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Rise From Your Grave, December 8, 2009
This is a relatively straightforward game designed to deliver a particular atmosphere rather than a unique gameplay experience. Since this game was part of the 2009 Saugus.net Halloween Ghost Story Contest, you can probably imagine what that atmosphere is. On the whole, it succeeds in its endeavor.
The player finds himself waking from a muddy grave in the middle of a torrential downpour. Darkness and gloom permeate the environment and force the player to proceed towards the only light that can be seen. The player suffers from amnesia and can’t seem to figure out who he is or, for that matter, what he is. Much of the game is spent lumbering around the dozen or so rooms looking for some way of clearing the fuzziness from his brain. Actually accomplishing that task depends on whether or not, by the time you reach that which you desire, you’ve figured out (in a meta-sense, the PC remains in the dark) what you really are.
More directly: (Spoiler - click to show) It’s apparent from early on in the game that you are undead. If rising from a grave in the opening text doesn’t do it for you, the recurring reminders that you seem to be dying inside your cold body makes it pretty plain. But which form of undead remained a question for me up until you encounter another person. The game indicates that this NPC is ‘alive with life in the way you are not’ and then continues the constant reminders that you are incredibly thirsty. All attempts to drink either the bottle of alcohol or the NPC itself are refuted, however, because the proper command is ‘bite’. While this method of drinking blood is very common in vampire myths, the game itself never hints in any way that a ‘bite’ command is implemented.
I only got stuck once in the game, and that was plainly my fault as I missed an exit description in a room in which I wasn’t expecting to have additional exits. Otherwise, this game is pretty enjoyable. Great atmosphere, easily decipherable puzzles, and a somewhat interesting method of NPC control that fit very well into the ‘story’, for what it is. No real bugs to speak of, either, though I didn’t spend a lot of time hammering on it. Took me near an hour to figure out because of my aforementioned ignorance, but I’d say a more observant person could finish this off in ten to twenty minutes.