Written by Jnx86
It’s a dark and stormy night. The wind howls ominously! Floor creaks suspiciously perhaps from steps maybe? But whos steps? The room is empty! Is it a another ghost? Maybe, but it seems like its not noticing me. Maybe I can try to find out where that key is hidden. Il’l focus my eyes in to the room and its furniture, maybe I can find something to help me crack this puzzle. Suddenly lightning flashes and I see womans shape in the window. Is she trying to tell me something? Trying to show me the place I should check?
A famed writer Nathaniel Hawthorne has died during a freakish snow storm and now his ghost has come to ask your help. You’ll need to travel back 170 years to the past to find out what really happened to him. There seems to be more in this case than first appears. Why was it snowing in May? Could Nathaniel`s powerful friends have something to do with his untimely death? Also this 17th century village is going grazy with rumours about witchcraft and trials have already started. Its time to unravel a another midnight mystery!
This is how story starts. You take the case of Nathaniel Hawthorne`s spirit and are taken back to the 17th century town of Salem. At first you are carefully instructed how to use your mouse to inspect different objects, how the hint system works, and how to use your inventory and journal. Learning curve of this game is short and in no time you are at home with your interface. You have basic inventory at the bottom of your screen where your items crucial to your mission are stored. It doesnt mean that you’ll need them right away. It could take sometime before they are actually needed, do keeping in mind what you have found is essential in puzzles. You are also able to combine certain items together to create new ones. There is also items that are not essential to your mission to unravel Hawthornes mysterious death and to unfold secrets inside the game.You’ll also have Journal which stores your story so far and notes that are writed down as you progress. Hints and suspesions are also stored here. The Journal is easy to use and contains precise information that really helps you at tight spots.
The game also introduces a new hint system that includes crows. Yes I said crows. The point is that when you are in difficult spot and dont know what to do, you can summon a crow that shows you the right choice. Though these crows come not wihtout a price. Each time you use a hint, it consumes 1 crow and these crows are only found inside the game. You’ll need to check your surroundings everywhere and keep an eye out for them. If you manage to spot crows somehere, click them and add them to your hint count.
There are also secret to be found if you manage to find all of the clovers hidden in the game Puzzles in this game are logical, I really enjoyed doing them. Some need a little math, some are spacial and require moving pieces to fit together or you’ll have a hint that is in a form of a riddle. The new thing in this kind of a game is, that when looking for certain important items, you are given a close look at the site you are inspecting. Like a campsite. Its filled with different objects and in a bottom of your screen are different names or hints. Youll need to find the right objects that are hidden on the screen. Example: Name “Old trustworthy” can be a musket that can be seen on the screen, you click it and if you picked the right one, both of them disappear. You’ll need to find all the pairs and then you are given a last hint that gives you the important item, if you can crack it first. First it feels so easy, but when you have less objects left, the diffuculty rises. I needed a hint system a couple of times to find the item I was looking for. It was hidden with talent and when crow spotted it for me, I was like “Why I didnt see that”!
Games backrounds are 2D and hand drawn. They look beautiful and really let you inside the games spooky feeling. Backrounds include animations like lightning, ghosts, wind and stuff to keep the game feeling more alive. There are also animations that are only triggered at certain points of the game. Story goes on with hand drawn animation videos that look beautiful and are sometimes scary.
The games story is interesting and the gameplay is easy. It offers some challenge, but is mostly for entertainment only. No harcore puzzles in this game. Even if you happen to run in a puzzle that is too difficult, the help system kicks in so that you don’t get frustrated.
The games soundtrack is great. It really brings that spooky feeling when you are inspecting a town filled with ghosts. It manages to deliver the feeling that you are inside the game. Sudden change on the soundtrack wakes you up and can even scare you. The games soundtrack is mystical and beautiful. The sound effects are well done as well. Lightingstorm makes you feel threatened, creaking floor brings the feeling that you are not alone, howling wind inside the empty rooms breaks the silence, and sound of a the fireplace burning wood brings the feeling of warmth.
+ Great interesting story
+ Beautiful visuals
+ Easy to use hint system and interface
- The game is short
- Too easy for hardcore puzzlers
There is witchcraft in this game, but it’s pretty sublimial. Your character basicly follows leads and inspects the case and only once do you take part in it by crafting a love potion
I personally enjoyed my trip through the Salem village. I managed to beat the game in 3 hours, which is very short, but I enjoyed every single minute. Though its price ion Steam is too high (9,99e) for my opinion, you should check it out when it becomes cheaper. I bought the first part and third after I finished the second. I couldn’t let an experiece like this slip. If you are not looking for a hardcore puzzles or if you are new in games like this, this is a game for you. For those looking for hard puzzles, I recommend checking out Resonance. Over and out!