Dark Legends surround the old abandoned Blackwood house, secluded far away in the northern wastelands. For writer Michael Arthate, this cold, solitary atmosphere is fodder for his restless imagination. But Michael soon becomes distracted by the mysteries offered up, as he follows a trail exploring and delving into the secrets of the past.
User reviews: Very Positive (230 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 8, 2006

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Packages that include this game

Buy Adventure Bundle: Volume 3

Includes 5 items: Scratches - Director's Cut, Still Life, Still Life 2, Post Mortem, The Cameron Files: The Secret at Loch Ness

Buy Meridian4 Complete Pack

Includes 62 items: Gumboy - Crazy Adventures™, RIP - Trilogy™, Tank Universal, Space Trader: Merchant Marine, Penguins Arena: Sedna's World, Larva Mortus, Obulis, Chains, Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals, Crash Time 2, Greed: Black Border, Gumboy Crazy Features, RIP 2 Strike Back, RIP 3: The Last Hero, Avencast: Rise of the Mage, Chrome, Chrome - SpecForce, Future Wars, Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes , Post Apocalyptic Mayhem, Scratches - Director's Cut, Still Life, Still Life 2, Syberia, Syberia II, Wasteland Angel, Post Mortem, Grotesque Tactics 2 – Dungeons and Donuts, Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood, Post Apocalyptic Mayhem: DLC - Chaos Pack, Stellar Impact, Stellar Impact - Support Ship DLC, Stellar Impact - Carrier Ship DLC, Stellar Impact - Artillery Ship DLC, Frontline Tactics, Frontline Tactics - Sniper, Frontline Tactics - Close Quater Combat Soldier, Frontline Tactics - Medic, Frontline Tactics - Woodland Camouflage, Frontline Tactics - Ninja Camouflage, Frontline Tactics - Desert Camouflage, Frontline Tactics - Snow Camouflage, Frontline Tactics - Tiger Camouflage, Frontline Tactics - Golden Guns, Syder Arcade, Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead, Return to Mysterious Island, Return to Mysterious Island 2, Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy, Dracula: The Resurrection, Dracula 2: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon, Haegemonia: Legions of Iron, Haegemonia: The Solon Heritage, Iron Storm, Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, Salammbô: Battle for Carthage, The Egyptian Prophecy: The Fate of Ramses, The Cameron Files: The Secret at Loch Ness, Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness, Selknam Defense, Space Hack

 

Recommended By Curators

"Creates a feeling of classic horror that is rarely attained in gaming."

Reviews

“They have really pulled out all the stops with their first effort and created one classic piece of Adventure gaming. Just don't get too used to that luxury called sleep.”
100% Game of the Year – Just Adventure

“A creepy and fun title, fans of the Myst series and with a love of horror will be right at home in this game.”
83% – PC Game World

“If you're an adventure gaming veteran, especially if you like the horror / creepy / gothic-type atmosphere, then Scratches is for you. It's a solid game.”
77% – IGN

About This Game

Dark Legends surround the old abandoned Blackwood house, secluded far away in the northern wastelands.

For writer Michael Arthate, this cold, solitary atmosphere is fodder for his restless imagination. But Michael soon becomes distracted by the mysteries offered up, as he follows a trail exploring and delving into the secrets of the past. As he is drawn deeper into the story, his sleep is shattered by mysterious noises, and he is plagued by nightmares that cross into reality.

Whose shadows lurk in the dark corners? Is that lonely house inhabited by restless spirits of the past or something more sinister? What is that sound that chills to the very bone...scratching?

Join Michael in a suspenseful adventure, as you explore beautiful and chilling environments. Prowl dark corners and solve puzzles leading to the solution of a tale begun with obsession, and ending with madness and murder.


Features

  • Eerie and immersive story
  • Haunting soundtrack
  • Full 360 degree panoramic viewing
  • Puzzles and challenges throughout
  • Numerous hours of gameplay
  • Explore a Victorian mansion, sinister chapel, forbidding crypt, musty rooms, greenhouse…

Director’s Cut includes:

  • An alternate ending that might be more shocking than the original
  • A new chapter: “The Last Visit” will have you back at the house 10 years after the events of the original game
  • Michael’s diary with more clues and thoughts from the main character
  • Upgraded graphics and an eerier soundtrack

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® XP / Vista™ / Windows® 7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz CPU
    • Memory: 256MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 500MB
    • Video Card: OpenGL 1.2 compatible with 64MB RAM
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: Sound card with DirectX 9.0c support
Helpful customer reviews
43 of 71 people (61%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
An exercise in tedium and insane logic.

This is a point and click horror game similar to games like Myst, but with no sense of consistancy or logic to keep things going. Story driven, and reliant on the whims of the protagonist instead of player decisions, your progression is limited by the stubborness of the character. Want to open a locked door? How about you look inside those pots for a key. Nope, he's not interested until you find a hidden photo that vaguely indicates that a key might be in a pot. Then you can look in the pot.

Most of the time, the correct course of action seems to be to call Jerry, a character who gets increasingly annoyed at the protagonist's inability to do anything themselves. I can certainly relate. After playing for a short amount of time, I'd be very surprised if the protagonist can go to the toilet without asking Jerry for help. After nearly every task on the first day, you need to phone him. Open a door, phone Jerry. Find a newspaper, phone Jerry. Lights don't work, phone Jerry. Phone Jerry. Phone Jerry. 1.5 hours were spent simply wandering around the house clicking on everything trying to find something that might move things forward, then calling Jerry, then trying to find the thing that was not interesting before but is now.

