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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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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 61 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 - 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


“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.


  • 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
21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
37 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 12
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
197 products in account
6 reviews
7.1 hrs on record
Alright, I'll admit it: This one scared me. Very few games have EVER succeeded in scaring me, but this little point and click adventure pulled it off. There is something so immersive, so creepy, and so utterly engrossing about the environments of "Scratches." Even when nothing is happening (which is, admittedly, most of the time) the constant dread of knowing that something WILL happen manages to keep the tension going.

That having been said, this is a point and click adventure game, which means you WILL run into some frustratingly obtuse puzzles and might have to consult a guide a few times. And the bonus side story isn't HALF as entertaining as the original game, spelling out answers to questions that were MUCH creepier back when they were merely dark hints while simultaneously raising bigger questions which it completely fails to address.

But hey, those are small annoyances to pay for the first game that's managed to send a genuine chill down my spine since "Eternal Darkness." Now if you'll excuse me, there's this odd scratching sound in my house I've got to go investigate...
Posted: March 24
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30 of 53 people (57%) found this review helpful
411 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 24
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
245 products in account
5 reviews
7.9 hrs on record
It's hard to write an objective review when you're facing a game that does some things astoundingly well while failing considerably in some other aspects. I guess that from the game's own description and all the other reviews you already know what this game is about; but is it worth your time?

Where does it shine?

Atmosphere: definitely where the game is at it's best; the visuals, although low resolution and noticeably old, hold up very well and the whole place feels astonishingly real. While the exteriors could use some work, nothing in the house seems either forced or overdone, and the whole scenery is meticulously arranged. Add that to some very well placed sound effects and music (when it works...see below) and this game is able to provide an ambience up to par with games like Amnesia. Which is saying a lot, given it's an old school point and click.

Writing: while I have a mixed opinion on the story itself (I liked it, but I wouldn't say it's particularly mind-blowing) one of the things I loved the most while playing was reading all the documents along the way. The writing style feels pleasantly Lovecraftian and adds a lot to both the atmosphere and to your curiosity.

Suspense: that is to say, don't expect the amazing atmosphere to be spoiled by cheesy jump scares,

Where does it fail?

Technical aspects: I had a huge amount of trouble getting this game to work. At first it didn't even open, and only after some time lurking forums and attempting some rather weird solutions (creating a config file the installation forgot to...what the hell?!) did I get it to run. But then, I found out the resolution was locked at 1024x768, the game stuttered heavily and the audio was constantly being interrupted. Even had some problems where important conversations were skipped in their entirety for no reason. Of course, you may be lucky and end up having none of these problems. Hell, even if you do have all these problems and more, the game only moves at your own pace, so it's perfectly playable.

Difficulty: What the hell. Seriously, what the hell. If there's one thing I hate that this game does CONSTANTLY is assuming you magically know what to do next. I've played a considerable amount of adventure games and this is seriously the first that left me completely speechless at finding the solution of something - and not because it was genius. Every time you progress you're left with the same question: what now? And the answer doesn't change, either, it always involves re-exploring the whole house from top to bottom for some sweet spot that wasn't there before. So, unless you have your whole life to spare, don't even bother and just follow a guide if you want to leave with your sanity.

In conclusion, if you've already played and enjoyed games such as Dark Fall and (my personal favorite) Anchorhead, then you're certainly going to enjoy Scratches, even if it isn't the brightest of the bunch. If, instead, you're coming from games such as Amnesia, I'd advise you to try both those games first and check if the slow-placed-absurd-puzzles horror style is for you.
Posted: April 4
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
84 products in account
8 reviews
0.5 hrs on record
Cannot change the resolution to effectively play the game.
Posted: September 10
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105 of 115 people (91%) found this review helpful
152 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:


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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