Genre:   Adventure

Developer:    The Game Kitchen

Publisher:   Phoenix Online Studios

Released:  May 2014

System Requirements:  see review below







by Jenny100



"The Last Door" is a Lovecraft-inspired horror adventure series. Originally it was an online Flash-based game, released in chapters, and playable in a web browser at the website. The first episode was funded by a Kickstarter and the remaining chapters are being funded by donations made through the Last Door website. The series is ongoing, and the next in the series (Chapter 5, aka Season Two, Episode One) has met its goal and is in development, scheduled to release in summer 2014. Although the developers have met their funding goal for Chapter 5, they're hoping to raise more money for stretch goals.  

"The Last Door: Collector's Edition" is a downloadable game that includes the first four Episodes (Season One) into a format that does not have to be played online. The four episodes (or chapters) are:

Episode One - "The Letter"

Episode Two - "Memories"

Episode Three - "The Four Witnesses"

Episode Four - "Ancient Shadows"

"The Last Door" games are being created by a small Spanish development team known as The Game Kitchen. The Collector's Edition is published by Phoenix Online, and is available for purchase at the Phoenix Online website as well as other online distributors such as GOG, Steam, Gamefly, Desura, Amazon, Greenman Gaming, Zodiac, and the Mac Game Store. Links for purchase can be found on The Last Door website here.

Story and Characters

The Last Door takes place in Victorian England in the late 1800's. For most of the game, you play as Jeremiah Devitt, investigating what happened to your friend Anthony Beechworth, and ultimately being drawn into whatever bizarre research or experimentation Anthony had gotten involved with. Occasionally there is a scene where you play as a different character, but mostly you are following Devitt's story.

In Chapter 1, Devitt explores Beechworth's house, trying to make sense of what happened there. In Chapter 2, Devitt visits the site of what used to be the boarding school that he and his friend Beechworth attended. For some reason, Devitt doesn't remember what happened there, but thinks it may be related to his current problems with weird nightmares. I don't fully understand how Devitt gets from where he is at the end of Chapter 2 to where he is at the beginning of Chapter 3, but he seems to be in a London slum throughout most of Chapter 3 – or perhaps it's one of those "border regions" on the fringes of reality – neither wholly in the real world nor in the world beyond. In Chapter 4, Devitt visits the house of another of his old schoolmates, still trying to find out what it was that Beechworth, and apparently this other friend, Alexandre, were working on that could have caused the strange events surrounding Beechworth's fate.

Besides Devitt, you follow the progress of Devitt's doctor, Dr. Wakefield, and his consultant, Dr. Johan Kaufmann, who are treating Devitt for his disturbing nightmares. When Devitt disappears and fails to keep scheduled appointments, Drs. Wakefield and Kaufmann are concerned and try to find out where he might have gone. Their search so far has happened only in cut scenes, but perhaps they'll be playable characters in Chapter 5.


At the beginning of Chapters 2, 3, and 4, there is a recap of events from the previous chapter. The recaps are done using sepia-tinted images from the previous episode accompanied by brief descriptions of what had happened. These recaps were especially useful for me at the beginnings of Chapters 3 and 4, where I was not entirely sure what had happened in the previous chapter. The recaps would certainly be useful to refresh your memory if some time has passed since you'd played the previous chapter.


Most puzzles are inventory-based. Occasionally you speak with other characters to progress in the game, mainly in the 2nd and 3rd chapters, where there are more characters to speak to. The first chapter has one puzzle that uses sound as a hint that a certain interaction is available, and the third chapter has a puzzle that absolutely requires sound cues to solve. For those with trouble distinguishing sounds, Closed Captioning is available in the game's Options menu.


The controls for The Last Door are simple point-and-click. The Main Menu includes Continue, Episodes, Extras, Options, and Quit. "Continue" is for playing from your saved game, and does not show up until after you've begun playing. "Episodes" allows you to start playing from the beginning of any of the four episodes. "Extras" include Achievements, Credits, and access to four short, playable scenes after the game is completed. (The game is not interrupted by silly announcements that you've received an Achievement, which would ruin the atmosphere. You might never know Achievements exist unless you access them through the Extras menu.) Options include Language (my version had English or Spanish), Fullscreen (or not), separate volume controls for music and sound effects (there is no voice), Closed Captions (for the sake of those who can't hear the sound effects or audio cues), and Dyslexia-friendly Fonts.

