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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.
Release Date: Mar 8, 2006
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Buy Scratches

$9.99

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

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 the 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
16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
102 products in account
4 reviews
13.3 hrs on record
I only discovered Scratches due to the recent release of Serena, which is a fantastic little game with a lot of charm. Of course, the community recommended anyone who enjoyed it to play Scratches, and I am so glad I did.

Personally, I adore story-driven gameplay and have a weakness for horror themes in any media. I also enjoy point-and-click adventure games, so immediately this fit me well. There's not so much in the way of gore, and not many jump scares, but the atmospheric build up throughout your time in-game means that the few outright "scary" parts are pulled off with a finesse I have not experienced before. One particular part had me shaking and needing to take a break straight away; You become so used to the game just "feeling creepy" that when it does try to scare you, it catches you completely off guard.

Mechanically it could be better - the cursor speed was far too high for me at first (even with it on its slowest setting) but that was overcome with time as I became accustomed to it. Sometimes the things you need to interact with have odd hotspots, and I did notice a typo in a letter early in the game.

Where gameplay is concerned, it is on the whole very tedious, but in a fun, challenging way. Occasionally there are points where the solution seems baffling and extremely unintuitive though, and it can be very frustrating as you'll find it's almost always something you missed that was far too small, or something that didn't highlight as being interactive because your cursor wasn't quite in the right place.

Overall however, Scratches is definitely worth playing if you enjoy the genre and have a bit of patience. It's slow, and can be somewhat irritating at times, but the general feel of the game is superbly tense and highly rewarding for any horror fan.

Waiting for Asylum with bated breath!
Posted: February 7th, 2014
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
33 products in account
1 review
6.6 hrs on record
Scratches is a peculiar game (or, mayhaps, I'm simply unfamiliar with the genre). The pacing of this game is quite slow, especially for such a short game (completed under 7 hours, though with some time to think through game sessions - and, embarrasingly, a few glances in a walkthrough).
As I stated, the game builds up slowly, yet it's not, by any means, a drawback! The story unfolds marvelously, and the creepy plot got under my skin very quickly.
The story itself is the brightest part of the game. Sadly, it's the only stellar aspect.
Graphics are... well, adequate. Decent enough and very mood-building (if there's even such a phrase).
The sounds and music are eerie and decent, but nothing more.
The gameplay itself is lacklustre and clunky. I swear that all the times I had to take a glance into a walkthrough, was because some flaw within the game, like an unintuitive way of using (clicking) on something, or the way that the game fails at informing clearly and visibly, what is interactable, and what is not.

Nevertheless, the vibe of Scratches is simply amazing! It grasped me and pulled into the mystery from the first minute... keeping on my toes to the very end.
Is the game great? No, it isn't. The story behind is, though!
Even though it's a very diferent game from, let's say, Amnesia, it's far scarier than it. Oh, certainly I got scared more than while playing the Machine for Pigs.

The answer, my pumpkins, is simple. You are the one scaring yourself, as Scratches digs deeply into your imagination and lets you fear not what finds you... but what *you* will find out next.

Thumbs up!
Posted: April 12th, 2014
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17 of 29 people (59%) found this review helpful
406 products in account
8 reviews
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 24th, 2014
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
492 products in account
49 reviews
6.7 hrs on record
Well which one is it?

A cut or a scratch?
Posted: June 22nd, 2014
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9 products in account
2 reviews
7.4 hrs on record
Truthfully, I was kind of disappointed with this one. Managed to finish it under 10 hours, especially with some parts being really repetitve - like having to call Jerry fifteen times a minute. Story had a lot of promise at the beginning, it really could have gone many, many places. Many beautiful, wonderful, absolutely terrifyingly horrible places. But it didn't. At all. The game technically only half stuck to it's own original premise, truthfully. There were literally TWO plot twists in the last fifteen minutes of the game, and the ending was, unforunately, utterly unclimactic. Shame, because, as I said, the game had a lot of promise. Couple the story disappointment with the fact that the controls are ridiculously difficult to work and are infuriating to the point I considered just stopping the game altogether a few times and it's not great. On the brighter side, the atmosphere remained pleasantly chilling, mystery was intriguing and puzzles honestly require you to think a bit and manipualte the world around you. Overall, maybe 4/10. Wouldn't spend more than $5 on it, sorry.
Posted: May 3rd, 2014
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91 of 99 people (92%) found this review helpful
145 products in account
3 reviews
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 28th, 2013
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