It might be a few weeks past, but, at least in Escapegameopolis, Halloween is still in full swing. How else to explain the recent rash of delightfully creepy, awesomely eerie games created for our pointing and clicking pleasure? Latest up in this pernicious pantheon is Crypt Keeper, a gorgeous new offering by the good folks over at Armor Games.
In Crypt Keeper, without a single word of explanation you find yourself plunked down in the middle of a truly spooktastic graveyard. How and why did you get there? Not important. It's the middle of the night, and there are creepy noises and big ominous tombstones and omigosh you need to get out right now! The only option, then, is to move forward and explore. The office and tool shed that border the graveyard both hold secrets and clues to aid you in your quest, but to really get to the heart of the matter you'll have to—gulp!—venture into the crypt itself.
Crypt Keeper is an extremely nice-looking (and sounding) game. The nearly-photorealistic graphics, deeply shadowed and finely textured, really bring the scene to life; the ambient sound effects also lend an air of realism to the environment. Most of the game's puzzles are fairly straightforward, "pick up key A to open door B" sorts of things, though there are a generous handful of more creative obstacles thrown in. My only real problem with Crypt Keeper is that, despite the fact that it displays all the trappings of a great game, it somehow seems to lack soul. (Mu-hahaha!)
I think that this is mostly due to the complete lack of any sort of set-up or background scenario. Also, unlike many other creepy point-and-clicks, no tragic family history or other spooky story is revealed while playing through the game; there is no "plot" other than to escape. And hey, that's fine... but when seemingly so much time and effort is spent in making a game look and sound great, a corresponding lack of substance can feel a bit disappointing.
That being said, Crypt Keeper is still a fine piece of work that definitely deserves your attention. Even without a developed story line, playing such a polished, atmospheric game is a real pleasure. Enjoy!