If youíve never played one of these types of adventure games like Monkey Island
or Maniac Mansion
, you might take a look at the graphics and wonder what would pull a person in to play it for so long? The secret is, the lack of resolution forces your mind to fill in the details. You start picking up tools like matches and rope, so in your mind, you know the background is filled with things that could be useful. The paintings in the background have to be described in text, but once you read the description, you have a clearer picture of what that painting and the room it hangs in look like. And because the graphics are simple, when things change, the change stands out a bit more. Take the grandfather clock in the main room of Beechworthís home, for example. Its pendulum swings, and itís the only movement in that room. If you came back later and noticed it was still, youíd know immediately that something was different. You might even feel a bit of dread, since you know the house has been empty, and you know that clock should not have changed on its own.
I donít want to spoil any of the gameís later surprises. I can tell you that the intro is very morbid, and you are basically forced to play out your old friend Beechworthís suicide. Unless your grandpa is into macabre murder mysteries, this is not the game to start him out on, if you know what I mean. Those elements of horror and gore set the tone for the events that will take place later in the game. The mystery begins to unravel with clues left in diaries of servants and in Beechworthís old home. The master appeared to start losing himself and acting out of character. He orders the servants of the house to get rid of all religious icons, he frightens his wife, he even starts to despise the family cat and orders that it be forbidden from the house, though one servant secretly kept feeding it. Then there are the crows, which keep coming back in some very creepy ways. And like a good horror novel, it keeps going downhill from there.
Itís pretty amazing just how jumpy this game can make you. There are some genuinely creepy moments, and moments that might actually make you jump. Itís done very well, with the horror "reveals" and the classic horror "fingers across the piano" sound effects.
Thereís an addictiveness to these classic point and click adventure games, and The Last Door captures that feeling perfectly. You get to pat yourself on the back when you figure out things like say, that youíd need to use a hammer on that suspicious wall you saw a while back or when you figure out how to use the paint thinner you found.
The Last Door is not just an inventory puzzle game. Youíll have to make some dialogue choices that can affect how the game plays out. This doesnít really start happening until Chapter 2, but it does introduce some replayability if youíd like to see what other choices happen to do.