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Story File
Contains church.taf
ZIP contains three games, Conversation with a Picture, Sigurd Fafnesbane and the Old Church
Requires an ADRIFT version 4 interpreter. Visit the ADRIFT site for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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The Old Church

by Eva Vikstrom

2004

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
2 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: ADRIFT
IFID: Unknown
TUID: irld9ghsxm3v4r55

Editorial Reviews

Delron Review Compilation
This is a short game of haunting in a church. The story is very linear and not too authentic, and it lacks a clear central theme throughout the game. The most frustrating thing, though, is the lack of synonyms for many objects. In one case, for example, I only could address a character by his full name; using either the first or the second name individually didnít work.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Harmless haunting, September 21, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: horror, parser-based, ADRIFT

The Old Church is a fairly short parser-based game by Eva Vikstrom, published in 2004. I gave it a try because I wanted to try out some obscure horror-themed adventure, and so far the game had no ratings on IFDB.

The main character is a tourist visiting an unspecified European church from 13th century. After some exploration it turns out that the church is haunted, although strangely no one seems to mind.

The setting is one of the best things about The Old Church. The layout and description of the church makes it seem like a fairly believable location; sadly the game world suffers from a lack of implementation. There isn't much to interact with, which hampers the exploration part of the game.

The writing is clear but stilted, with a few typos and wrong word choices. The overall tone of the game is not scary at all - it almost feels like an educational piece with all its low-key explanations of how various rooms of a church work as you move around the place. Any remaining tension is finally deflated when you discover that (Spoiler - click to show)the "villain" of the game is essentially a non-malevolent church mouse.

It's fairly easy to navigate in the game world since the exits are listed whenever you need them. However, in other respects the game isn't always user friendly. The conversation system is implemented rather spottily, making it hard to know at times if not being able to talk to a character about some topic is because they have nothing to say about it or if your command was wrong. The worst example is how (Spoiler - click to show)in one part of the game you have to talk about "Axel Gyllenpil" to progress. The game only accepts the full name, giving default error responses for both "Axel" or "Gyllenpil". Fortunately the game comes with a walkthrough for cases like this, but still... And regarding the ending, (Spoiler - click to show)according to the walkthrough there are two endings, and I imagine the alternative ending has something to do with cheese and the church mouse, but I couldn't find the correct command to do anything with the cheese.

The overall design is linear and somewhat contrived. The player has the option to explore the area freely, but the events that progress the story can only happen in a certain order. So in practice, you need to wander around aimlessly until you hit the first few story beats by accident. The most egregious part is (Spoiler - click to show)the sword magically appearing in the crypt only after learning about it, and the cheese conveniently falling out of your lunch box right after you pick up the sword.

One last unpleasantness with The Old Church are some sound effects which hit suddenly and loud when examining certain things around the game world. Yes, this game has jump scares, although I'm not sure if they were even intended to be jump scares or just normal sound effects for the purposes of immersion. In any case, I recommend lowering the volume before you start.

The Old Church is one of the first games made by the author, and unfortunately it shows. It's not always smooth to play and the payoff isn't always there, but you could give it a try if you're hankering for something very obscure and only very mildly terrifying.


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This is version 1 of this page, edited by Richard Otter on 23 April 2019 at 4:30pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item