Cloak and Dagger Games have served up some supremely creepy point-and-click adventures before, but now they're paying homage to one of the masters with spooky short The Terrible Old Man, an indie freeware homage to H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale made in just 30 days. A group of shady characters are getting ready to leave town and take their gang elsewhere, when they hear about an old man living alone in town who's supposedly sitting on a fortune. They aren't put off by the strangeness surrounding the stories the townsfolk tell about him... all they know is he's frail, isolated, and apparently packing gold dubloons in a time where most people can't even scrape together the money for a drink or three. Are they about to bite off more trouble they can handle? Well, let's just say Lovecraft isn't known for stories where everything turns out sunny and all parties are merely involved in harmless misunderstandings. To play, just click to interact with something or someone, and right-click to merely look. Move your cursor way, way up to the top of the screen to have your inventory drop down, and click an item to pick it up so you can try to use it somewhere. You can also save your game from the inventory drop down, in case you need to take a break... you know, in case the ten minutes this game should take is too much.Everything about The Terrible Old Man's atmosphere drips unease and subtle wrongness, much like the work of the iconic writer it was adapted from, and the big reveal is executed cringingly creepily. Don't expect any real answers, as The Terrible Old Man sticks to the original's plot like glue, and most of the puzzles are a simple matter of talking to the only people available and then giving them or saying what they want. While it isn't particularly long or challenging, however, it's still a fine interactive adaptation that's a nice fit for an eerie evening when you want to give yourself the shivers without devoting too much time to it.
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