Most of this does not advance the plot at all, but is simply dealing with the hassle of moving into a new house. The first couple of hours were spent establishing that the character is stranded in the house with no power. A little information about evil masks and creepy tribes are hinted at, but then cast aside to deal with the main, super spooky plot of calling in an electrician. When you eventually go down into the spooky cellar to try and fix it yourself, with a creepy atmosphere and tense music...nothing happens.

Interacting with anything is limited by the ludricous thought processes of the protagonist. Want to pick up that tool over there? Nope, it's junk. Nope, there's no reason for you to carry it. But you'd better pick up that can lid, it might come in useful. Wander around the house with a knife? Good idea! Go outside to open the garage now that you have the key? No it's raining, and the character doesn't feel like it. Climb inside a creepy furnace without any cause to do so? Absolutely. Puzzles are rediculously obscure, and variate between pixel hunting and using everything with everything, usually to achieve very simple tasks. 1.5 hourse before anything resembling a plot hook shows up.

While there were some interesting bits here and there, it wasn't worth trudging through the awful puzzles to get to them. Even when scary bits appeared, they were jump scares, with the musical stingers being far more intense than the actual events. I stopped caring about the story very quickly.

In short, save your time and money. For a scary, atmospheric horror game with a plot you discover as you play, go for Amnesia. If you are looking for a deep story that will chill you to the bone, go read a horror book. That way you don't have to deal with endless fetch quests.
Posted: May 24
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
I first watched a lets play of this game and another mansion horror game: Pineview Drive. I wanted to give Pineview Drive a negative review because it sucks and is pointless, but that would mean having to pay for it. I already owned Scratches, so lets give this game a positive review instead.

This game is great.

Honestly it's not for everyone, but seriously it's great. Unlike Pineview Drive there is an actual story with real weight to it. Everything has a reason and a consequence, and it's meangingful to a character that you learn to care about.

The game is slow, dated interface and graphics, and requires a lot of reading without voice over. That's a drawback to most people, but it's atmosphere is great and meaningful. It has a couple puzzles and very few jumpscares but they are in places that actually matter to the story and give you a memorable experience unlike a certain other game.

Scratches has a heavy story with not a whole lot of game action, definately not everyone is into that, but this game is beautifully catered to the people who are into that. Great atmosphere, very imersive, great story.
Posted: October 17
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Very atmospheric and immersive horror adventure, if you let yourself be immersed. Otherwise, you will probably just get frustrated with, sometimes, illogical puzzles and "aimless" wandering.
Posted: September 20
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
I usually do not enjoy point-and-click games whose puzzles are solely inventory-based (what I call gather-and-combine). I get insanely bored and there's nothing I hate more than go around "pixel-hunting".
That said... even though Scratches is pretty much that kind of game, I enjoyed it very, VERY much. Scratches has a wonderfully creepy/melancholy atmosphere that wraps you up while you unravel the story. It doesn't use (because it doesn't need) the typical "jump scares" to make you feel it. The music (and sound effects in general) is exquisitely appropriate and increases the effect, accompanying the story without being too obvious and without falling in the "cheap horror flick" category. In fact, the first time that this game managed to raise my pulse, it was mostly because of the music.
This game is a work of art and I fully recommend it.
Posted: May 1
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Psychological horror at its finest. The story is enticing and very unsettling as it unravels, and the soundtrack accompanies it brilliantly. There are a few issues, such as the strange jumps in logic regarding certain things which needs to be done, and I've consulted a walthrough a couple of times. The game is all about triggers, and can't progress without certain things having been done first. While this is a bit annoying, it's well worth it in terms of story. Another downside is the short length of it (it couldn't possibly be any longer, but I wish it was - it was done in about six-seven hours), and the fact that you can't explore more things with it being a point and click game.

That being said, the game is great, and I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy good old fashioned horror, the unsettling kind which is more than just jump scares and loud noises.
Posted: September 22
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111 of 121 people (92%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
If I had to describe my gamer career, I would describe myself as a "horror game connoisseur." I've played everything from Resident Evil to Dead Space to Amnesia to Limbo to Condemned. Home? I've played it. Dark Fall? I've played that too. I'm telling you all this because I want you to understand what I mean when I say:

THIS IS THE SCARIEST GAME I'VE EVER PLAYED.

Yes, I know. I can hear the snorts of doubt. Scariest? Really? There's no blood, no gore, and only one body. But this was the game, above all other games, that scared the crap out of me. This was the one game that made me actually fall out of my chair screaming. This is a game that is not about cheap thrills or gore porn, it is a game that is about all of the qualities that make for great horror. Atmosphere, build-up, soundtrack, all are done great.

That said, there is one caveat I must make: USE A WALKTHROUGH WHEN PLAYING THIS GAME. Seriously, just do it. This is a game about experience over gameplay. Trust me, using a walkthrough won't make you miss anything. The horrors will be just as good with out all of the unnecessary searching. Trust me. I know this seems to run contrary to the "purity of video games" but in this one instance it works.
Posted: November 28, 2013
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