The Black Sanctum

Adventure 1984 Dos Dosbox Mark Data Products Graphical IF Horror

A selection of 6 sparse yet somehow still enticing adventures

When a game, especially a text based (aided by graphical cues) game is not that good, something interesting happens: any bit that is above the very low average will seem more interesting! But that takes a very specific type of game, one that is rather poor technically, but is at least palatable, be it uneventful, most of the time. This is the thing with The Black Sanctum, a collection of 6 adventure games ported to the DOS environment form the Tandy home computer. They are very uneventful games, in terms of stories, and so, when something interesting happens you have that backdrop of uneventfulness to compare these extraordinary events to. Thus, you get a bit of a rush that will keep you playing, waiting for that fix to kick in again. There is also something special about these very minimalist graphics that the games have, and the very belligerent parsers the game come with. It's as if they resist being played, which, in this day and age of extremely easy and in your face games is pretty hard to find. So, yeah, expect a boring ride for portions, a hard ride, one that will do a lot to frustrate, but in the end offer you a very special kind of enjoyment. Surely worth it! An alternative? Hmm, see for instance Shenanigans, graphically and parser wise the same, but with a sense of humor as well.

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