Nadir puts it pretty well. This game is trying its best to be spooky, and some of the writing does skew in that direction, but the game in the end is short, and full of a few moments (vomit vomit vomit) that kind of kill off the mood.
There's so much vomit and the twist can be predicted. The game only has one puzzle, and it involves lots of walking around to do the next thing without actually doing anything.
How pretentious is this game? Well, not as pretentious as Apud Le Medius Res or Freedom, but it's pretty close.
It's like BlueMagus thought "well, let's see here. i want to make a scary game... what shall i put in it? hmm. well, anne rice sure is scary so let's make it be about a vampire. and, uh, he's in a castle... and uh let's put some angsty tortured girls in. those are pretty goth. oh yeah, and the vampire's lost his memory. and the castle is built entirely of FLESH HEWN FROM THE BONES OF THE LIVING and some other stuff ripped off of hp lovecraft"
And then carried it out. And yes, he thought all that in lowercase because unique people think in lowercase.
If you really want a horror ZZT game, Asmodeus is way better. I guess this isn't all that bad; some of the writing is decent, if horribly overwrought. And the graphics are neat. I'm not giving it more than three, though, because I'm mean like that. And it's kind of funny, rather than scary.
Also; I just gave away the shock ending to the game =(
This game aims for horror and does surprisingly well. When I first read the html 'readme' file (what happened to the txt file?) I thought a ZZT horror game wouldn't work, but by a brilliant combination of prosaic text and dark rooms (dark in colour, not the sort where you need torches) the author pulls off a scary feel to it. Admittedly it's not the sort of thing you can manage with a film, but I was impressed.
Other than that the game was quite simple - run around and touch a load of objects. There were places where I had to consult the walkthrough as I was required to do something I'd already done again. (Even something like reading a book - maybe it didn't sink in the first time). I couldn't manage to pick up the objects I expected to be able to, but other than that the game seemed quite bug free.
The game was really short, and could have done with more puzzles, like places where you had to get an object to get into somewhere to get another object to... The story though was well presented, and based on a great idea. Without giving anything away, there was one line at the end which was along the lines of "It worked then" which raised a couple of completely unanswered questions for me, and there's a girl who doesn't seem to play any part in the game.
Overall though it was well worth the download, and made entertaining playing.
Reviewed: Mar 20, 2023
Rating: out of 5.0 This user has opted out of providing a numeric rating