A dimly lit room, a bed, the soft sound of rain outside... it might be all a bit more romantic if you weren't in Milcho Milchev and Martin Dimitrov's interactive fiction horror adventure Unholy Flesh. You wake up alone, head throbbing, in unfamiliar surroundings decorated like Pyramid Head had a stint on Trading Spaces. Who are you, and what's going on? To find out, you'll need to explore, solve puzzles, and track down the diary pages you'll discover scattered around to fill in the blanks. The handy in-game tutorial will walk you through the basics, but if you've played a text adventure, you know the drill. Type in commands like "look around" or "take ___" and hit [enter] to execute them, paying attention to the coloured text that will draw your eye to points or items of interest. The game makes use of a checkpoint system rather than saves, so since you can die repeatedly, it's best to pay attention to your surroundings. Be aware that while the game will restore you to your last checkpoint if you die, it will not do so if you exit the game and return to it later, forcing you to start from the beginning.
The best way to describe Unholy Flesh's interface is tidy. By using various colours of font to denote important objects you'll rarely miss anything, and the tutorial does a great job of hand-holding any potential newcomers to the genre while refreshing us oldsters... especially since looking under things in text adventures is uncommon enough that I appreciated it being pointed out. The story itself makes use of a lot of familiar tropes, but the use of sound effects and visual touches brings it to life with admirable subtlety that makes up for the cheesier moments. Waiting for the text scroll to finish before you can input your commands does get old, especially if you're replaying after a death, and while I can understand using checkpoints to recover from fatalities, not allowing players to manually save and load feels like a mistake.
A few tweaks and optimizations would have gone a long way towards really making the game shine, including mute options and a proofread over the text since occasional burps like "leeding" instead of "leading" detract from an otherwise atmospheric story. Taken as a whole, however, Unholy Flesh makes for a fine creepy adventure that cultivates an air of mystery throughout. It's not particularly long, and as long as you explore everything and remember to use your inventory and your Resident Evil-esque problem solving skills the puzzles shouldn't give you much difficulty. It's on the short side, and the ending feels a little underdeveloped, but it's an effort packed with promise from two people with a clear passion for the genre that we'd love to see even more from in the future.