The Last Crown: Midnight Horror


Genre:        Adventure          

Developer:   Darkling Games

Publisher:     Iceberg Interactive           

Released:    October 2015            

Requirements (recommended):

  • OS: Windows 7,8,10
  • Processor: 3.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB DX 9.0c compliant video card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DX 9.0c compliant soundcard
  • Additional Notes: Monitor should have a minimum height of 960 px.

Additional screenshots    Walkthrough




By flotsam


The Last Crown: Midnight Horror

Darkling Games

It has been a long time since Nigel Danvers and his ghost hunting equipment was out and about in Saxton. 2008 saw the release of The Lost Crown, and it now resides in our Hall of Fame. Sequels have been announced, and have been much anticipated, but have never eventuated until now.

I have had a lengthy history with the games of Mr. Boakes, starting with his own release and pressing of Dark Fall. It remains in my view one of the better scary outings, all the more so given indie games were far less common when it first came out. I reviewed it at the time, it eventually got a commercial release, and a quote of mine ended up on the box. It remains one of my reviewing highlights.

I wasn’t as taken with The Lost Crown, but that was more to do with the design of the game (I am first and foremost a first person loner) than the game itself. It garnered all sorts of positive responses, and as I said, was so well received by Boomers that it is in our hall of Fame.

So it is with a touch of regret and the greatest of respect that I say that Midnight Horror is underwhelming, especially by comparison.

We are back in Saxton, its Halloween, and a ghost is (eventually) afoot. Nigel is ever willing and ever prepared to get to the bottom of things, and Lucy remains a willing accomplice. You are back on familiar ground if you have played the earlier game, but it isn’t necessary.

The environment was as detailed as ever, based on actual locations I recall, but the character modelling left something to be desired. It might be the same as in 2008 (I didn’t go back and compare) but it doesn’t measure up in 2015. So too the character motion; you glide up stairs rather than walk, and Nigel spinning to pin the tail on the cat is probably the “high” point.

There was a “casual” game feel about some of the puzzling (sorting the masks for example) and the Halloween triathlon, a series of events (bobbing for apples, pinning the said tail, dancing) can be indulged in or not as you see fit. One must be done to move forward, but the rest and some other activities will contribute to your final result. You can apparently win the triathlon – I didn’t, as I didn’t find the little games appealing.

It seemed at times a tad clunky. For example, leaving the mask sorting meant engaging from scratch in the same conversation you have already had in order to trigger the sorting in the first place and to be allowed to continue. It was also at times a little directionless – maybe I missed the clue to the drinking conundrum but without the walkthrough that would still have me stumped.

And I have no intention of mentioning the farting cat puzzle, or why it was considered necessary.

Along with the settings, the ghost hunting was the best bit. Fiddling with the gadgets to reveal the presence of apparitions and alternative timelines will ultimately result in a ghost being released and reunited, all in one. There are threads though still to tie up, and a further instalment is foreshadowed. There is plenty there to follow through on.

Midnight Horror plays in the third person and is classic point and click. A small range of icons indicate interactive items or locations, and arrows indicate exits from each scene. Double click to jump to the next scene, or calmly walk across the current one. Save at will, continue where you left off, and choose to play with subtitles and sound descriptions on or off. There is not a lot of motion in each scene save for the characters, but sufficient to give it life. Ambient sound and the soundtrack is fine. Move the mouse to the bottom of the screen to reveal the inventory and to top left to access the menu, or just press the escape button. I didn’t choose to play it windowed, but it didn’t fill my screen.

I didn’t get any bugs and it took about two and a half hours (I did need the walkthrough on occasion) It is also quaint rather than scary.

I will forever look forward to the games of Mr Boakes, but hope a next instalment offers a little more.

Grade: B-

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB



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