by Kitty Horrorshow


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A short and simple twine horror piece with atmospheric writing, March 5, 2017

Pontrefract is a small and fairly linear twine horror game by the author of Stygia. You're fleeing from invisible assailants in a dark forest when you stumble across an ominous-looking castle and are hesitantly forced to seek shelter within. The plot appears to be pretty minimal and not entirely original at first, but there is actually a bit more to it than first meets the eye. (Don't expect anything earth-shattering however.)

The real attraction here is the descriptive writing that's used to create the dark fantasy world of the game. There's a fair amount of gruesome imagery and the overall tone of the story stays unwaveringly bleak throughout. The few inhabitants of the castle the player briefly gets to meet are chillingly brought to life by the grisly little details in their descriptions. Naturally there are several graphic death scenes in the game as well. Personally I think these kinds of unrelentingly grim fantasy settings can get to be a bit much after a while, but thanks to the shortness of the game I was able to enjoy its morbid atmosphere from start to finish.

All in all, I liked Pontrefract for what it was, but at the same time I can see how people who prefer their IF a bit more plot-heavy or otherwise substantial might not consider it worthy of their time. Mostly I'd recommend it to people with a taste for dark fantasy who are willing to look past the game's other shortcomings.