Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

Games written in Inform, Glulx, TADS, CAT, HUGO and similar. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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Marco
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Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#1 Post by Marco » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:26 pm

Anybody else fanatic about H.P. Lovecraft like me? As important as his work was to the horror genre in literature, it always surprises me how few games there are that tribute Lovecraft. The best known commercial examples in the interactive fiction world are probably Infocom's The Lurking Horror and Eldritch Games' The Hound of Shadow, both of which have solutions here. However, over the years there have been a few very high-quality games posted on the IF archive:

Anchorhead, probably the best of the bunch. I still haven't finished this one, but it has a deep plot, excellent writing, faithful Lovecraftian atmosphere, and extremely well-designed characters. I've been very impressed with this one, and I'm absolutely refusing to use a walkthrough to solve it.

The Awakening, another very good one. The review at that link is correct: any fans of Lovecraft will figure out this game very early. Nevertheless, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the game. It's short and sweet, and rich in atmosphere.

The Temple. There is no review at that link, but I found this game to be very enjoyable and extremely atmospheric. I like the dreamlike quality of the game, how it reminded me of many different Lovecraft stories without being inspired by any particular ones.

And the Waves Choke the Wind, also very short, as this game is supposed to be the prologue to another game which, as far as I know, still hasn't been made. Thus, the the cliffhanger ending is basically a disappointment. Still, it's pretty good for just being a demo, and worth checking out.

Any of these games is worth checking out if you're fans of horror, and definitely if you like Lovecraft. With the exception of Anchorhead, they're all very short and not at all difficult.

There are a few other Lovecraftian games in the IF Archive (HERE is a list of most of them), but the ones I've mentioned are the good ones that I'm familiar with. There is another, Ecdysis, which I haven't really tried, but looks very intriguing. I don't know why Nevermore is on that list, since it's a Poe adaptation, although a good one, from what I hear.

Marco.
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terri
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#2 Post by terri » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:58 pm

I am trying to play Ecdysis. How does one get past the large larva?

terri
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#3 Post by terri » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:35 pm

So, since last noted in August 2008.

Any help you can give me to this game?

Marco
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#4 Post by Marco » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:16 pm

Sorry, but I still haven't done anything with this game. Too much on my plate at the present.

Is it any good so far?

Marco.
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terri
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#5 Post by terri » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:36 am

Marco,

I have tried to play Ecdysis, but I am stuck. Have you tried it yet?

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#6 Post by Samwise » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:51 am

Possibly straying off-topic ... but there's an arcade adventure being developed for the BBC Micro called Mountain Panic, which is based on At the Mountains of Madness, a H.P. Lovecraft novella.

Image Image Image

http://www.retrosoftware.co.uk/mountainpanic

It'll be a while yet and, of course, is a completely different genre ... but the demo build is already looking quite nice. Check out the YouTube videos on that page. There's also a forum which can be used to monitor for updates.

Sam.

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#7 Post by Mark » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:58 am

While we're at it - halfway off topic: anyone of you guys ever played the two Lovecraftian point & click adventures "Shadow of the Comet" and "Prisoner of Ice"? They are both absolutely excellent. Shadow of the Comet, though, is among the top 3 hardest games I have ever played, at the very edge of "frustrating". But the intense atmosphere more than made up for that. Both games run well under DosBox and can be downloaded here:

http://adventure-heaven.blogspot.com/20 ... comet.html

http://adventure-heaven.blogspot.com/20 ... f-ice.html

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#8 Post by Mr Creosote » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:01 pm

I have reviews of both games on my site. Short version: Shadow of the Comet is absolutely excellent in my opinion, Prisoner of Ice is disappointingly shallow.

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#9 Post by Mark » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:50 pm

I agree to a certain extent. PoI is definetly a beginners' adventure. Not too long, and easy to solve. I think I have it in such fond memory because I am a great Lovecraft fan, and it was one of the first P&C adventures I ever managed to solve... back when I was young :D

Shadow of the Comet, on the other hand, took me ages to solve. I especially hated the underground action sequence where you had to escape from the pale wormlike creature. But the fact that it kept me going for so long says a lot about it's atmosphere.

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#10 Post by Mr Creosote » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:19 pm

Funny - PoI is special to me, too, because it's the last Adventure game I bought right when it came out. I did enjoy it to a certain extent, but those rooms later in the game which are completely empty but for one single item really got on my nerves. Clicking on the only item in sight is not a puzzle, it's an insult of the player's intelligence. SotC, on the other hand, is one of the most intense gaming experiences I've ever had. I'm not a big fan of action scenes in Adventures, either, but running away from Jonas (the 'pale wormlike creature') in his crypt literally had my heart racing! I also liked how the game made the town seem alive.

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Re: Lovecraftian Games on the IF Archive

#11 Post by Gunness » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:09 am

I have played quite a bit of the Call of Cthulhu RPG in my younger days, but apart from some unsatisfactory encounters with Hound of Shadows, I've never really explored the computer game side of Lovecraft. Thanks for making this thread - I think I'll take another look at Anchorhead and SotC.

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