John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles: An Adventure in Terror

Adventure 1998 Windows Red Orb Entertainment Mystery Puzzle based

Great slice of pulp horror gaming

Anyone interested in a dark and haunting tale of evil, madness and mayhem would be well advised to check out this enjoyably spooky slice of hokum that is just dripping with atmosphere. The game takes the form of an adventure that sees the player controlling the son of the former manager of a mental asylum, who is now deceased but who has managed to kidnap your own son from beyond the grave. You must now venture into the hospital and you have until dawn to recover your boy or lose him forever so that he becomes just another part of its bloody history. As you enter the hospital you will encounter the spirits of other long dead patients, many of whom will help you solve the myriad puzzles which stand between you and your boy. Speaking of which, the puzzles are generally fine, challenging but logical and inventive, and which will provide much of the game's entertainment value. However, beyond this there is much to recommend this to any adventure fan. While the haunted house setting is far from original, the design work on display here is exceptional and there is a genuine sense of dread and fear as you explore. The narrative too is gripping and is enhance by the extensive background details you uncover along the way and which build to create a wonderfully believable game world that is populated by well realised characters. The narrative and puzzles are well integrated also and blend together well, rather than feeling forced as is so often the case. Most of the voice acting is very strong too, with particular mention going to the lead villain, who is charismatic and chilling in a wonderfully B-movie way. Any faults are fairly minor and overall this is a great piece of pulp horror gaming. Check out Realms of the Haunting for a similarly enjoyable experience.

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