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The For3st House gets simultaneously better and worse., February 16, 2012
Keen followers of The Forest House saga would have been pretty happy with the ending of part two, and probably at least mildly curious to see what would happen in part three. The answer is: you get half a game which is potentially the best in the series, followed by half a game which is easily the worst.
Basically the third episode seems too ambitious for anyone to be able to bring off properly in just three hours of programming, the competition limitation which defines all three games. So the further you play, the worse the programming gets, until the building is practically falling down around you.
The kid from episode one is now grown and married, "With a gorgeous wife to your left and beautiful son to your right" as the game says. But this is a Forest House game, so it's not long before people need to start getting on down to The Forest House to progress the plot.
This game features an animated NPC, a first for the series. It's your wife, and she dutifully follows you around, guides you in the right direction and offers some advice. This is a very cool start to the game, and the conversations actually clear up some of the family relations that have popped up in the earlier games.
Unfortunately things go downhill once you get into the supernatural half of the adventure. First, a bunch of room descriptions vanish. This is clearly a bug, even though there are other weird room shenanigans going on, including is a semi-endless stairway, again inspired by Silent Hill. Second: (Spoiler - click to show)The fight with The Beast demonstrates more new programming, but feels silly. And finally the game just crumbles into programming hell. Its responses become erratic and inconsistent, things disappear or don't disappear which shouldn't or should respectively. (Spoiler - click to show)The end is supposed to present a few choices but I could only interact with one of them; the others seemed broken or bizarre. If you can make it to the finale, it offers a bunch of fairly crazy exposition.
Over the course of three Forest House games, the author demonstrated a growing range of abilities. It's probably time for him to string them all together in a game not ensmallened or bugged-up by a three-hour programming time limit. That limit hurt this third game in the series the most.