Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare

by Jubell

Horror/Surreal
2010

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
An Episode of Buffy (Not a Compliment), May 26, 2011
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)

Sadly, Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare demonstrates the low quality that ADRIFT games are known for. I didn't start out thinking that; I was convinced of that as the game progressed.

To be sure, it starts out interestingly enough, but half-way through the introduction, at the juncture between grandeur and mundanity, WGHN takes the tried and true path into the lands of everyday horror. The main character is a stock and unreal cypher (really, a teenaged male is not affected by a stunningly attractive female doctor?), and then the game requires the use of adverbs to play. Uggghhhhh. Examine isn't enough; no, you must CLOSELY EXAMINE. Then the grammar goes south and you become aware of the overuse and misuse of ellipses. It feels like the game is self-destructing before your very eyes.

Next, the plot takes a pagan turn and your task suddenly becomes a mission to reunite Grecian deities (apparently they don't have the power to find one another, despite being gods). Right around here, you become aware of the plot-on-rails nature of the game.

The game trudges on, introducing you to a nearly pornographic candy striper named Hope -- with stereotypical Southern charms. (Yes, Southern women are hawt, but can't you be a little bit more creative in communicating their appeal?). To move the plot forward, you get to play "guess the question".

Then, everything hits the fan. It turns out that the only way to play this game is to play it under Windows, because the SCARE clones don't implement combat and guess what this game has? Yup, combat. Even using Wine won't help -- at least it didn't help me.

From what I could see, WGHN ended up feeling like a Buffy episode. In fact, that's probably the best way to describe the game; as Buffy was goth light with stereotyped characters, that's what WGHN is.


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RandomExile, May 26, 2011 - Reply
AmberShards, I marked the review helpful, because I think it does give me an idea what to expect in gameplay and why I may or may not want to play it.

On the other hand, I feel Buffy may be unfairly maligned on a few points. The early seasons, especially, drew striking parallels between the supernatural horror they faced and the pains, fear, confusion and wonder of adolescence. Xander falling for a preying mantis, the pack of hyenas, beer bad, sleeping with Angel... All lead morality plays. I thought Buffy was witty and showed children a measured view of adults ranging from Giles/Joyce/Pr. Wood to the Mayor, while also showing adults the strength and humanity of children.
AmberShards, June 4, 2011 - Reply
My perspective comes from someone who just doesn't care for gothic "lite". It's nothing personal. I tried to watch the show when it debuted, but I gave up due to the lack of emotions and the missed opportunities for grandeur.
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