This Myst-style horror-adventure game will bring fear into your heart. From the very beginning you are exposed to an overwhelming but invisible ghost presence – strange calls, footsteps, voices from nowhere. In order to help your brother and survive you will need to solve the mystery of this abandoned, haunted place. And remember!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (94 reviews) - 79% of the 94 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 19, 2002

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Buy Dark Fall: The Journal

Packages that include this game

Buy Dark Fall Collection

Includes 2 items: Dark Fall 2: Lights Out, Dark Fall: The Journal

Buy The New Adventure Company Hits Collection

Includes 15 items: 15 Days, Aura: Fate of the Ages, Black Mirror, Black Mirror II, Black Mirror III, The Book of Unwritten Tales, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles, Dark Fall: The Journal, Dark Fall 2: Lights Out, The Moment of Silence, The Mystery of the Druids, Overclocked: A History of Violence, The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief, Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure



“A very well-designed ghost story from a very promising developer, and well worth the purchase for suspense and first-person fans.”
7/10 – Adventure Gamers

“Proves that gameplay and story can (and always should) supersede flash and that a game does not need a big budget to tell a great story.”
8.6/10 – The Armchair Empire

“Taking about twenty hours to finish in all, it is packed with some of the scariest moments I have encountered in my gaming life.”
80 % – Gamers' Temple

About This Game

This Myst-style horror-adventure game will bring fear into your heart. From the very beginning you are exposed to an overwhelming but invisible ghost presence – strange calls, footsteps, voices from nowhere. In order to help your brother and survive you will need to solve the mystery of this abandoned, haunted place. And remember! Do not let it to find you! Do not let it to find you... Do not.. Let... find...

The game is best played in a dark room with your speakers turned up. Unless you're scared, of course.

The Story - many decades ago

The old, abandoned train station at Dowerton hides a history of disappearances, mystery and hauntings. The nearby Station Hotel was once a busy, bustling place for weary travellers to rest and relax...but something went wrong...on the night of April 29th, 1947, the guests and staff vanished without trace, never to be seen again.

The Story - present

You come back from work hoping to get a good night's sleep but then you notice light blinking on your answering machine. It was your brother – an architect redeveloping an old train station and hotel. He called to ask for your help. Alarmed by his frightened voice, cryptic information about some disappearance and strange whispers in the background you board a train without hesitation. From now on your adventure has just begun and soon you will realize that although no one is there, you are not alone...

Key Features

  • Explore the haunted hotel and train station, alone at night.
  • Use Ghost-Hunting Gadgets to ‘see’ into the past, and hear the dead.
  • An eerie, World War 2 setting is fully realised in 3D graphics.
  • Use detective skills to uncover secret places and learn long lost secrets.
  • Challenge the mind by solving many devious puzzles and enigmas.
  • Communicate with ghosts via a Ouijaboard.
  • Decypher an ancient, long forgotten, language.
  • A non-linear story by Jonathan Boakes, author of The Lost Crown.
  • Full cast of actors & sound to bring the haunted location to spooky life!
  • Utilise high-tech surveillance equipment, to watch supernatural activity.
  • Research local Ghost Stories to learn more about the Dark Fall.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP or Windows Vista
    • Processor: 1 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9
    • Additional Notes: Mouse, Keyboard
    • OS: Windows XP or Windows Vista
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9
    • Additional Notes: Mouse, Keyboard
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (94 reviews)
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62 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
There are degrees of puzzle games, and honestly I'm a fan of the straight-forward ones that go HERE IS A PUZZLE and then have you put gears on a board or rearrange a chessboard. Older puzzle games were puzzles unto themselves, where half of the challenge was determining how the actual puzzles manifested in the world. Dark Fall is one such game, so if you're going to dive into this one you'd better have a fresh notebook and a sharp pencil at the ready.

Dark Fall takes place entirely in an abandoned train station, where years prior a mysterious event disappeared all the employees and passengers. You're on the trail of your brother, but all you're going to find here are empty rooms and ominous whispers. Delving any deeper into the story will require you to pore over the many letters and newspaper clippings that litter the station, some pages long.

You'll need to do that to solve the puzzles, too, or sometimes just to FIND the puzzles. People like to talk about games holding their hands but Dark Fall doesn't even have a hand to hold, just a cauterized stump to wave at you. There's no highlighting, no journal, no clues, absolutely nothing to guide you to your next task in any way. Points of interest are hidden just like they would be in the real world, with lockboxes buried in the deep corners of chests and important documents tucked away under piles of clutter.

