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Old School, May 8, 2019
Confession time, I’ve used ADRIFT for years but have never played any of the game produced by the creator himself, Campbell Wild. So, I picked The Haunted House from 1999 created with ADRIFT 3.8 as a start. Obviously from 1999 I was not expecting modern IF.
The intro sets the scene of a dare to visit a haunted house in search of a chest of gold. So it is a treasure hunt which is good, I like treasure hunts. The first thing I notice is that after I complete a few activities my score is going up. I know not everyone likes a scoring system but me, I like scoring points. And 1000 to go at as well.
The location descriptions are classic style so are very brief as in this example - “You are standing in the reception area of the house. To your west is the kitchen. The main hall is to your north. To the east, is the conservatory. The front door leads outside. High above your head is a fantastic chandelier.”
The only thing you can examine in the above example is the chandelier. Even the front door does not exist. Well, at least I know that the only thing of interest is the chandelier. But, as this is suppose to be a haunted house sparse location descriptions like this do nothing for the atmosphere of the place.
I do not remember running into any GTV particularly and looking back at the walkthru I created most the commands look fairly logical. Apart from magnetising an object, I got stuck on that one.
Game logic is the biggest issue I have with this game. A lot of the things you have to do, do not make any sense. Some of the puzzles are very random in nature and not very well clued, if at all. At one stage you find a candle holder and you start off the game carrying a candle so….. No, you can’t put the candle in the holder. The actually place to put the holder is simple enough but has little reason to be done.
If you like modern IF then this will not be the game for you as you will want it to go back to the 1980’s. If, like me, you adore old school adventure games (with all their old school faults) then you could do no worse than give this game a try.