The short version: Like Dear Esther
but with puzzles.
The long version: While it shares a few comparisons with Dear Esther
in terms of plot and setting--male protagonist wandering alone on a dreary-but-hauntingly-beautiful island--I'd have to say that Montague's Mount
is by far the more disturbing of the two. You are likely to figure out what's going on halfway through, but uncovering the manner in which those things occurred still manages to keep the final reveal from feeling anticlimactic.
The inclusion of puzzles obviously sets it apart from DE, and while some of them stumped me for a little while (the Compass Puzzle comes to mind), they didn't inspire an urge to rage quit. I have to admit, I was a little put off by how slow the character was, especially when certain puzzles required retracing my steps. Still, the game establishes the need for limited movement from the very beginning; as a storyteller myself, I do appreciate that foundation even if the gamer in me occasionally kept pressing left shift in hopes the narrator would move that walking stick just a little bit faster!
By far, the best part of this entire game is the voice acting. As an American, I'm in no position to comment on the quality of the accent, but he definitely managed to put genuine emotion where it was needed. I felt
for him when he began to despair. I felt his frustrations with his marriage. The reading of the last letter also helped the ending from falling too flat. The music in this game was also very lovely and added to the mood of the game.
(That said, I wasn't entirely keen on the occasional popping up of quotes, even if they were relevant to one of the game's main themes. It kind of interrupted the immersive atmosphere that otherwise existed.)
Speaking of the ending... I was expecting to continue on to the eponymous Mount after that last narration, only to wind up at the title screen! Right now it feels too open-ended. Part of me does think it fits, considering what we learn of the character over the course of the game. Since I've only just finished it, I think I need more time to really turn it over to definitely decide whether or not I liked the ending.Overall:
It's worth playing through for the plot and voice acting. The music is appropriate and helps set the mood, the puzzles are an appropriate level of challenging, and if you liked Dear Esther
--or just point-and-click adventures in general--you'll probably like this as well.