In fact, just navigating to a point of interest can be a challenge. Dark Fall uses static, rendered backgrounds which you can traverse by clicking to reach a new vantage point. The connections between scenes almost approximate tank controls, with forward and back moving you in that direction but left and right turning your view in place. That means a small room can have eight or twelve perspectives just based on two or three positions, and some of those are just staring at barren walls.

I know I'm not doing much to sell the game, but honestly I don't think I should. Not everyone wants to keep meticulous notes on the scraps they find in case they have something to do with an obscure puzzle an hour later. I certainly don't, but I recognize that for those who do, Dark Fall delivers exactly what is expected. With conventions dating from the Myst era, the challenges are more similar to puzzling out an ARG than clicking though a modern adventure. And I will give points for atmosphere, because some haunting sound design made even the decades-old renders creep me out a bit. If you're looking for a real challenge in your puzzles this will deliver, just be sure you know what you're getting into.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
58 of 62 people (94%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2013
Okay I don't know how this got such a poor rating. For 5.99 get both, so far this game is great. If you like games that make you think to progress and a great story then buy them while you can.
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52 of 58 people (90%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
This game is actually very, very smart. Unfortunately, I am quite, quite dumb, and don't know why I even attempt these point-and-click adventures (perhaps the existance of rare ones that I can actually get my stupid head around, like Sam Peters).

But unlike, say, Scratches, which is essentially a poorly-designed imitation of this, I can recognise and appreciate that the puzzles in this are by-and-largely quite sensible and clever, I just honestly COULD NOT BE BUGGERED investing the many hours of my life it will take to complete this without constant reference to a walkthrough. In other words, I'm happy to concede that in this instance it's not the's ME. Sigh. The adventure games I "grew up" with were more of the early Resident Evil / Silent Hill-ish ilk - that is to say, more "action-adventure"-ish games - and I believe the more sporadic and generally EASIER nature of the puzzle-solving in such games may have stunted my intellectual growth. Oh well. Another failure in life that I will have to tuck under my well-weathered belt...

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this, however, to those of you out there who can rise to this kind of challenge. It's atmospheric, ever-so-slightly scary and as I said, very smart. The sound design in particular is very impressive, with spooky noises aplenty and voice acting well above par for a video game from any era, not least of all the one that this is from. It's a quality product, no doubt about it. Just depends on your cup of tea, and the head that you're pouring it into.

Verdict: 8/10.
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40 of 41 people (98%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2014
I'm used to playing the usual point-and-click games, but this one is definitely one of the bests. Reasons why I loved it with a passion:

1) It can be considered horror, but it's not a survival horror game. That means you can't die. Nonetheless, the combination of graphics, music and sounds make it wonderfully in horror mood. It doesn't have the classic "jump-scares" (which, for me, is a good thing), but it has an overall eerie atmosphere that had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Now, most players who enjoy survival horror can't feel scared if they know that they can't die, but this game is creepy enough to give me some occasional goosepumps.

2) The puzzles aren't too silly or obvious, but the difficulty doesn't rely on the dreadful pixel-hunt for that little object that you don't know that you have to find*. Also, my favorite thing about this game is that there are absolutely no "inventory based" puzzles (meaning, combine items from your inventory in the most illogical ways until you find that specific combination that makes no sense to anyone except the developers). Not here. All the puzzles are logical puzzles, things that you solve by finding clues and using your little gray cells. And that's just my cup of tea.

3) Even though you can't run (there isn't double click to move faster), I never got to the point of wishing I could. You don't really have to watch your character walking; it's first person view and movement feels natural.

4) This quality for the price is unbelievable. I would recommend buying the Dark Fall Collection (1 and 2) together, even thought I haven't played the second one yet; that's how much I loved Dark Fall: The Journal.

