Bonus Link Dump Friday: Super Spooky Edition


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWhat time is it?

... I say, WHAT TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME IS IT?! Why, it's Bonus Link Dump Friday time! (And why are you yelling? Rude.) Anyway, it may not be Halloween, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until October for some chills. Especially not if you're like me and always have a hankerin' for scares! Let's take a stroll down Spooky Lane together. (Take a right off of 23 Chickadee Avenue.) This special edition of your one and only Link Dump Friday features some games that are creepy-cool and are worth a peek if you are brave of heart or just want to impress the big kids so they'll let you hang out with them. So yes, parents, please assume that most of these games are not safe for young children. Unless tears, nightmares, and checking under the bed for boogeymen for the next six weeks sounds appealing. Me? I spend all my time jumping rigged-to-detonate dirt-bikes over robotic lions who are also on fire and shoot bees out of their mouths when they roar. Nothing scares me.

  • Absentia - Episode 1Absentia - Episode 1 - More atmospheric than actually scary, this little point-and-clicker is about a girl who suddenly receives a letter one day that might point to the whereabouts of her father, who vanished fifteen years ago. The narrative is the strong point here, delivered with competent voice acting, and the game plays out on photographed backgrounds that are a nice touch. What's unfortunate is that right now the actual gameplay aspect is a bit stale, consisting primarily of tracking down note fragments in different locations and then assembling them. Hopefully the next chapter will be more exciting. Maybe with a talking animal sidekick. Everyone loves those, right?
  • Time to Wake UpTime to Wake Up - A slower, more thoughtfully creepy point-and-click tale of a man who receives a strange package one evening that ends up making him see things in a different light (bad pun, sorry), Time to Wake Up is the first game from its developers, and is fairly impressive as such, even if the gameplay doesn't quite feel as strong as the narrative itself. Some puzzles can be frustratingly fiddly, and narrative text takes a while to disappear from the screen. Still, the atmosphere is excellent, the style is appropriate, and there are several different endings for you to find. It definitely makes you want to see more from the developers.
  • The InsanityThe Insanity - About as subtle as a HummVee, this point-and-click horror adventure is the gaming equivalent of trying to read a book by Clive Barker while someone shrieks in your ear every five seconds and throws buckets of raspberry jam everywhere. You wake up in a cage in a strange laboratory and need to escape the building before your bizarre captors track you down and turn you into one of the other unfortunate creatures that walk the halls. It isn't what you might call restrained, doesn't always make sense, and some of the action sequences can be frustrating, but there's something appealing about the aesthetic and the gleeful cheesiness of the whole setup.
  • Desolation: The Stages of AnxietyDesolation: The Stages of Anxiety - An exterminator gets called into a job that might be more than he bargained for in this point-and-click game with action elements. The narrative can be a little shaky, and it took me a moment of cocking my head at the screen to understand the ending, but there are some genuinely creepy moments contained herein. When you're done, you can play the sequel, although that somehow lacks the creepy-crawly impact of the original. I actually don't know why we haven't already had this in a Link Dump, but it probably has something to do with the fact that my brain is a sieve and I can never remember what I'm about to oh hello, what are you guys doing here?
  • Darkbase 2: The HiveDarkbase 2: The Hive - Another competently done top-down shooter where you mow down legions of bloodthirsty aliens with progressively larger guns. It's not very scary, but it is appealingly action oriented and features lots of things bursting. (Take that as you will.) If this game were a movie, it would star Dwayne Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, and Samuel L Jackson (rock!), and the dialogue would consist entirely of the first two going "RAAAAAAAAAAAA" and firing their guns nonstop, while Samuel L Jackson was on the phone firing his agent. I'd watch it.

23 Comments

dessyroo Author Profile Page May 21, 2010 4:12 PM

Whew, the scariest thing about your link to that old Grudge game was the comments! One of the reasons I come back time and again is that the comments section is routinely populated by funny, respectful people who give good feedback...it's rare to see those "this sux u guyz r lam" posts here nowadays. Thanks, JIG mods and community for that. :)
Now...bring on the robotic lions!

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Anonymous May 21, 2010 5:13 PM

I think there's something wrong with Desolation.

