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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (114 reviews) - 78% of the 114 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
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mostly Positive (114 reviews)
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80 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
kaiser1a
4.2 hrs
Posted: September 4
Very nice game right up to the end, do not place your tablets till you have them all, youll get stuck either replay or just give up on it like me, isnt worth the time.
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Puppy
3.5 hrs
Posted: August 5
I love this game I liked the setting not too much backtracking and doesn't make you grind for achievements. One of the things that I really love is there is a walkthrough in the game and it know close to where you are in the story. The problems I seen were the items in the hidden search games were kinda hard to see most the time. The puzzlea aren't too varied and the bonus content was pretty meh compared to the game it didn't expand it any. Still very fun overal if you love creepy yet not scary settings this is very good.
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C@tMore
2.9 hrs
Posted: July 30
Story was ok
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sublimal
2.6 hrs
Posted: July 24
I really enjoyed this. It was one of the best point-and-click find-the-object games I've played. There's a healthy and logical amount of backtracking to explore. There's a nice hint at where to explroe next and also a full strategy guide in-engine. The plot is simple but sufficient. 3d elements are blended over the top of drawn artwork to improve the visuals. Some images may be a little disturbing for a child. Definitely pick it up at the sale price for a playthrough of ~3hrs including the collectors edition content.
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Bread
2.7 hrs
Posted: July 7
Pretty good. Has some cool scenes. My only complaint is that a lot of the hidden object screens are pretty easy. You can get 50%+ of the items by just clicking randomly.
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Laura Blues
6.9 hrs
Posted: June 20
Hidden Object games aren't really my favorite thing ever, but every now and then I find one that I really enjoy. I can recommend this title for the following reasons:

+ Acceptable level of creepiness, without excessive levels of cheesiness.
+ Interesting amount of puzzles other than hidden object scenes. The last puzzle of the extended bonus was quite challenging in comparison.
+ No annoying overly childish sound effects every time you find an object.
+ Not too many hidden object scenes (this could not be a plus for you if you're big fan of the genre!).
+ Art is very good, music is well adapted to the environment and never becomes an annoyance while you play.

The not so cool:
* There is a lot of backtracking after the second half of the game. Yes, I remember where I saw that [insert item that was pointed out but couldn't touch before], and going back 5 rooms to get it, then back 6 rooms, etc. back and forth. However, this wasn't as bad as in other games of the genre.
* The story gets extremely predictable and cliché, but for the usual of the genre, it's not that bad.

Overall, if you're up for a cute little game (cute as in creepy) for an easy afternoon, this is the one.
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doojayess
4.5 hrs
Posted: June 17
This is a decent game, and despite what some have said, it's an enjoyable HOG. The artwork is stunning and there are quite a few especially disturbing things scattered throughout the castle, and the atmosphere is perfect for the setting of this whole thing. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions after playing, the story was a nice change to the cheesy usuals in HOGs so I can't complain. Unlike others, I actually enjoyed the voice acting in the Bonus Content sections quite a lot, certainly more than some parts of the main storyline. I did not like the angel's voice at all as it sounded rather demonic to me, and because she appears so often it was a bit jarring. Scarlet, Bethany, and Corvus all had decent voice actors, and the demon did sound rather demonic so they did their jobs.

The hidden object parts of the game weren't too difficult, although some objects were blended in to the scene so well that it was nearly impossible to find them. There's a hint feature, however, so if you're really stuck that's available to you. Also, some of the objects are really obscure (what the hell does a rug beater look like?), but most of the objects are recognisable so it's not a big deal. There are two puzzles in particular that are more difficult than most of the game's, but again there are hints available if you need them.