*Note: I don't particularly consider it a real puzzle using a key to open a door. I'm talking about actual puzzles that you have to solve.
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 8, 2015
This is a really smart and creepy game! I bought Dark Fall 1 and 2 in a bundle sale a couple weeks ago and I have to say that knowing what I know now, these games are worth their full retail price.
First the good stuff: This game has a wonderfully creepy atmosphere. This is an old game, but I think it still looks great. You are alone in an abandoned 1940's English train station, investigating the disappearance of your brother, and what happened to the people who were at the station. You never truly are alone, since there are ghosts all around you, watching you, and sometimes helping you along the way. The scares are all in what you hear, not what you see, which I think is more powerful. There are no jump scares, and there is no fear of dying. However, I always felt a little on edge which says a lot since I knew I couldn't die. There is lots and lots of reading. I personally like that because it fleshes out the lives of the people that worked there, the times in which the events took place, and the story the protagonist is involved in. As far as the soundtrack is concerned, for the most part we get ambient sounds that fit the atmosphere.
Now for the potential negatives. I do not consider these things negatives, but for many gamers these may be stumbling blocks. As I mentioned be prepared to read A LOT of material. The puzzles are smart, but not impossible. They range from pretty easy to having to think for a while. While you do have an overall objective (help your brother) the game does not give you mini objectives, forcing you to just jump in and piece it together as you explore the train station and train hotel. YOU WILL TAKE NOTES! There is no in game journal, so be prepared to have a notepad and a No. 2 ready(Does anybody use No. 2's anymore?)! Since you read so much and the game does not tell you what is important or not, you will probably end of documenting a lot. As you progress through the game, it does become more clear on what to take note of. You will also need a notebook to decode two messages you find. Now the only negative I had with the game is that while it is a wonderfully creepy game that is meant to be played with the lights off, its hard to play that way when you need to take notes! However playing this at night with no interruptions has helped keep the mood creepy.
So for those who consider themselves true adventure fans (this game really brings out my inner snob), definitely give it a play. This may scare the adventure gamers of today who need the in game journal or constant voice over instead of reading. I thought this was a pleasant challenge and I look forward to playing Dark Fall: Lights Out.
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
I liked this game a lot. It's very very similar to Myst (probably most like Myst 2 aka Riven) except spooky and about ghosts. There's no jump scares at all which is rare to find.

It's just a point and click about ghosts and you basically roam around learning what happened. It's actually really neat if you like reading notes. You pretty much slowly start to learn everything thats going on and get to know the ghosts that are there slowly. A lot of the notes are optional and only give you information about the place you're at but it usually comes together in a neat way.

an easy example that doesn't give away much: you go into the womans bathroom and there's a flickering light. For just a split second in one of the flickering lights you see a shadow of a person. Sooner or later if you're looking around you'll find out that there had been complaints a LONG time ago about peeping toms and what not. It's just cool how they work it all together. Everything is there for a reason and easy to overlook, but neat if you focus.

big problem though is like Myst is its an old school point and click and expects you to write everything down or just know to click certain tiny pixels you'd probably miss. If you want to keep your sanity play this game with a guide on hand and just use it when you get stuck.

overall its pretty cool. Really nice atmosphere and generally spooky without a single jump scare which I appreciate a lot. Play it if you like those old Myst games. If you're not a fan, it might not be best to start here.
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28 of 36 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2013
Better than a lot of big budget games. Johnaton Boaks is a clever guy with a silly name.
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23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 16, 2014

+ spooky and dark atmosphere
+ great horror story, a true horror adventure game, about the supernatural being told in a believable way
+ logical puzzles, lots of stuff to read, gameplay is just great for a point and click adventure game
+ art is awesome, although not hd, still i find it to fit overall
+ great sound

- dated presentation , very low resolutions supported
- you have to take notes in order to solve puzzles, an in-game notepad that many adventure games have, could be really usefull
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2015
This game has to be played in the dark, on your own and with the volume up high. I'm not spooked by much but more than once, I was given goosebumps and palpitations by a sudden phone ringing, floorboards creaking and a disembodied voice calling to me as I explored the abandoned hotel and railway station.

You get the feeling you are there.

On your own..

And very frightened...
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
23.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2013
this game has been a real surprise I think Im about three quarters of the way through and certainly am glad I purchased Dark Fall 2 with number 1 The puzzles are great and its very creepy, turn off the lights and dont open that door while its out there, ...........the hint system is novel could work a litle better but hey, I recommend this game to anybody who likes a mystery and likes solving them
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Recently Posted
11.5 hrs
Posted: September 14
No spoiler review. Helpful hints for beginners included.

Dark Fall: The Journal is the type of adventure game that I really love. It's Myst-like in that it presents the player with an environment to explore, provides minimal instruction, and allows the player to wander and gradually begin to put pieces of the story together. It is an exploratory journey first, and its atmosphere bleeds through the screen because of its setting: an abandoned English train station with attached hotel. Great sound design, detailed environments, and some well performed voice acting create a fantastic sense of dread, without resorting to cheap (and highly overdone) jump scares. You really feel like you're exploring an abandoned location. Within that rotting an beautiful environment lies the focus and goal of the game, which the player is not given at game start, they are left to read journal articles, newspaper clippings, NPC notes, and the building itself in order to understand what is truly going on. With some footwork, a keen eye, and logic, the player should begin to see a pattern emerge, and then they'll be solving puzzles, and uncovering the mystery of Dowerton Train Station in no time.

