Especially the graphics
and sound produce a dense atmosphere (music is set in rarely but most suitable). There are
a few animated scenes and no dialogues... you don't meet people anywhere here! Those
abandoned musty victorian style hotel rooms and endless corridors... pretty weird!
The optic pleasure gets a bit narrowed by a
somewhat outdated graphic-technology: You are moving through the rooms like a
short-sighted without glasses! The near environment looks admirably detailed, but when you
want to perceive the more distant parts of the scene (with panoramic views), the whole
area seems blurred und you can only guess what's on the other side of the room. If you
click to go there, controls react real slow and you will get there using several quick
zooms. When you've finally reached the destination point your view slowly clears up and
you first have to take your bearings. This makes your search for important objects and
orientation much more difficult. You know, most of your tasks are to find certain objects
and the right places to apply (mainly you have to find a number of keys that unlock a
number of doors). Therefore the game is not very hard to solve. The one and only puzzle
found in the game is a very simple one too.
A great part of the story remains in
darkness and is waiting for enlightenment in the next episodes... there are many endless
texts to read (books, letters, notes etc.), that indicate mysterious hints and tell
mysterious stories the language wasn't easy at all and demanded my highest
english skills. It was too bad, that you couldn't take the documents with you in your
inventory - you could only have a look at it. So you often have to save your game, to come
back later to browse through the texts again, because you can't return to some locations.
There are 2 different inventory levels: the
first is always visible at the bottom of the screen, where you can store 4 objects at a
time. The second inventory serves as a reserve, where you can put items that will not
be in use at the moment. You have to click an icon to make the reserve inventory visible
in an additional menu.
About the end of the game I found a bug: I
finished a task in the hotel elevator. After that I realized an open hatch in the ceiling.
I saved the game at this point and restored it shortly afterwards. The task was done but
it was impossible to look at the ceiling with that hatch - I had to restore a former saved
game to play it again to this point to complete my task!
Shortly after that the game was
perplexingly over, though it seemed to me that I'd just started to play (1 CD). But that's
the way with appetizers! It's to bad that it was a mouthful only!
Conclusion: An appealing
but alas much too short appetizer for the next 6 episodes. Despite the simple
search-puzzles I enjoyed the game, above all because of the great atmosphere.
Especially adventure-beginners will take much pleasure in the game at any rate. One can be
anxious to see, how the developers will continue the series! Maybe graphics- and
moving-technology (Quicktime in this case) will evolve either ... and I hope the puzzle
quality will increase too.
I give the game a total rating of 65 %. I can recommend it for fans of
atmospheric adventures and beginners who will both enjoy the game.