Forgotten Hill Memento: Playground
It's no secret from the view counts that JiG visitors are big fans of the Forgotten Hill games, which are a classic mix of horror and point-and-click. This series presents the story of some very odd and scary happenings in a house from the late 1800s. In chapters of the "main" story arc you explore the progression of the story - for example, the puppet show in The Puppeteer or the unforgettable nurse for whom beside demeanor is only the very first of issues?
Forgotten Hill Mementos supplement the breath of the narrative with shorter, focused episodes telling specific subplots. If you've played the previous installments such as the ones mentioned above, this may not strike you as too much of a surprise, but "playground" here turns out to be a metaphor. The game takes place inside the family home, where you play as the father and interact on several occasions with his (your) son.
The family has always lived peacefully in Forgotten Hill, the background introducing the story to this chapter explains, until a couple days from the present time. There have just been a few...unusual, suspicious incidents to say the least. Then a pair of absurd accidents responsible for killing the butler and lost your wife happened, leaving you only you, your soon, and trickles of leftover blood through the empty house.
If you're hoping to solve the accidental death (or was it a murder?) mystery, I'm afraid you'll find yourself out of luck this time. Instead, you explore the different rooms in the house, taking time to admire the Japanese artwork in the front and other paintings/puzzles scattered throughout, searching for your son.
There are quite a few nested puzzles, in the sense you will have to take items from one and go track down their use in a future room. Personally I really enjoyed this small serving as it is quite linear and in solving each puzzle, the flow is logical and feels smooth. If, on the other hand, you were looking for a much more intricate and complex network, you may be a little disappointed. However, the atmosphere is still very much solid, the sound effects are good and crisp, and if you're caught unaware it might even make you jump a couple times.
Like the other Forgotten Hill series games, you control the game using the mouse in typical point and click style. Puzzles are interacted with in the same manner. You have an inventory through which you will collect several items, displayed at the bottom of your screen, and scrolled through with the arrows on either side. You can use items on objects in the world or on each other at times, and will need to do so in order to progress. To enter some rooms, you will need to click an arrow leading forward or backward rather than on the entranceway. On one hand, this little world may be your playground, but on the other, dangerous secrets await, perhaps from the direction you might least expect.
Please note, there are some disturbing themes that not all readers might enjoy, much in the spirit of other Forgotten Hill games. Disclaimer being said, if you dare to go on, do enjoy!