With that said, I will also comment on the difficulty of this game. Dark Fall doesn't really offer its players any support at any time. There are, obviously, many walk-throughs and guides the player can access on the internet nowadays, but the true adventure game fan would do everything in their power to avoid going that route. I consider it the absolute last resort to use anything resembling a guide, and only after several hours of wandering, experimenting, hoping, and piecing illogical strings together, in the hopes of that elusive 'aha!' moment. If you're a fan of these types of games, it's those moments that you play them for. I'm ashamed to say that I used a guide at two points during this game, and I immediately felt guilty aftwards, though I was surprised at the solutions. This is a very challenging game, in some sections. The difficulty isn't necessarily in the puzzles themselves, but in the execution, perhaps limited by the technology of the days when this was programmed, or in some oversight by the designer. Some rooms are difficult to fully explore unless you swing your mouse around on every section of every room, looking for the right batch of pixels to activate a piece of furniture, or locate a necessary inventory item. Also, the inventory items aren't obvious at first, and using them may catch you off guard; when your mouse arrow becomes a wrench this is when you need to use an inventory item. Sometimes it's just best to experiment with clicking on the inventory items anyway, even if you're not sure. Also, sometimes, using the item in the correct spot can be very difficult and sometimes frustrating. I think these are all fair criticisms, and could certainly be improved in some form of rerelease of this game, though I don't think it really needs one.

Being a game that was written, built, and designed by a single person, Dark Fall is a top notch, wonderfully atmospheric horror adventure game that is perfectly designed for the slow-burn weird fiction fan.

Highly recommended with the following caveats:

- Go slowly, and expect anywhere from 10-20 hours of gameplay.
- Scour everything, every room, and every location for anything you can find. You will be visiting and revisiting many of the same rooms fairly consistently. I kept a room log for each floor with the items that were in each, and anything of note that may be important later. It was very helpful. But really, move your mouse around and point it in places you wouldn't even expect there to be something to interact with - there probably will be here.
- Take notes, lots of them. Write down anything that you think may sound important. There is a lot of story in the game, a lot of characterization of the NPC's, and a lot of environmental details that don't necessarily lead to any specific puzzle solutions, but you may be surprised here or there by something that didn't seem important at the time. This game has journal in the title, and you should be keeping one filled with notes as you play. You'll be proud looking back on it afterwards when you complete this epic quest.
- And once more - go slow. Enjoy this experience. It's worth it. With Autumn coming, and the cold, dark, days of the year approaching, I can't think of a better game to sit and work your way through, especially with a friend or two. This is a great and very rewarding experience.
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2.0 hrs
Posted: May 24
Another Myst like game. You have to take note of all the clues, follow the story carefully as it unfolds and of course as in Myst you have no have no idea what your goal is right away. I never cared too much for those games where you get no clue as to what is going on, you have to figure it out yourself and you don't know the story or what your goal is until you figure it out but it's an ok game. Got it on sale so that is a plus. Plenty scary at times, but nothing nightmare inducing.
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7.9 hrs
Posted: May 3
This is one of the best point-and-click games I've ever played, and I've played a lot, mostly all of the classics as well as moderns. The puzzles are deep and challenging, the story is layered and complex, the puzzles and clues are interesting and eerie to discover, just great all around.
----Assuming you can get past the visuals, they haven't dated the best, it doesn't even upscale to modern screens, but it's well worth it!
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0.8 hrs
Posted: April 28
Just No.
  1. Horrible intro
  2. Very boring
  3. Quite aimless
  4. Not scary in the least
  5. Totally mediocre audio
  6. Too dark to see much
  7. No subtitles/text at all
  8. Extremely primitive gameplay controls
  9. Counter-intuitive game mechanics
  10. Too low-res (on 1920 x 1080)
  11. "Story" is fragmented and lame

Footnotes to above

  1. Someone supposedly speaks over the telephone with you, rather unintelligibly, in a thick British accent. There are no subtitles so all I managed to catch were fragments of the conversation. The voice acting is unbelievably horrid. The man implies that something malevolent is going to get him, and that it's getting closer and almost reaching him, but yet the way he speaks sounds dead calm and monotonous, with zero sense of urgency. This, coupled with the absence of any graphics or animation (except seeing a map of London appear), made for a stupefyingly unexciting and underwhelming start to the game.

  2. Once you reach your destination, all you do is wander around very dimly-lit places. There is the voice of a supposedly ghost boy or whatever at the start to guide you a bit, but there is no indication of who he might be, or why you should care. Exploring the individual rooms reveals stuff you can zoom in on, but not do anything with.