While playing the game, clicking inventory items on the magnifying glass icon (located in the inventory bar at the bottom of the screen) may give a description of an item, or a close-up view, as in the case of notes and books. Using the Escape key on your keyboard takes you out of the game and provides access to the Main Menu.

After finishing an episode, the game offers you a button to click to start the next episode. Or you can start from the Episodes menu. At the end of Chapter 4, the button takes you back to the beginning of Chapter 4.

Saving and Loading

The game allows you to choose which of the four episodes to start with. This can be useful if you want to replay a chapter. Unfortunately there is no manual save, but since individual episodes are not that long, it isn't as much of a problem as it could have been. There is a single autosave, and the game saves every time you enter a new area. If you exit the game, restart it, and want to load your save, you use the "Continue" option. The game also gives you the option of restarting the chapter. As far as I can tell, your autosave is overwritten if you decide to play a different chapter.

The Last Door was originally an online Flash game. As such, I was a little concerned that it would use Flash cookies for saves the way Machinarium did, and unexpectedly dump all my saves. However I did not have that problem with The Last Door: Collector's Edition. I'm not absolutely sure if the game uses Flash or not (right-clicking does not bring up that Flash configuration box you see if you right-click a YouTube video or online Flash game). But there is an .swf file in the game folder.


Installing the game was fairly easy, but probably varies with where you buy the game from. With the Phoenix Online version, there was no actual installer. I simply extracted the game to the folder where I wanted it. Then I created a desktop shortcut from the game executable. On Windows 8.1, this was: Right-click the "The Last Door CE.exe" file, choose "Send to," then "Desktop (create shortcut)."

Great Honkin' Pixels (and other graphics-related stuff)

I don't usually mind playing pixellated games. I've played older Sierra and LucasArts games that display at 320x200 resolution. However the pixels in The Last Door still looked unusually large to me. I counted them up to be sure, and I ended up with 103 pixels across and 78 pixels down. Now with an odd number like 103, I probably miscounted and am off a pixel or so. But I can't be that far off. So... 103x78 resolution or close to it? That's a significantly lower resolution than the old DOS games I sometimes play, including King's Quest I from 1987 (which I think is the oldest I've played).

According to The Last Door website, the graphics are intended to "show only what's necessary, triggering your imagination to bring the game's world alive." That's fine in theory, and keeps certain scenes from being too explicitly gory for some players to endure. But I've seen a few comments in game forums from people who were not able to play the game – not because they were averse to games in low resolution, but because the game gave them headaches because their eyes kept trying to resolve the pixels into an image. Most people don't seem to have this issue, but it might be advisable to demo the game before purchase to make sure the oversized pixels aren't going to cause headaches. You can play the online version of the game for free at though you're required to create an account and log in before you play. Alternatively, watch a YouTube video of someone else playing the game at full screen.

I really liked the use of color in this game. According to The Last Door website, the color depth is 8-bit (256 colors). In most areas (except for the foggy area) colors are intense and atmospheric. They're one of the things I liked best about the game.

Even though the resolution of the game is very low, the lighting in the game uses an enhanced effect. While old DOS games use pixels to indicate lighting effects, lighting in The Last Door does not stick to the pixels. Street lamps and hand-held lanterns glow just as they would in a high resolution game. The only place where I remember seeing lighting indicated by pixels was in the Extras menu.


The music, composed by Carlos Viola, is excellent. It varies from orchestral to somber piano to atonal (in the weirder game locations). Sound effects are similarly well done. Occasionally the music disappears, leaving only the sound effects and whatever background sound might be present. Overall the sound contributes greatly to the overall atmosphere.

Soundtracks from the individual episodes are available from the Last Door website. Music from the first episode is free, but is by donation for the later episodes.

Jump Scares?

The Last Door occasionally has what could be considered a "jump scare." Sudden, unexpected changes in a game location, accompanied by sudden, discordant music or sound effects, may cause you to jump. But the game is more about building suspense, and an escalating sense that something is terribly wrong, than sheer sound volume or something jumping out at you. Your character may be attacked on occasion, but it's usually in a cut scene. It's not like there are monsters jumping at you from out of dark corners and devouring you, where you have to click, click, click to get away. I'm not even sure if Devitt can actually die in the game, though perhaps part of him does as he delves deeper into forbidden mysteries.

