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Atmospheric game in which you play as a vampire, November 23, 2018
Into the Lair is a choice-based story in which you play as a vampire. Out for revenge against another vampire, you must enter his lair and perform your choice of three tasks. These are not mutually exclusive, though: On my playthrough I completed two of those tasks and partially completed the third.
Playing this game brought back some of the same feelings I had reading the better of those old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books as a kid. Something like "You're walking down a corridor deep underground. There's a sound coming from the side tunnel to the left. Up ahead the main tunnel appears to fork. One branch features well-set stone, and the other has a dirt floor. Which do you choose?"
It's atmospheric and it pulls you in. I found myself hesitating before making each decision because the game led me to feel like my choices actually mattered.
However, I eventually discovered that this turns out not to be entirely the case. The story repeatedly lets you backtrack during your trek through the lair. I liked that from a playability standpoint, although it did take away some of my feeling of agency. (To be fair, this is also something that many of those old CYOA books allowed you to do.)
My major criticism of the game is that it felt too abrupt at the end - anticlimactic, even. But I enjoyed it overall.
Into the Lair is horror-themed, and it does feature vampires, but I wouldn't have trouble recommending it to ten-year-olds who like adventure stories. Adults can enjoy it, too, of course.