By Adam Smith on December 6th, 2011 at 8:56 am.
When I noticed that Big Fish had released a Mountains of Madness game I was immediately apoplectic with rage. I gnashed my teeth and raged at anyone who would listen, clamouring about the disgraceful behaviour of reducing my favourite Lovecraft tale into a series of loosely connected scenes in which the only challenge is to click on a random smattering of household detritus stuck in a snowdrift. Then I tried the demo, which allows an hour of play in what sources inform me is approximately a three hour game. Were sixty minutes enough to change my baseless opinion?
It was cerainly enough time to discover that hidden object shenanigans are at a minimum and even when they do appear most of the items are appropriate to the plot and situation. The puzzles are simple but functional and satisfying, while the story, although a tad reliant on glowing glyphs, is quite effectively told from what I’ve seen.
The full game is £5.39 but if you’ve never registered at Big Fish before, use the code NEW299 and you’ll get a discount to £2.30. The downloader should prompt new customers with that code anyway but now you are twice warned.
As to whether it’s worth any time or money at all, I’d say if you have a hankering for some Lovecraft and don’t mind the simplified take on adventuring, it’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I doubt it’s going to put up much of a challenge but that’s not really the point; it’s another way to experience a story you probably know already if you’ve read this far, with a bit of pointing, a bit of clicking and three dead bodies within the first few minutes.
Before I go, here’s something else. Flying around in the Googlecopter I spotted this on the snowy plains below. It’s a short animation of The Mountains of Madness that I’d never seen before. Parts of it are a little ropey but I’m strangely drawn to it. That said, I did skip past a few bits impatiently. Still, that’s two new (to me) Mountains of Madness interpretations I’ve found in one morning, which is much better than my average discovery rate of one per decade.