An Ancient and most sinister evil threatens the soul of an innocent young girl. Explore the remote and mysterious theatre to uncover lost horrors and find the solution. Can you outwit the beast?
User reviews: Mostly Positive (104 reviews) - 77% of the 104 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 10, 2012

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About This Game

Scarlett Frost, specialist in the dark arts has been summoned to a luxurious and remote theatre in the snowy Italian Alps. Could it be that the infamous and diabolical Hapsburg Cube has been found and purchased by the sinister theatre proprietor, Dr. Corvis ? The cube is said to imprison a powerful and ancient Babylonian demon that would wreak hellish destruction if the cubes should break.

In a moment of desperate confusion the cube breaks and the demon bursts forth into the souls of the Dr. Corvis and his young Daughter Bethany. The ancient theatre in the lonely winter mountains becomes an arena of spiritual war, between the darkest forces of the underworld and the cunning and esoteric mind of Scarlett Frost.

But Scarlett soon finds out that the only way to fight a demon this powerful is to become possessed by one herself. Only then can she acquire a ticket to the Theatre of the Absurd.


Features:
• Learn several dark arts and use them against the demons. Watch as your own hand channels all of the powerful spells as you unlock puzzles and vanquish evil spirits from the theatre.

• Explore the beautiful and ancient theatre crafted by an award winning design team.

• Collect the Bell Artifacts needed to save the girl from the beast.

• Match wits with diabolical characters and ancient demons.

• Search the terrible labyrinth of the mysterious and timeless Theatre of the Absurd.

• Glimpse the terrible past for survival clues… if you dare.

• Untangle unique puzzle environments with found objects and dark cunning.

• Can you coax the demon out of the little girl before it takes her soul?

• Hours of mind-bending, next generation hidden object adventure presented with unique 3-d effects.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible card
    • DirectX: Version 8.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2015
It's been a while since I played this game, but oddly enough I still remember the setting and the story very well. That, I can say for a select few games in the HOG genre. I remember basically devouring the game within a couple of hours, due to its creepy and intriguing atmosphere, alongside the main character's otherworldly abilities.

We take a close look on Scarlett Frost - god, I wish there would be a series based on this character - , an occult expert who was invited to a remote castle to identify a dangerous occult object known as the Habsburg Cube, which is said to contain a powerful demon. Our employer/mysterious gentleman Dr. Corvus decides to throw a tantrum when Scarlett declares the item as a fake, and smashes the artifact to pieces at the opening scene. Then... yeah, you have guessed right: everything goes to hell, and yeah, the item WAS the real deal.

Now Dr. Corvus is possessed by the said demon, and the whole castle has just became his playground. Following Dr. Corvus' last wish, Scarlett takes Bethany - his young and innocent daughter - to the bell tower, the only place that the demon's taint couldn't reach for unknown reasons. Now Bethany's soul is in grave danger, and above all things, Scarlett's right hand is infused with some uncanny, demonic energy which spells full sentences of advice out of nowhere, probably with an agenda of its own. Your immediate task is to wonder within the castle, and discover its many wonders and horrors in hopes of both finding means to protect Bethany and bring an end to this demonic infestation.

As I've stated at the beginning of my review, the atmosphere is grand. Every singular animation was a cross breed between Vertigo comics' eerie style with beautifully drawn gothic artwork. I was sold within the first 5 minutes of gameplay, both thanks to the story and the artwork. Voice acting is taken seriously, you can listen Scarlett making a comment on everything. Another charming factor is that the developers were fascinatingly attentive to detail. Considering Dr. Corvus himself was an occultist, all areas that you encounter are weaved with occult, mythological and historical references for your enjoyment. I know that I enjoyed it thoroughly. And the Theatre of the Absurd itself... No, I won't make a comment on that. Lets not spoil the experience for you, shall we?

The gameplay is fairly generic for a HOG. It is an adventure with hidden object scenes and puzzles. Nothing new in that department. What was both refreshing and intriguing is checking your arm for instructions and advices, and wonder whether it be in your best interest to follow it or not. Hidden object scenes are not the greatest, and puzzles are nothing extraordinary. It just takes some attention, is all. There is some backtracking, but the game itself is not that long anyhow so it won't bother you much.

There is a bonus content at the end to present us some more information about the mysteries within the Theatre of the Absurd, but as a fair warning: the ending is incredibly vague. There are scattered clues indicating Scarlett's relation with this odd family, but nearly nothing is explained. After completing the game, nearly half your questions shall remain unanswered. I'd love a sequel for this game. There is room for the story improvement and mysteries to be enlightened, if there would be future installments. I'll recommend the game based on the incredible setting, and original plot ideas. If you enjoy the HOG genre, or at least enjoy beautiful artwork, here is a sweet present for you.