I blew up the grate at the end of the sewer, and now I'm just stuck in one spot. I watched the walkthrough, and there's supposed to be an ending sequence. What's going on?

I'm using Firefox if that has anything to do with it.

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@dessyroo: Agreed. :D The discussion in the comments section is a big part of the JIG appeal. It's nice that the readership is so classy nowadays.

Well now, a friendly warning for anyone about to try Desolation: You miiight want to turn your speakers down and/or avert your eyes when you use the lighter for the first time.

The pop-up zombie, while entirely expected, is nonetheless pretty startling. Probably because the game makes you wait for it.

If you're a silent-freezer like me, you'll be fine... but if you're a jump-and-screamer, you're likely to disturb some neighbors.

Could someone please post about the game's ending? I'd love to know how it turns out, but I suddenly remembered that I'm a lily-lived poltroon, and quit playing.

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...Livered. Lily-livered, I meant to say.

Consarned typos.

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bubbajoe Author Profile Page May 21, 2010 6:37 PM

@JIGuest

Nope, not just you, same problem here. Kind of disappointing.

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Re: TTWU -
Does it matter what you do with the doors?

Re: Absentia -
Neat ambiance. So... now what?

Re: Insanity -
A stream of consciousness observation: "Hey, this is kind of neat. Why do creepy maniacs like this always live in decaying houses? Even Hannibal Lecter appreciated interior decor. Eep! Oh, wait... whack-a-mole? Really? OK... Ooh, a rat! I like rats. OK, a... pool table? Wait, what the... F&#@*% OK, screw this."

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Overall the games were satisfactory, I'm surprised they're all in the same sort of genre though.

Insanity was exactly as its name suggested, insane, it was crazy all over the place, everything seemed a little to rushed for my liking, and honestly? The images were cheesy. But if your looking for a cheap thrill, thats the way to go.

I actually enjoyed playing time to wake up, it was well done, but the creepy atmosphere, with the little girl was a bit overblown. And there was absolutely NO point in the huge swirling vortex in the wall, but then again this IS chapter 1, so we'll just have to wait and see what else they can come up with. Maybe tie up some loose ends.

Desolation had some Woah moments, but was pretty much typical creepy point and click.

Absentia was pretty boring, the findings were easy and the story pretty weak, but I don't regret playing the game, so thats good.

Darkbase 2 was ok, but, judging by the name, I was expecting something where you wake up not knowing who or where you were. (by the way that is a WAY over used plot in point and click games)
It was more shooting things than solving anything.

Well, keep em coming Jay.

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ChairmanMUHC -- about Time To Wake Up:

I believe the ending you get depends on the number of doors you leave open.

Blinky: Time To Wake Up isn't Chapter 1, is it?

I mean, I don't see any sequel to the ending I got.

What with the protagonist about to be executed and everything.

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Username Author Profile Page May 21, 2010 9:38 PM

Someone wanna explain the machine in Insanity? I can't for the life of me figure out what I'm supposed to do, and it moves so fast there's no way I can even figure out what I'm supposed to be doing!

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octochan Author Profile Page May 22, 2010 12:00 AM

hee! there's a plant named Chuck in Time to Wake Up!

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OK, yeah, different doors open or closed give different endings. But that's a hell of a lot to slog through for 5! possible endings. (5! = 120 for the non-mathers.) (That is, if

burning evidence doesn't change things, too. Or simply taking it from the safe.

That brings it to 7! endings, which is 5,040, for the geeks among us.)

There were 5 doors, right?

I guess what I'm asking is, how many endings are there, actually? And what combination of open/closed gives which endings? Could it be a function of not *which* doors, but *how many*?

Gees, sorry about this. I just finished reading a geek article before I came back to this thread.

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About the doors in Time to wake up-

If you leave the majority of the doors open, then you get the electric chair.

If you close the majority of the doors then he lives his life in misery.

If you close the majority of the doors AND burn the picture of the girlfriend from the apartment, the knife, and the pictures of the dead girlfriend in the room with the fireplace then you get a happy ending on a boat.

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@ Matt W.

