It’s the end of the dark, cold days of winter, so I decided to take advantage of the bleakness and settle into a spooky game. I’m a huge fan of a good scary story, whether or not jump-scares jolt you out of your seat. The Last Door has a few shocking moments, but I wasn’t distracted by the threat of a sudden “Boo!” throughout the game. Think of old friends telling ghost stories in the graveyard, flashlights and all.
You play as a Victorian gentleman investigating a mysterious letter sent by an old friend. There’s a pretty big hook at the beginning, which I won’t spoil for you, but clearly there’s something very terrible going on in this Lovecraftian (Edgar Allan Poeian?) setting. Sometimes it was obvious when I was about to stumble on something nightmareish; clearly, that door was boarded up for a very good reason! Other times, I was taken by surprise; suddenly, a dead, bleeding crow was the most unsettling inventory item I’ve ever acquired in a game.
You might roll your eyes at the indie pixel revival look of The Last Door (I totally did, at first) but the simple graphics work great for letting your imagination fill in the horrific blanks, as if you’re listening to a storyteller and imagining all the details. The real standout in this game is the sound, with every creak, thump, and rattle you want to hear in such a tale. There’s even a puzzle to solve where you follow the spooky sounds!
The game mechanics even enhance the eeriness; when you’re in a dark area, your character slooooowwwly walks, unable to see anything except for what’s right in front of him. It might be an old-school style game, but fortunately the controls are the more modern, simplified type- click to look, click again to interact. However, they’ve retained the Adventure Game Logic™ puzzles of yesteryear in a few instances. Why yes, use CAT with LAMP. That makes total sense. (Not an actual solution, but you get the idea.) I got stuck quite a few times, but I have no shame about checking a hint guide every once in a while.
Point-and-click adventure games are all about the story, though. The Last Door totally surprised me in its ability to get really, really spooky. It’s a pay-what-you-want game, so feel free to try it free at first. It’s an episodic series that’s in the middle of season two, so if you’re into adventure horror games, you’re in luck!
Continuing to hide behind the couch,
The Dungeon Dame
The Dungeon Dame