Paranormal/Occult/Horror Themed Games

Games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Amiga, Apple ][ and the rest of the 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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Plissken
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Paranormal/Occult/Horror Themed Games

#1 Post by Plissken » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:07 pm

Hello guys, i am looking for some obscure adventures of the aforementioned genres. Any suggestions? :D
I am playing the two Death House (two different games bearing the same name, one a full text adventure, the other a selectable choices adventure) for the C64 in these days and they are interesting but often quite dull.

terri
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#2 Post by terri » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:58 am

You could try Opera House (scroll down til you find it) where we were, and still are, I believe stuck in.

Juan
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#3 Post by Juan » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:30 am

terri wrote:You could try Opera House (scroll down til you find it) where we were, and still are, I believe stuck in.
Quite correct. And I still haven't heard a peep from one of the programmers (as you will recall, I sent him a message through his guestbook.) Maybe he does not want to give away what exactly is it you have to do to trap/kill the Phantom.

terri
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#4 Post by terri » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:43 am

My pile of unfinished games keeps getting higher and higher.

Oh well...

Marco
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#5 Post by Marco » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:07 pm

Have you tried "Hound of Shadow"? It's a Lovecraft-themed game, supposedly pretty good, though I haven't done much of it yet.

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#6 Post by Mr Creosote » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:04 pm

I like the Hound of Shadow very much. Not easy to get into, but the alternate solutions and generally good writing were worth it.

darius
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#7 Post by darius » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:08 am

A long time ago I really enjoyed Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman by Rod Pike on the C64. The problems were so-so but the prose was excellent.

terri
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#8 Post by terri » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:46 am

Among my unfinished games is House on Damned Hill - a Spectrum 128 game. It's more of a type of arcade game, with having to kill monsters, despite needing to enter text. I didn't get very far into it. It also appears to have a limited number of moves.

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#9 Post by Gunness » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:56 am

I'd definitely vote for Hound of Shadow and Dracula as well. The puzzles in both are questionable, and the latter is horribly (!) linear, but the writing is excellent. Pike also wrote Jack the Ripper which is also worth your time.

But for me, the finest effort is Infocom's The Lurking Horror - intensely atmospheric and with some fine puzzles, too. It even has a touch of the occult :)

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#10 Post by Mr Creosote » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:28 pm

To toot my horn a little - I wrote reviews about some of the games mentioned here:
- The Hound of Shadow
- Dracula
- The Lurking Horror

As the audience here is a little more 'experty', I have to admit that I try to sound a little more enthusiastic about those games in the reviews than I actually am usually.

If you don't mind going a little towards the borders of the genre, Moonmist is quite nice (more of a mystery game, but about ghosts).

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#11 Post by Gunness » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:10 pm

Well, there's nothing wrong with a toot once in a while ;) (I was intrigued to see Terraquake as a "similar game" to Dracula, though!)

Moonmist never really caught me - I think I would have enjoyed it more if Stu Galley had focused his energies on creating one great story rather than four average ones. Still, the atmosphere is top notch.

Of course Anchorhead also deserves a mention, as it is exceedingly well written. Never made it all the way through it :?

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#12 Post by Mr Creosote » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:14 pm

Gunness wrote:(I was intrigued to see Terraquake as a "similar game" to Dracula, though!)
It's not that far fetched, actually. Both games have a simplistic parser, display crude graphics and their stories are built around popular frachises of the fantasy genre.

And if we're now including (relatively) modern-day games:
- Anchorhead
- Nevermore

The latter isn't really great, but it's short and it carries its mood very well.

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#13 Post by Marco » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:21 am

About 2 years ago I posted a short list of various Lovecraft-inspired games that I've come across on the IF archive, over HERE.

The big ones have already been brought up -- Hound of Shadow, Lurking Horror, and Anchorhead. Some of the others on the list are well worth checking out, though. To that list I would also add The King of Shreds and Patches.

Now, if it's any horror game that you're interested in, rather than just Lovecraft, I would give strong recommendations to The Abbey and Hampton Manor. Both of these are "modern", though about 15 years old now. They're easy to find on the IF archive.

As far as old-school, former commercial releases go, there were not a whole lot of horror/supernatural-themed adventure games. The CRL games have already been mentioned. One of my personal favorites is Transylvania, which I regard as one of the first ever "horror" games ever made. The Curse of Crowley Manor was also not bad. There is Ooze - Creepy Nites, which you can find on the IF archive (although it's a version without graphics; the ST and Amiga versions have graphics I believe). I haven't played much of this one, but from what I saw it was more of a spoof than a true horror-themed game. Another formerly commercial game that is now freeware is Angelsoft's The Mist, which is based on a Stephen King novel. I'm pretty sure I downloaded my copy from the IF archive.

You can also check Personal Nightmare by Horrorsoft. I have not tried this one, but I believe it plays like one of the later-generation IF games, where you could either type or select words with the mouse pointer (kind of like Legend Entertainment's IF games -- the Spellcasting series, Eric the Unready, and so on).

Now, if you willing to play a game that is actually a hybrid between interactive fiction and a point-and-click adventure, you should definitely check out Icom's Uninvited. This remains one of my top 10 favorite horror games of all time. Finding it will be tricky, though, since Infinite Ventures, which had been re-releasing "remastered" versions of all the old Icom games, appears to be defunct. Whatever you do, though, stay away from the Nintendo versions of these games.

By the way, I once read somewhere that CRL's Dracula was the first computer game ever to be censored (in England). Anyone else heard about this?

Marco.
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#14 Post by Gunness » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:46 pm

Marco wrote:Now, if it's any horror game that you're interested in, rather than just Lovecraft, I would give strong recommendations to The Abbey and Hampton Manor. Both of these are "modern", though about 15 years old now.
Hahaha, yeah, "modern" is definitely in the eye of the beholder! I'm sure that some retrogamers will find a C64 game from 1989 very modern :)

Transylvania has some nice touches but the all-too-brief text kept distracting me. However, Personal Nightmare is certainly worth of a mention. And while we're talking Horrorsoft, even though it's a straight point'n'click game, I have a really soft spot for Elvira: Mistress of the Dark on the Amiga. I think it's quite creepy in places.

Uninvited, now there's a classic (and classy) title. I remember locating that woman in the hallway which turned out to be a skeleton. Very effective. It even had some neat puzzles, too.
By the way, I once read somewhere that CRL's Dracula was the first computer game ever to be censored (in England). Anyone else heard about this?
Yes, I remember this, too. Much hullabaloo was made over the fact, and concerned psychologists were certain that the ...erm.... highly realistic images would traumatize an entire generation of impressionable kids. Unless I'm terribly mistaken, CRL actively sought out the censorship rating in order to get a bit of much-needed free publicity. Whether it worked or not I don't know :)

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#15 Post by Alastair » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:50 am

Gunness wrote:
Marco wrote:By the way, I once read somewhere that CRL's Dracula was the first computer game ever to be censored (in England). Anyone else heard about this?
Yes, I remember this, too. Much hullabaloo was made over the fact, and concerned psychologists were certain that the ...erm.... highly realistic images would traumatize an entire generation of impressionable kids. Unless I'm terribly mistaken, CRL actively sought out the censorship rating in order to get a bit of much-needed free publicity. Whether it worked or not I don't know :)
Small point, but it's classification not censorship - classification means that sale is restricted to persons above a certain age, censorship means that things are removed from the game, film, etc. I don't know if Dracula was the first game to receive a classification rating, but companies deliberately causing outrage (at least in the tabloids) as a means to create publicity is nothing new, you would think that the tabloids would have wised up to that by now.

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