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Have You Played... Scratches?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Skrit skrit skrit. There's something in the walls, in the cellar, in the attic, in your skull. Skrit skrit skrit. The last thing you hear as the lights go out. Scratches.

Scratches shouldn't work half as well as it does. There are plenty of superficially similar horror adventure games that have failed to scare, entertain or intrigue me - The Black Mirror and Dark Fall series come to mind - but Scratches works on almost every level.

The static first-person scenes create a convincing environment – a rural English home in the seventies – and while the setup is more unsettling than the denouement, the initial mystery makes something deeply macabre out of the mundane. That an atmosphere so thick with dread can be created using an interface that places so many barriers between the player and the world is a remarkable achievement.

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