I disagree with some of the design choices in this game (for example, Scarlet has writing on her arm, but they could have done so much better with that), but overall it is gorgeous. There's a lovely gothic feel to the castle, and I appreciated their lighting and sound choices very much, especially after looking through the concept art and seeing what could have been. The actual Theatre of the Absurd and the surrounding areas are what I considered the most beautifully done areas of the game-- it's so decadent and gorgeous, but there are plenty of signs of decay and the occult. There are very few jump scares in the game, and you can avoid some entirely if you just don't do certain things. I'm glad that this game didn't resort to peppering the entire castle with jump scares around every corner to add to the horror aspect of the game, because that was certainly something I was worried about going in.

Fans of HOGs will probably enjoys this game, and in some parts you may find yourself trying to speed through the hidden object scenes in order to see the story progress. There are some minor flaws, of course, but overall it's a nice addition to a game library and I don't regret buying it. If you're worried that the price is a bit too high for what it is, Steam sales are abundant, so don't worry.
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Rex705 VR
6.6 hrs
Posted: June 14
This was one of the best HOG's I have played. The artwork is amazing and I was always excited to see the next area. The story was very good and kept me playing to the end. The only thing I can say I didn't like was the music was crazy loud but you can just turn that down so no bigg deal. 6 hours of fun for me.
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Fleur de Skinny
3.4 hrs
Posted: June 12
This game is amazing! The grafics are well done and in combination with the music the atmosphere catch you immediately!
This game brought back my feeling when I played the old, free "spot the differece"-games of my childhood; that led me later to the genre of hidden object. The mini games are a bit easy but that is just a very small malus.
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Hypertoken
6.6 hrs
Posted: June 8
I enjoyed playing this title. It was challenging, but not too difficult. I only had to use the ingame stragegy guide twice. OH YES... there is an Ingame strategy guide (walkthrough), which I found interesting, yet useful.

I finished the entire story and the bonus content in just about 6 hours, which is an amazing ammount of content for an HOG.

Overall I feel like this game is a pretty good value for the price.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
43 of 43 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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. Theatre of the Absurd is an exceeding game for its genre.

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.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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34 of 43 people (79%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
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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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 8, 2015
At first I didn’t really like the look of this game. I didn’t quite like the look of the hidden object scenes, the lighting and how things were blended. Admittedly a few things were blended in a little too well and despite me trying to never use hints in HOGs, in this one I had to a few times.

I thought straight away as a snap judgement I wouldn’t enjoy it. But the above aside I quickly warmed up to this game and I actually enjoyed it.

The story is interesting. It was a lot more compelling than most of the HOGs I have been playing recently. At points I was actually trying to rush through the hidden object scenes just to progress further into the story. But with that said I wouldn’t say the conclusion was 100% satisfying. It may be me being a little picky but the ending didn’t make much sense to me and left me with a few questions. Although, given the general nature of HOG story lines, them being quite cheesy and half the time making little sense, I would say for HOG standards it was still decent.

The puzzles are pretty easy, there was nothing to challenging in there but it was still interesting to play. They were still fairly unique puzzles. In the puzzle and item combination/placing respect it’s a pretty straight forward game.

The art and the music is enjoyable and all in all I would say this is a decent HOG. If you are a fan of the genre this is definitely one I would recommend for the collection.


TL;DR : Item blending is a bit questionable, interesting story, good music/art and fairly easy but unique puzzles. Would recommend for people who enjoy the genre.
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 15, 2014
For a casual Hidden Object game, this one was pretty good. It's especially worth it if you get it on sale. If you are looking for a hardcore challenge, though, this one is definitely not for you.

Note: This is the Collector's Edition with bonus content. There's an extra mini-story to complete after the main story. However, it didn't offer much extra, and the last puzzle was just ridiculous. It was the only thing I used the strategy guide to get past.

Pros:
- Detailed artwork. The concept art gets unlocked as bonus content when you complete the game.
- Objects are not so hidden that they are impossible to find. Only a few of the objects might be confusing.
- Decent variety of different types of puzzles along with the Hidden Object ones.
- Puzzles can be solved by an average user. These don't require a savant or prodigy to solve.
- Ambient effects and animation keep it from looking like still frames.
- Hints and a complete "Strategy Guide" (walkthrough) are built-in if you do get stuck.
- Sparkles to indicate when something in a location can be interacted with. This is especially helpful with all of the backtracking.

