Bloodless on the Orient Express

by Hannes Schueller profile

Horror, Humor
2011

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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Dracula: Guerilla Chef, March 9, 2012

1899: a train is trapped by snow, and a murder has been committed; but you are Count Dracula, and identifying the murderer is only one part of the more pressing objective of getting some blood.

Written in 3 hours for Ectocomp, in which it placed 1st of 8, this is essentially a speedIF. That considered, it's an impressive piece of work, if not a hugely distinctive one. It's designed along unadventurous but very solid lines; gather some inventory, assess the situation, solve a straightforward puzzle. The map is well-organised, the puzzles are easy to pick up without being obvious, and you are deftly turned away from red herrings. The terse efficiency failed me at (Spoiler - click to show)lighting the stove, where failure responses don't really signal the correct action; otherwise, for a game written this quickly it's remarkably robust.

Genuinely horrific effects take time to build and a lot of fine-tuning, and few Ectocomp games really attempt to create them; Bloodless is no exception, and mostly feels like a neutral-affect oldschool piece. It does, however, manage to develop a strong, atmospheric setting in a few minimalist strokes; I got a good impression of the creaky, dimly-lit, narrow environment of the train carriages.