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Lovecraft For Dummies - Or - When Hawking explains Cthulhu, July 6, 2009
You are a reporter in a small town at the northern edge of the known world. Beyond that point stands a far too lively, and we have to admit it, somewhat scarry wilderness.
For you, the excitment of that manly life was originaly very high; but is gradually fading away, and is being replaced by boredom. However, suddenly some mysterious events take place in your town. Something is finallay happening ! It might be the chance to conduct the investigation of your life...
And as your investigation progresses, you are gradually shifting into horror.
The story is a very conventional Lovecraftian story, with most elements that a reader might expect : a remote town, an ageless cult, monsters from an other dimention... But it includes a very simple, but clever, twist in which really enlightens the whole thing, as well as many previous lovecraftian stories that we could have read before.
The setting, at the edge of the world, is rather well described and quite intriguing. The story unfolds relatively well. Even if I felt that a bit of narrative logic between the various events was missing. The puzzles are rather conventional, but fit well enough in the story.
However, to the technical point of view the game is definitelly not at top level :
- Many typos (For example, an altar is named an "alter").
- Room connections do not always fit with the description. (Somewhere, a room is referred as being east. However to go there, you have to go west). Or sometimes, the way in does not match the way out (You enter a place going SE, and leave it going SE too).
- Some room connections are suggested in the text, but with no specific direction given. So, you end up trying all of them.
- When turning on a specific device, my interpreter experienced a serious slowdown.
As I suggested before, if the game does definitely not shine by its technical realisation, and is little more than an average horror story, there is definitelly something that it does very well :
The author found a very simple way of explaining the concept of things coming from an other dimention, and to justify their unstable, horrible shape in our world.
So yes, that game was worth a try, had me thinking, and I understand why "Evil tabby cat" included it next to the very good "Ecdysis" in his list of disturbing games.