Gravely Silent: House of Deadlock
Here is a gem of a game that I can never remember the name of - I have to look it up every time!
First off, the basics. There are two modes of gameplay: Casual
. I chose Challenge since I dislike unsolicited hints. You do still get some
sparklies for items you need to notice, but not all of them, so you can't afford to get complacent and think you've found everything simply because there are no sparkles.
There are separate sliders for music, sound effects, and environment, plus options for wide/full screen and custom cursor. Tutorial is optional, as well. The music, etc, is very environmental and well-suited to the game
There is no journal, but we do have a task list. Hovering your mouse over the task list button will show you if there's anything you need to do on that scene. Clicking the button will show you a list of ALL tasks that need to be completed.
There were times that I was stuck in the game and had no idea what to do until I checked the task list and saw that it said (something like), 'Examine the dresser.' Me: "Examine the dresser?
OH! There's a hidden object scene there!" You see, in challenge
mode, you don't always get an indication that there's a HOG scene to do. Either I'd happen to mouse-over the area and see a magnifying glass, or check the task list to see that I'd missed a HOG scene.
The game is fairly straightforward, with a certain (varying) number of scenes that you interact with before moving on to a new area. However, EVERY location remains open to you throughout the game
There aren't a ton of things that you will have to remember from earlier parts of the game, but there are a few to come back to. Happy news for those who hate to-ing and fro-ing, the devs came up with an original, incredibly useful, and much appreciated way to quickly return to an area we need frequent access to - beautifully done, devs!
Despite the limited areas we are working in at any given time, it doesn't really feel
like we're being limited because there is just so much to see and do! The graphics are beautifully done, the tasks are varied, and the mini-puzzles are great.
There are no instructions for the minis unless you use a hint, and they are skippable, if you wish. Some of them are your usual mini-game fare, and then there are the delightful puzzles that are reminiscent of those in Drawn
. I had SUCH a good time trying to figure out what was needed on these puzzles
All of the puzzles are do-able without having to frustrating amounts of time on them.
I was pleasantly surprised by this game-whose-name-I-have-trouble-remembering, as I had expected it to be like Bluebeard's Castle
since the basic plots are the same. I was happy to find that House of Deadlock
felt nothing like Bluebeard's Castle
, either in gameplay or in plot.
I do have one gripe with this game, and that is the HOG scenes. I had a LOT of trouble finding the hidden objects, and had trouble deciphering why for a while... The scenes are nice and bright, no Grecian urns floating in the sky... There certainly were a TON of items squeezed in the scenes, but still, that wasn't it... Finally I realized that while there are no absurdly over-sized items on the screen, there were
items that were not in proportion with the rest of the scene. Tiny items baaaad
I have two WARNINGS
for this game.
The first is for the animal lovers
out there. We have a couple of circle-of-life moments in the game that you might have a problem with:
The first time is early on when we have to find and feed worms to hungry fledglings
If that one bothered you, then just skip this second spoiler:
Later in the game, we have to catch and feed live mice to hungry adult birds
The second warning is for arachnophobes
, as we have some scenes with spiders ranging from tiny to incredibly huge. This spoiler might help a bit, if you're uncertain:
The spiders are pets of the groundskeeper, à la Hagrid and Aragog in the Harry Potter series. For those unacquainted with the world of Harry Potter; spiders that won't harm humans
Overall, despite my one gripe, I really enjoyed this game and will play it again, some day