Im sorry, there isnt any chapter 1, I had played them all one after the other, so I must've slurred some together. No, Absentia is chapter 1, not Time to wake up, sorry if I confused anyone...

@ Matt w.

I didn't get that ending, you see I closed every single door, and burned the evidence (Knife and pics) so I got the happy ending, which is kind of bad, since he dosn't really deserve it, i mean he mutilated his girl friend because she was going to break up with him. So I basically set a serial killer on the loose. dosnt that make you all warm and fuzzy?

I still don't understand the big swirling vortex..... at all

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For the life of me, I can't figure out

how to put together all the pieces in the box. I have everything together except for the curved silver piece with the ball on the end. Where does it go? Then I think I need to use the fuse as the power source, but it doesn't seem to let me do anything new until after I put the pieces together...

I feel so mechanically incompetent right now. Remind me never to buy furniture from IKEA. :P

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Sorry, should probably mention that this is in Time to Wake up.

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Merricat Author Profile Page May 23, 2010 12:48 AM

Dear Fellow JIG-ers Who Are Screaming At The Screen During The "Machine Scene" in Insanity;

A couple of things you might want to try. Here's a strategy for the fight-mechanics of that @#*(&!!! machine:

Instructions for "The Machine." To beat "The Machine" you need to keep from getting your arm cut off for 30 seconds. The buttons on the left and right each have an arrow that shows which way the saw blade will move if you tap the button. After a certain amount of time the green button flashes. Sometimes it will flash and say "reverse polarity" which causes the arrows switch directions. Tap the button that moves the saw away from your arm and switch buttons if the polarity reverses.

This is NOT my doing, gentle JIG-ers (I'm nowhere near that nimble and gave up after the tenth amputation): it was posted in the comments section after the game. So thank you, RaudyGabriev, wherever you are. Now, if they remove the comment (and I get un-disgruntled enough to try again) I have a hope of actually finishing the game.

Second point: if you just want to skip over the fights and machines and general mayhem, you can have a look at a video walkthrough which is played through smoothly and expertly. After I had enough of The Machine's taunting, I looked for a walkthrough and found this. I didn't go back to the game after that - it was short and interesting enough that I got to watch the story and graphics without wanting to put my monitor through the window.

It's over at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7A0KkvrEnI

DORA - Not sure that I agree that this game is about as subtle as a Humvee. I was thinking more in lines of an avalanche. Or a mugging.

I wonder if Clive knows about this?

Good morning,
Bettina

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I don't like The Insanity... the graphic is not very good and the ending is too predictable...

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LadyOfTheNight Author Profile Page May 24, 2010 8:12 AM

I first played The Insanity long ago, and I don't plan on going back. I enjoyed it a bit, but a lot of the games were frustrating, and, as Vivian said, the ending was predictable to the point where I realised what was going on around two minutes in.
I played both Absentia, which I actually found quite enjoyable- nice little five minutes out of your day- and Time To Wake Up, which I liked but gave up on at the gun assembling. It was impossible for me.
I am going to play Desolation, too... when there's someone else in the house. I'm too cowardly, and I don't want to risk making myself more sick than I already am.

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Andrew Clucas May 24, 2010 9:16 PM

Re: Time to Wake Up

Is no-one else stuck on this game?

I have a fuse, photo, single puzzle piece and piece of bread, and no idea what to do next....

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AbbiNormal Author Profile Page May 25, 2010 6:02 AM

Time To Wake Up

Andrew:

I'm stuck, too. I have

headache pill (used), key (used), a photo, a cold cup of coffe, an onion, and a fuse. Where did you find the puzzle piece?

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AbbiNormal Author Profile Page May 25, 2010 6:05 AM

Oh, I also have

moldy bread (used)

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sparrow Author Profile Page May 25, 2010 11:04 AM

There is a Time to Wake Up walkthrough, written by the author, here: http://pellec.wordpress.com/portfolio/time-to-wake-up/walkthrough/

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The Insanity just plain sucks. The buttons on the machine simply do not work. Then you have to sit through watching the saw cut and a delay before you can re-try. After 10 times, I gave up. Needs a reset button so you can try again immediately.

Thumbs down! Stupid. Ruined what I was otherwise mildly enjoying.

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