  3. This is related to how fragmented the story is. You are thrown into the location and expected to explore, with no prompts or further hints as to how all of this is coming together. All you discover are loose pieces of information that have seemingly no relation to one another. The lack of cohesion and further instruction makes everything you do seem pointless.

  4. It may have been due to the general cheesiness and tiredness of the plot and its elements (old hotel, dark trails, dimly-lit rooms, etc), or just the fact that the story (and how little we know of it) got off to such a lousy start and is so uninspired, but this game struck me as being more lame than scary. I wanted to roll my eyes and laugh at the fact that anyone could find this creepy, eerie, unnerving, frightening, etc etc etc in the least. It all struck me as being extremely B-grade horror flick. Now, if you want a truly nerve-wracking game, give Corrosion a try. This one comes nowhere close to matching it in terms of story, ambience and immersion.

  5. No music, just sound. You hear a few ghost voices now and then, and weird clinks and clunks. And somehow it all adds to the cheesiness, not scariness. These developers were going by the book way too much.

  6. All you ever see is blackness, really. It takes up about 70% of most screens. And yet, it's still not scary. I played Corrosion (mentioned above) just a few days before this game, and all the screens were brightly lit but you still felt a general sense of unease. Horror isn't just conveyed by dark corners and weird sounds.

  7. I couldn't understand why there was no option for subtitles. Voice comes on quite suddenly at times, and you have to wait till the person finishes speaking in order to get all the information. With subtitles you could readily click them away once you were done reading them. What a time-waster. It was also irritating because sometimes the voice came on when you zoomed in on an object, and when you zoomed out, the voice disappeared. Which meant you had to zoom in again and wait for the voice to completely play out. UGHHHH. And when I mean "no text", I mean that there are absolutely no descriptions of anything whatsoever in this game. If you hover over an item, all you see is a cursor change, telling you whether you can do anything with it or not. So very often, you're not quite sure what exactly you're looking at, which limits how you think about the item and its possible uses.

  8. So, in addition to there being no subtitles, there's also no "return to main menu" option. No audio level controls, no brightness setting, no windowed mode, nothing. There's only "save", "load", and "quit" tucked in the right-hand corner of the screen. And when you click on "save", a Windows window (not the game's own window, mind you) pops up, prompting you to select a location to save the file. And - get this - the file is a .TXT file. Yup, a TEXT file. Wow, is it the 1980s again or something? I mean, I've nothing against this, but well, it sure shows how archaic this game system is!

  9. This is a point-n-click adventure game, but it sure as heck doesn't play like one, in terms of controls and game quality. Items aren't labelled at all, so you've sometimes no idea what you're looking at. And I couldn't figure out how to use the items in the inventory, because they don't work like in other games where you click them and they become "active". No in-game help or tutorials explaining how things work either. And, as mentioned above, clicking on any item - whether or not in your inventory - yields no description whatsoever. This to me just spelled lazy programming, or extremely primaeval game mechanics.

  10. Since there's no windowed mode, I was forced to play this on my 1920 x 1080 screen. The graphics were very pixellated.

  11. Lack of guidance, lack of clear goals, lack of understanding of what you're looking at, lack of understanding of location, lack of relevance of items to the story, etc etc all contribute to everything being too loosely tied together to matter. My patience wore thin really fast. Perhaps there was a great story underneath this mess, but if there was, the player sure wasn't given any indication of it!
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13.0 hrs
Posted: March 27
I came across Dark Fall: The Journal while looking for games similar to Scratches (another excellent horror/suspense point-and-click) and I'm really glad I downloaded it and gave it a whirl. I was pleasantly surprised by the rich story and immersive atmosphere. The game certainly has a Myst vibe to it; the player feels completely isolated and must put together the answers to puzzles without much in-game guidance. There is a small hint feature in-game but it's rather unpredictable and not particularly useful toward the end of the game. If you like this old-school type of adventure game, then I would certianly recommend playing Dark Fall. If you are not into puzzles or prefer games that offer a little more hand-holding this game is probably not for you.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: March 3
Obnoxious voice acting, dumb plot, and gameplay that seems to consist entirely of pixel-hunting to find the hotspot to click to progress. Oh, and when I tried to quit, it didn't shut down properly, so I had to reboot my computer. A+ effort all around.
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10.2 hrs
Posted: February 27
Great atmosphere, puzzles are good, voice acting is good, rich storyline with lots of details. Highly suspenseful but no actual violence occurs.
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4.7 hrs
Posted: February 1
plenty of spooks to be had
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0.6 hrs
Posted: January 26
I got bored but that's just my A.D.D.
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