Differences in the Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition is promoted as having enhanced graphics and remastered sound as compared to the online Flash version. I've only checked the first Episode, but I noticed more detailed descriptions of the pictures on the walls in the lower hall of Beechworth Manor. One of the rooms that was blue in the online version was changed to shades of tan and dull orange in the CE. My sound system is not such that I could discern a difference in sound "quality" between the CE and the original, but some sound effects were different.

The Collector's Edition includes "Achievements" that can be viewed after finishing the game. The "Achievements" do not interrupt the game while you're playing it with distracting proclamations that you "achieved" this or that. I didn't even realize there were Achievements until after I'd finished the game and checked the Extras menu.

The Collector's Edition also has 4 short playable scenes in the Extras menu. Although I was able to play the scenes before finishing the game, they make more sense if you've played through the game at least once.

Technical Issues

The game crashed once during the first episode when I was going through a door in the upstairs hall. It was one of those crashes where you click the error message and you're back at the desktop. The game autosaves each time you enter a new area. It may have crashed when trying to save. Fortunately not much progress was lost since it had saved when I first entered the hall. I restarted the game, chose Continue, and I was back at the start of the hall. The crash was not repeatable, and may have been caused by a conflict with something my Windows 8.1 computer was volunteering to do in the background. Except for this one glitch, the game was stable.

Miscellaneous Comments

The Last Door has been compared to the works of authors Lovecraft and Poe. Though the first episode reminded me of Poe, with the black birds (reminiscent of The Raven) and something being walled up in the basement (The Cask of Amontillado), most of the game reminds me of Lovecraft – with supposedly educated people being corrupted by a search for "truth," and unleashing an ancient evil which seeps through to the physical world from its own plane of existence, permeating and slowly poisoning everything.

Is that what's happening in the game? Well, maybe. It's a little hard to tell. The first episode is fairly straightforward, with the protagonist, Devitt, investigating in the real world. This starts getting more confused in the second episode, where Devitt visits what used to be the boarding school where he first met his friend Anthony Beechworth. He visits the ex-boarding school, now a sort of nursing home run by nuns, in an attempt to remember what had happened there. Present day events and memories become intermixed, and it's unclear how Devitt gets from his location at the former boarding school to his location in London at the beginning of Episode 3. Strange things happen in Episode 3, and it's not clear whether they are really in London or taking place in an alternate dimension or along fuzzy dimensional borders.

Some misspellings in the free Flash version have been corrected in the Collector's Edition. However there were still a few mistakes, such as "Why not to organize a race," "I have made my mind," "Cristal" instead of "Crystal," and the word "disarray" when they probably meant "disrepair."

"The Last Door: Collector's Edition" is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux (Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux). Purchase through Phoenix Online gave me access to a page with download links for Windows, Mac, and Linux versions – 10 downloads of each. At one time, some the individual chapters were available for iPad, but as of the time of this review they've been removed from the iTunes store.

Individual episodes are not terribly long. Some players may finish an episode in 45 minutes, or even less on a replay.

I thought the first two episodes were the best. The 3rd was too mazelike for my taste and didn't seem to advance the story as much as the first two chapters did. I'm not sure why I didn't care for the 4th episode. It was shorter than the other episodes, and I guess I expected more revelations from it than what I got. There is also the problem of this being an ongoing series, so Chapter 4 didn't have a nice neat ending and ended on something of a cliffhanger.


I'd recommend the game to any fan of Lovecraft or horror adventure games in general, provided they are OK with the low resolution graphics. The resolution is low enough that the few scenes with blood leave all the gory details to your imagination.

Grade: B+

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements (PC):

Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 (or Debian-based Linux)

Processor: Intel Atom 1.6 GHz

Memory: 1 GB RAM

Video Card: Integrated with 64 MB RAM

200 MB free HD space

Recommended system requirements (PC):

Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 (or Debian-based Linux)

Processor: Dual Core 2.4 GHz

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Video Card: Dedicated with 128 MB RAM

400 MB free HD space

Minimum system requirements (Mac):

OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) or later

Processor: Intel Atom 1.6 GHz

Memory: 1 GB RAM

Video Card: Integrated with 64 MB RAM

200 MB free HD space

Recommended system requirements (Mac):

OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) or later

Processor: Dual Core 2.4 GHz

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Video Card: Dedicated with 128 MB RAM

400 MB free HD space

Note that GOG lists OS X 10.7 as the minimum Mac OS, while Steam lists Leopard (OS X 10.5.x) as the minimum. I checked the Mac version on a computer with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.x), and it seemed to work fine. So I'm guessing Steam is correct about Leopard being the minimum.

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