I hope no body minds, but I think
this is also a forum to discuss the 'turkeys' and 'let-downs' in our
favorite genre. With this opening statement in mind I'm sure you know
what's to follow, so here we go with perhaps the first negative review of
this forum (which I have to say I am getting enormous pleasure from). And
remember, don't shoot the messenger!
You play the son (grandson? - I forget which and frankly it makes no
difference) of an infamous proprietor of a private sanitarium who has long
since shuffled off his mortal coil. You are forced to return to the now
closed-down sanitarium to rescue your daughter from the evil spirit of your
dead relative. Needless to say your antecedent was a few sandwiches short of
a picnic while he was breathing, now expired he is even more insane and for
some bizarre and inexplicable reason now wants someone from his lineage to
carry on the good work (sic) he started.
The old duffer was keen on 'experimenting' on his unfortunate guests and
throughout your sojourn in the old wreck you meet a host of spirits of the
hapless miscreants. In fact the game's progress very much relies on you
meeting these 'tormented souls'.
I shall say no more about whom you meet and how, as it is integral with the
game and story. And I would not want to disappoint, though you'll end up
disappointed at this lame offering anyway.
I was bitterly disappointed with this game, it is one of those games that
promised so much but did not deliver, by a long shot too!.
The graphics were up to par and the movement reasonably slick, which is just
as well as you will spend a lot of 'dead' time moving around just to
complete a simple task. Again sound quality is as it should be. The games
major problem is gameplay (or lack thereof). You are reduced to sauntering
around the old 'homestead' and finding a few objects, solving a few lame
problems and puzzles and watching the improbable story unfold before your
increasingly skeptical (or disinterested) eyes.
Puzzles are few and far between and are generally made up of finding
something to appease a spirit so that they will then impart some dramatic
information (ho-hum) which will allow you to proceed, or the rather mundane
tasks of getting into a locked room, shutting off a generator ….ad
My major gripe at this game was the sheer disappointment at letting such a
good opportunity slip by. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad game, it had all
the ingredients to be a really feisty little number, unfortunately due to
lack of imagination and inspiration in the gameplay you are left with a
really below par point-an-click adventure.
I rail at the large numbers of missed opportunities in this genre and
'Blackstone Chronicles' is a classic in this regard. I believe that
adventure gaming is the finest gaming platform and experience and there are
some superb games out there, unfortunately they seem to be overwhelmed by a
glut of mediocrity and missed opportunity.
This is a pure point and click adventure and you wont be disappointed at the
settings and graphics. My advice would be to buy it (at a very reasonable
price!) and give it a spin. Why ? Purely to see where such a game could have
gone as opposed to where it ended up.
A few features of interest to take note of are :-
One of the themes of the game is that it lapses in and out of the future and
the past (a la 'The Shining') and this raises the interest level a bit (only
a bit though, and certainly not enough to compensate for all that was bad
with the game).
In places it can be depressingly somber, which is always going to be the
problem when you deal with such a morbid subject, the frailty of the human
mind and the abuse of those entrusted to care for it. Some of the spirits of
the former 'guinea pigs' are terribly woeful and the pathos perhaps a tad
overdone. For those of a slightly squeamish disposition there is one segment
of the game you may wish to steel your nerves for. No hints here, but let's
just say that any anti-vivisectionists out there beware (and there is not a
cat or beagle in sight if you catch my drift), even I balked at this
There is no quick way to go from location to location, and often times you
end up passing through the various locations several times on you various
missions and sorties.
The game is desperately linear and there is little that is original,
intuitive or intelligent.
All in all, more of a stupendous let down than a bad game, but somehow I
think this is even worse.
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