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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
Short version: 76%
Theatre of the Absurd is rough around the edges in all aspects– plot, storytelling, hidden object scenes, graphics–, yet there is something about the mystery you are facing that keeps you pushing forward.

Long version:
The Chronicles of Scarlett Frost: Theatre of the Absurd seems like an average hidden object game on the surface: you play as a female investigator (of sorts), who ends up in a remote gothic mansion, trying to save a little girl from a demonic entity.

The biggest difference compared to most other games that the entire atmosphere is a lot darker. The graphics are realistic, yet have a distinct gothic dread, amplified with some clever camera angles. Scarlett is fully voiced, and her doubts and fears also contribute a lot to the immersion. Not to mention that in the end the story is anything but a happy one.

As a game, it is, honestly, mediocre. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the puzzles or the hidden object scenes (unless you count the old-school item hiding mechanics “wrong”), but it just feels unpolished. If you played other games made by Silverback, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about as soon as you start this one.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 14, 2015
Pros: Good graphics, music, sound, and gameplay. Cheap price.

Cons: Shabby story and incomplete. Most of hidden object are unrelated to the story and just random. A shadow of an object are considered an object? Really? A very short game.

Overall, a fun and good game. maybe the dev can make it longer next time? please take your time to develop the story really well.
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38 of 38 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
This is a lovely little gem of a game made by the same people who did the 3 Empress of the Deep HOs.

Pros:

- The graphics are well done - lots of nice artwork.

- The voice actor for the lead female is, in my opinion, quite good.

- Along with hidden objects and puzzles, a very fun game pops up on a regular basis. You get a picture and, underneath, a number of little spheres with tiny details of the picture. You have to find and click on those details in the picture. Hope you have a good eye. :)

- For HO lovers, there is a large amount of great hidden object scenes. Fun to look at and items are usually easily identifiable while being sneakily hidden. Sometimes I had to search around for a bit but I never had to use the hint button.

- Puzzles range from easy to manageable. There's nothing that should stump you.

- There's a bonus chapter. Though it's very brief, it leads to an artwork gallery.


Cons:

- The story is a bit creepy and disturbing. While this may be a pro for many, I'm placing it under cons because the plot is also confusing. I've played this game (and the bonus content) twice and I'm still not sure exactly what happened. :p Maybe you're smarter than me though.

- Very very short game length.



If you find this on sale, I definitely recommend it to all you HO fans. Even though I couldn't wrap my head around the story - the voice acting, artwork, and hidden object scenes were a pure joy.
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32 of 41 people (78%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Its absurd to think this is a decent HOG compared to others available...

The Good:
  • Beautiful artwork
  • Animations are nicely drawn
  • Somewhat nice variety of locations
  • Protagonist's voice acting is good

The Bad:
  • Bonus content voice acting is terrible
  • Hidden object searches were not accurate (I could easily pick off 3/4 of the items just randomly clicking)
  • Cannot skip conversations, narrations, most cutscenes. Even clicking descriptions, you have to wait for protagonist to finish saying "I have to put something in there"
  • Story length is short. Finished game in less than 4 hours + 'bonus content' on Expert first time
  • UI is not intuitive or consistent. Sometimes you drag an inventory item, sometimes you just click, sometimes you click lots for multiple items.. who knows until you have to try!

The Ugly:
  • Collector's edition has extra content- they remind you on every screen in there and on your items (serious example: Ruby [Collectors Edition])
  • Story didn't flesh out at all and don't really explain very much. Bonus content only serves to open more holes while badly plugging the ones you had finished with.
  • No extra features - no achievements, no cards, no side quests, no lore, no epilogue (I lie a little, you get to see... concept art after bonus is completed).

For people who know their HOG's:

This game is probably one of the lowest ranked HOG's I've seen in a long time. There are games in the Apple store for tablets that go for $2 that are better than this. The story is unengaging, short and unpolished; the puzzles either easy or annoying. This is the first time I've felt like skipping easy puzzles because I couldn't be bothered, as there was no motivation nor interest from story to encourage me, let alone some of them were very arduous.

The fact you can't skip most of the dialogue in the game, including 'monologues about what to do next' really kills your interest and since you're left with no epilogue or extra features makes you feel like the whole game was a chore with little to show for it. For $A5, you're not getting your money's worth. I would buy it at <$1 sale as it still had beautiful artwork and well, its still a HOG :)

For people who are new to HOG's (Hidden Object Games):

This is not one of the better ones on the market folks. There are much more fun HOG's on Steam that give you so many extra features that they're now generally accepted as standard including Steam Cards, side quests (e.g. extra hidden objects in different maps), achievements and more. It is especially important to note that this game did not have a very good tutorial nor really orientate you to what you're meant to do so it may not be the best one to start with or base your opinion of HOG's.
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