Happy October! I can't be sure what October means to you, but in my part of the world, October means dressing up as monsters and pop culture icons, committing petty vandalism, and horror-themed casual games. It's nice to be able to don the mantle of horror during Halloween, because in most countries that celebrate it, we know that the masquerade will end and we can go back to our safe, ordinary lives. But what if the supernatural horror we associate with Halloween manifested during a truly horrific time, like, say, the Black Plague? That was the premise of Morbid, a point-and-click horror title from Pastel Games that we reviewed last year. Now comes the sequel, Morbid 2: The Cure, just in time for everyone's favorite spooky holiday.
Point-and-click fans should know how the game works: Click on scenery to navigate, items to collect, and people to converse. Combine items with people, scenery, or other items to solve puzzles and advance the story. For Morbid 1, we complained that the worst part of the game was the navigation, for it was never clear where you needed to click to move. While Morbid 2 is a little better in this regard, there are still paths that are too obscure to be easily found. Navigation remains the most frustrating part of the series.
Despite this one problem, there is a lot that Morbid 2 does well. The puzzles, when they are not obscured by navigation issues, are mostly intuitive and, except for one very silly puzzle involving a spider web, logical. While the story is intriguing, the end of the game might upset some. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a knife in the gut, or one heck of a cliffhanger.
Play both games in the Morbid series:
The best part of the series remains the atmosphere. The black-and-white art and subtle ambient sounds are creepy and evocative. There are no jump scares or shocking gore, just a mood of well-crafted, eerie desolation. If you can get over the wonky navigation, Morbid 2 is a fine bit of quick, atmospheric spookiness, just in time for Halloween.