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About the Story
Lighthouses simultaneously stand at the border between land and sea and the border between old and new. They are naturally good settings for secrets. Do you dare visit this one?
1st Place - Saugus.net Halloween Contest 2009
Number of Reviews: 2
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The Lighthouse has a moody, dark atmosphere, with a few plot surprises that might make you shiver a little if you've been reading carefully. You start of as a tourist, heading to see the famous lighthouse in the midst of a heavy rain, with a broken arm, and a hill to climb. The plot itself isn't very original. The scenario of tourists stumbling onto dark secrets in creepy buildings has been done before. However, the author does put a new spin on it. There are some poignantly scary seems that have been written well.
Unfortunately, the puzzles (if you could call them that) are quite easy. There are no codes to crack, no mazes to explore, no and no hidden doors to find. The procedure is routine and the only interesting thing about the "puzzles" is manipulating your actions to find an undiscovered ending. There are multiple endings you can reach, but (from what I've seen) only one can be considered moderately happy.
I wasn't quite sure whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. In the end, I settled for 3. The writing is good, but then again, if I only wanted good writing I could have read a book. I want some challenge out of my IF games and I didn't get it here. (Of course, I might be missing some important piece of information that prevented me from reaching another step of the game, but I doubt it.)
So, if you're looking for a short, atmospheric game that will put you in a dark, slightly paranoid mood, then play The Lighthouse. However, if you're looking for challenging puzzle games, move on.
If this short horror adventure had been more tightly programmed, I'd praise it as being very good. As it stands, it manages to be both pretty good and pretty annoying.
The player is determined to apprehend the wonders of the St Cafasso Lighthouse on Buwch Island, and not even a torrential storm is going to put them off. This is a brisk and atmospheric set up with a lot of possibilities, and the game quickly makes good on them, confronting the player with a corpse, violence and secrets.
Where it doesn't make good is in fielding the majority of commands which are slightly off course. Perhaps it is only the fate of good writing to be seriously injured by the unvarying tone of default parser messages. There's nothing more obnoxious than being in the throes of trying to stave off another character's attempt on your life and having to wade through a sea of the old chestnuts like, 'That seems to belong to Mr X', 'That's hardly portable,' or 'That would achieve nothing.' The (quite good) mood of this game was ruined for me on countless occasions by such oversights.
The game has several endings that I could find, and the fact that they are not immediately adjacent to each other, but aren't miles apart from each other, either, is a plus in my book. Yet there is also a a terrible bug along the lines of: characters who are alive shouldn't suddenly be dead, and vice versa.
This is the kind of short piece which, if its holes were plugged, I would probably elevate into my totally underpopulated horror top 10. (There is a sore shortage of non-Lovecraft horror text adventures out there.) But bugs and oversights really work against the Lighthouse's quality content.
Games with multiple endings by tggdan3
Obviously not counting "death" as an ending, but non-successful ends can count if there are other successful ends. Variation in endings should at least vary the ending somewhat (as opposed to be an extra word or two).
No map necessary by Divide
Pieces which can be fully enjoyed without drawing map, ideally without taking any notes whatsoever. Ones which you could play on a bus, on a break, laying on bed, etc. with nothing but a portable player. Games for which you don't need...