Reviews by jakomo

Horror in the Darkness

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1-4 of 4


Madness at Hobbsgate, by Karmic Shift Studios

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"Damn it, it wasn’t quite fresh enough!", September 23, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: Horror in the Darkness

Credit to Karmic Shift Studios: they've clearly learnt from the flaws of the previous entries in the Horror in the Darkness series and it all comes together in this fourth entry, which is easily the best so far. The intro is intriguing (a different character's point-of-view), the premise is appealing (escape the lunatic asylum you've been committed to after the events of the previous games), the puzzles comes thick and fast, there is a wild and wacky cast of NPCs, and a delicious undercurrent of black humour throughout. Unlike previous games, there is plenty of flavour-text and guidance when you attempt incorrect actions. Thoroughly enjoyable. Ends inconclusively, clearly not intended as the final entry in this series, so it's a shame there hasn't been another in five years.


Horror in the Pacific, by Karmic Shift Studios

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
“Who are we to combat poisons older than history and mankind?”, September 21, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: Horror in the Darkness

This second sequel to Horror in the Darkness works better than the lacklustre Horror at Innsport: mainly due to the locale. An exotic tropical resort island is definitely more fun to wander around than a drab, dying industrial town. The biggest game of the series by far, so it's important to map and take notes diligently (it's very easy to miss exits). Takes its time to get going, with an initial off-brand Monkey Island flavour, but once the horror starts it soon ratchets up to Cannibal Holocaust levels before turning into a rip-roaring old-school adventure. Multiple endings too, depending on the choice of character background you make at the beginning.


Horror at Innsport, by Karmic Shift Studios

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.", September 17, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: Horror in the Darkness

The sequel to Horror in the Darkness is bigger and more ambitious: this time, there are actual NPCs scattered around the isolated island town you are exploring to find a missing girl, and significant plot events actually happen to you, rather than being related to you via scattered letters you find lying around. But bigger is not necessarily better: the implementation feels sparser, like the effort given to more locations, more objects and more puzzles has reduced the effort given to implementing unique responses for non-critical-path actions. Pacing, mood and atmosphere are also a slight step down. The first game wasn't particularly scary, but this one almost veers into comedy at times. Still worth playing if you enjoyed the original (and the (Spoiler - click to show)genocidal ending is... an interesting choice).


Horror in the Darkness, by Karmic Shift Studios

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity", September 13, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: Horror in the Darkness

A very familiar slice of Lovecraftiana, exploring a secluded mansion to uncover the mystery of the residents who seemingly vanished. Anybody who has played The Lurking Horror or Theatre or Anchorhead knows the drill by now. But this is reaching out to an audience of smartphone users who maybe don't have that history, and it does very well in that regard. An intuitive button-based interface, a map and hint system, even background music complement a traditional (world-model based) parser-style text adventure (with no typing). Nicely paced: plot reveals come at regular intervals with each major puzzle solved, and there is a good forward momentum - I counted zero unfair puzzles. Android version is free but offers an IAP to "remove ads" - but I didn't see any ads so don't know what that's about? Pretty short but is followed by three sequels.



1-4 of 4