Cons:
- Somewhat cheesy story and voice acting.
- Lots of backtracking and re-use of previous scenes for Hidden Objects during the course of the story.
- Use of shadows as objects.
- The lighting effects in Hidden Object scenes can make it difficult to see certain objects. Sometimes I had to wait for the light to change in order to see something.
- Fixed 4:3 aspect ratio. The in-game copyright says 2012, well past widescreen adoption, yet they didn't at least put in a decorative border.

---

For more... My Reviews || My casual gaming... Group | Curator Page
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 22, 2014
Eh, you know what? This was worth the $1.50 or whatever it was I paid for it. I got 3 nights' worth of entertainment out of it, which is about the perfect length for something like this.

None of the puzzles (including the last, bonus content ones) will stump anyone for a long time, but theres enough of a challenge that you don't always feel like it was SUPER easy. The story is good enough, and there's some variety in puzzles - though you can break all of them down into:

1. Find hidden things in a picture
2. Find where fragments belong in a picture
3. Gather items and put them somewhere to unlock something
4. Gather items and put them somewhere, then manipulate them to unlock something
5. Manipulate something to unlock something


If you're a fan of the old point and click adventures, this is a reasonable game - best enjoyed when you just want to do some really casual puzzle solving, with your brain more or less turned off. The lack of complexity is countered by the lack of stupid mechanisms and minimal backtracking - I didn't feel like anything in the game was added to pad it out, either. Well, maybe a couple of the "find stuff in a picture" puzzles.

This game is like a jigsaw on a rainy day (if anyone remembers or still does stuff like that) - it's not life-changing, but it's entertaining enough.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 8, 2015
I only played a bit but I really love this one. Honestly I was expecting another average game as I have played some hidden object games before but wow it proved me wrong! This has to be one of my favorites. The art is great as with most in this genre, but the mood and feel surpasses most. It really draws you in. The soft music actually increases teh spooky part. Normally I don't mention the voice actors, but the woman's voice is well fitting. The story is intresting so far but thin (maybe it changes over the course of the game). Maybe I love this one so much because it is intense and in my favorite style: horror. Yup I love hidden object scenes with death things, weapons and severed limbs..

A kewl extra is that at a certain point you come across a room that you can't open. Not untill you finish the main storyline as it holds the bonus contents. How kewl is that?

One lesser point on casual the puzzles are too easy. But then is it really negative?
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 28, 2015
Pretty decent puzzle/HO game for five bucks. There is a decent lot to do, roughly three hours of content including bonus features for the Collector's Edition, which in my experience is pretty standard for this kind of game.

The puzzles are not horribly difficult overall, mostly involving collecting and assembling items, but there was enough variation through most of the game that I wasn't bored with it. The hidden object scenes are detailed, well-drawn, and reasonably challenging; they weren't astronomically difficult, but were well above the difficulty level I normally see in this style of game. I did not see any issues with click-precision that at least one other reviewer complained of; I had to click ON the objects to collect them and did not notice any severe misalignment.

Both the story and the voice acting were decent. I didn't find myself constantly cringing, which is definitely a plus as I tend to be irrationally bothered by poor voicing.

Overall, if you like this style of game, I would recommend giving it a go. If five bucks is more than you want to pay, hold out for a sale and grab it then. Either way, I personally thought it was worth it.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2015
A decent hidden object game for the most part, although far from Artifex Mundi's quality. The voice acting is a bit bad and some of the pictures are unclear, but it's nothing too horrible, with one big exception: there's a gamebreaking bug right at the end that forces you to restart from the beginning, and it's very easy to run into it. If you're compelled to try the game (and there are far worse hidden object games, but then again there are also far better ones), make sure that you never insert any objects into puzzles until you have all the pieces it requires, and then insert them at the same time. Can't imagine how that got through QA or why it hasn't been fixed since a lot of people encounter it, but there you are.
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