Black Mirror III: The Final Fear





Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Cranberry Productions

Publisher:    Mamba Games and Viva Media

Released:  April 2011

PC Requirements:  

  • OS : Windows XP / Vista / 7

  • CPU: 1.4 GHz

  • RAM: 1 GB RAM, 2 GB free hard drive space

  • Video Card: 128 MB Shader Model 2.0

  • HDD: 2 Gb

Additional screenshots    Walkthrough





by Rushes


Three weeks on from the culminating events of Black Mirror II, Adrian Gordon, formerly Darren Michaels, is released from prison on an anonymous bail, intent upon clearing his name. His new therapist doubts his fantastical story; the police inspectors at the Willow Creek constabulary are equally sceptical. Adrian sets out to further explore the mysteries of the town and the Black Mirror castle, to see if he might finally put to rest the spirits and past history which have troubled his ancestors across the centuries.

Black Mirror III is the final game in the horror trilogy from developers Cranberry Production.

The mirror’s so bright, I gotta wear Shades

Playing in third person viewpoint with no panning, Black Mirror III offers many of the interface features of its direct predecessor. The spacebar reveals all interactive areas on the game screen. The cursor turns red over active hotspots, which often require repeated clicking before all information can be acquired. There are a lot of hotspots in Black Mirror III, and many general comments relative to the surroundings. There is no right-clicking in this game except for when accessing the inventory, when items may be examined in greater detail by a right-click. Cut scenes can be skipped via the Tab key.

There is a help feature which explains the game controls -- useful for the adventure novice -- and subtitles if required. The subtitles appear on the main game screen above the heads of the characters who are speaking rather than neatly at the bottom bar, and they will occasionally accidentally overlap with each other. There is an autosave feature which may be useful as your character can die. It is advisable, therefore, that you save frequently and to new save slots.

I found the scrolling inventory bar at the bottom of the screen to be a nuisance. Scrolling to the left was not such a problem, but scrolling to the right was problematical in that the bar would disappear before the scrolling was complete, necessitating repeated swipes of the cursor to activate further movement.

Character movement is turgidly slow. It is possible to speed this up by double-clicking to transport to a new game screen, but this method is not always effective and may require repeated double-clicking to take effect.

The graphics are detailed, atmospheric and fluid, and quite the best thing about Black Mirror III. I found the music overdramatic and distracting, with a tendency to drown out dialogue -- a problem shared with the second game in the trilogy. There are many new locations and exterior scenes to explore, all quickly accessible via the inventory map.

The gamer will play for the most part as Adrian Gordon, but later in the game as a female character, switching between the two characters as necessary in order to complete certain puzzles and tasks.

Black Mirror III starts off slowly with very little buzz, and, I’m deeply disappointed to say, never picks up speed. The pace of this game is slower than a geriatric snail sprint. The dialogue clunks, the plot wheezes, and nothing quite gels anymore. There is a lot of wandering around with a vague idea of needing to do something, but where to go and how to accomplish it? It might take a day or a week in Black Mirror time, it’s all the same, there’s no sense of urgency. The effect on the gamer is soporific. We stagger on until the final chapter of the game, where we are bombarded with a sudden flurry of virtual storyline arrows and an implausible sequence of environments. The game concludes more with a feeling of “Oh, right, then,” rather than a real sense of visceral excitement or satisfaction.

A pocketful of junk

Black Mirror III’s puzzles are mostly inventory based, with some standalone types. None of the standalone puzzles are particularly absorbing, and are occasionally unfathomable. There is a labyrinth puzzle near the game’s conclusion which is particularly frustrating.

Darren/Adrian/I’ll just call you Black-Eye

The voice acting for certain characters is poor. Inspector Spencer has an atrocious Northern Ireland accent and even worse dialogue to contend with. Murray sounds as though he has swallowed a helium balloon. Adrian/Darren is simply annoying. Was he as annoying in Black Mirror II? I don’t think he was. Here he spouts constant, irritating wisecracks -- and you might wish that he would just get on and solve the mystery already. Black Mirror III is a horror game -- supposedly -- not a comedy. It spoils the atmosphere -- what there was of it in the first place.

Adrian’s morphing into the character/voice of one of his ancestors is cringe-inducingly bad.

In this final chapter we lose most of the characters familiar from the previous two games, and are left with a bunch of folks with very little of interest to say.


Quite likely due to my graphics card, I found the intro, chapter and certain cut scenes very jerky in both sound and vision.

I experienced a hanging black screen at certain points in the catacombs. The first at the pendulum puzzle, and later on at the altar. It was necessary for me to Ctrl-Alt-Del and then click on the minimised game bar to bring the game back up on screen. The required close-up screen then appeared and I was able to continue.

All in all, I found Black Mirror III by far the weakest game in the otherwise excellent series. A great shame, therefore, seeing as how it is the concluding chapter and should have ended with a bright spark rather than a wet fizzle.

Grade: B

I played on:

Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3

Intel[R] CPU T2050 @ 1.60GHz

2.00 GB of RAM

NVIDIA GeForce 7500 LE, 512MB


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