The Lighthouse

by Marius Müller profile

Horror
2009

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Number of Reviews: 2
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Promising horror needs more programming., September 16, 2011
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: horror, Inform

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.