of which resulted in the demolition of the buildings. I will likely go back and try and trigger a few more.

96 Mill didnít reach any great heights, and its stark and almost sterile nature was both a plus and a minus, but I had a fairly enjoyable few hours digging into what went down, and getting ready to blow things up.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB


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