Scratches Director's Cut

Adventure 2007 Windows Meridian4 Crime investigation Action based

Haunting but slow-paced mystery

If nothing else, this game is notable for being the first ever commercial game to come out of Argentina, but fortunately it's also got a lot more going for it and while it may not be perfect, it's certainly an atmospheric and intriguingly dark mystery. The original and quite spooky tale tells a complex narrative that is set in rural England back in the 1970s and revolves around an old house which is now occupied by a writer and who keeps hearing strange scratching noises. Of course, he has to investigate and this is where the player comes in, exploring the house and uncovering its terrifying history in the process. It's familiar stuff to anyone who's read the likes of Stephen King or Dan Simmons, or played Alone in the Dark or Prisoner of Ice, but the story is rarely less than engaging or entertaining. The game itself is played via a first-person perspective and utilises a point-and-click interface where players must explore and solve puzzles using both their inventory and their deductive skills. Unfortunately, it's these puzzles which create one of the game's biggest issues as while they are generally logical, there's a lot of tedious pixel hunting to be done, and the player frequently has no idea what to do next as there are lots of less than obvious things which need to be dealt with before you can progress. The game also suffers from a rather slow pace and even hardened adventurers will be wishing for a bit of action to liven things up. On the plus side, the visuals are decent enough, creating a good sense of atmosphere and if do enjoy spooky games with a haunting feel, this is worth checking out.

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