The Dark Rumor
"The Dark Rumor" sounds like a really tawdry romance novel title, something with a lot of heaving and red sateen on the cover, but it's actually an escape game by Gotmail, and that's fine too. In it, you play a contender for the all-time Darwin Awards who really wants to buy a house whose owner will only sell it to you if you can uncover the truth about all the bodies that are rumoured to keep showing up there. Yes, it seems you think buying a house locally known as the freaking Cannibal House is an awesome idea, and you're very surprised when the door slams shut behind you and locks you inside. Click around to hunt for clues to solve the puzzles you'll encounter (remember to examine your items closeup!), and maybe rethink your life choices a little.
Though The Dark Rumour features a lot of puzzle solving that relies on combining and interpreting clues and codes scattered around, the most difficult part for some is going to be the lack of a changing cursor to denote interactive areas, since the fact that not every such spot has any real visual indicator means you'll have to click around everything to find them all. Some people would say this adds to the difficulty, but arguably The Dark Room is hard enough without needing to strip out a more user-friendly UI. The puzzles are actually very clever, but require a lot of figuring out how clues fit together and what they apply to rather than just where to use a key or other item. (Although oddly, the game refers to one item as a "screwdriver" when it's clearly a turnkey.) It makes for a quite stylish game, but one whose gameplay design won't appeal to everyone, which is a shame since its tricky clue combination and more cerebral puzzle design is actually quite refreshing. Don't let the morbid premise fool you... there's nothing scary or gory about The Dark Rumor, and the ending is actually quite sweet. If you love a challenge, despite its missteps in design The Dark Rumor is a surprisingly lovely game that's worth checking out.
Thanks to Chiktionary for sending this one in!