Review: The Last Door | Tu quoque nosti

Posted November 21, 2014 by in Adventure

Release Date: 20 May, 2014
 
Summary: Something ancient and evil is stirring in Victorian England. Only you can stop it. Journey to the brink of madness and beyond as you set forth alone into the dark.
 
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Publisher:
 
Developer:
 

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Beautiful low-res art style, fantastic sound design, orchestral score, genuinely tense and scary, so mysterious, FREE
 

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Sure wish right click would deselect your current action
 

Don’t close the door behind you. The Last Door is a genuinely scary, ominous murder-mystery, concealed beneath an innocent indie-game facade.

Rating

Story
9.0


Presentation
9.0


Gameplay
8.5


Sound
10


Total Score
9.1

9.1/ 10

by Dominic Barbiran
Full Article
T

o cross the threshold of The Last Door is to undertake a formidable journey of Lovecraftian proportions, as you endeavor to solve a murder mystery in Victorian England, and become embroiled in something far more sinister. Developed by The Game Kitchen, and financed by its community of fans, The Last Door is a classic point-and-click adventure game that masks its disturbing and mystifying subject matter beneath a striking, low-res pixel art style. You play as Jeremiah Devitt, who receives a mysterious letter from a former colleague. Sensing something amiss, Jeremiah travels to his colleague’s home to find him dead; a suicide by hanging. You endeavor to solve the mysterious nature of his death, and along the way you discover that it isn’t at all straightforward.


[The Last Door] delivers chills and scares on par with any of its AAA competitors

In spite of the indie aesthetic, the game delivers chills and scares on par with any of its AAA competitors, maybe even more so, thanks to the sound design and art-style. Every ambient noise from your surrounding area is loud and impactful, from the creaks and groans of the floorboards you walk over, to the deafening silence of an empty house. The gorgeous and thematic orchestral accompaniment by Carlos Viola add to a rich atmosphere of tension and dread. Each disturbing scene that’s played out before your eyes is made all the more terrifying when the minimalist, low-resolution art style invites you to use your imagination. The age-old adage of “less is more” is in full effect here.

The age-old adage of “less is more” is in full effect here

Puzzles in this game are standard-fare for an adventure game (combine this to that, use newfangled tool to advance past an obstacle), though they’re decidedly less complicated than other games in the genre. That should mean you aren’t spending egregious amounts of time arbitrarily combining items with other items in vain. Challenge often comes from variety. In one puzzle, it has you cross-referencing a star map to the corresponding constellations, while another has you navigating fog using a series of sound cues. Story exposition and gameplay is expertly intertwined; I was often on my toes even when it seemed like nothing would happen.

Reductivism in game design is tricky; overdoing it can leave you with something hollow and bare. The Last Door triumphs despite the fact, following in the steps of successful indie-horror titles like Limbo or Lone Survivor. It plays to its strengths and manages to surprise and confound the player despite the limitations of it’s game engine. With the game following an episodic format, you should leave each chapter hungry for more answers. If that isn’t enough to compel you, then consider this: When a new episode the game is out, the previous one becomes free to play. Now there’s no excuse; help Jeremiah solve his old friend’s murder.

And whatever you do, don’t close the door behind you.

The Last Door is currently in its second season. Support the creators and the development of future chapters by purchasing the game, and you’ll receive each episode as soon as they come out. Click here to enter their official website and find out more.

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Dominic Barbiran


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