Mar 19, 2006

PC Review: ‘Spooks’

Well, in a nutshell: Spooks is the first creation of a person named "The Ivy"” along with a very small team, it'’s a freeware adventure, it looks good, sounds ok, is size-wise a very modest download and anyone who is smart enough to have reached this review, shouldn'’t have any trouble downloading it from the xii games website. And to wet your appetite, here is a nice screenshot:Nice, isn'’t it? Of course it is, and it should be enough to convince you to have a look and to stop me from writing this review. Problem is, Spooks is a very good game, and one worth having a (slightly) more detailed look at. First of all the graphics are unique, mostly in grayscale and with a rather innovative use of color. Then, the three very important pillars of a comedy adventure game are there: the story is good (albeit a bit short), the dark humor is sarcastic and actually funny, the puzzles are varied, interesting and decently implemented.

Naturally, as Spooks is the Ivy'’s first foray in adventure game design, not all is rosy (what a weird and subtle pun -–eh?). Puzzles are a tad on the too easy side, which isn'’t necessarily a bad thing, as is for example the lack of obvious hotspots, which eventually leads to some annoying pixel-hunting. Other minor problems include a few quite obvious time-triggers, lack of a full soundtrack, the inclusion of one (easy yet uninspired) Myst-style puzzle and a lack of polish here-and-there.

On the plus side, the dialogs, handled with a typical multiple-choice interface, are very well written, the finale is unexpectedly unexpected, the Sierra styled interface works in an okay way, and as I'’ve already said everything is fine and dandy. Even the lead character is like Diamanda Galas in joke-mode. I guess that in order to find out more you should rather download and play the game. Here are more screenshots, and a hint on the plot: It'’s about ghouls. The female kind. That should do it. I'’m sure I'’ve convinced you to have a look.

That'’s an (eight) out of (ten).

And if you get stuck in Spooks, don'’t blush. Avoid being ridiculed by asking for hints in the comments section. On the other hand, you could have a look at my reviews of Telltale Texas Hold'’Em, Apprentice Deluxe or And Then There Were None.

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  1. Dont you just love free quality software?

  2. Apparently yes :)
    I'm far to cheap a bastard....

  3. I'm stuck. I've got the lens, lights, candle, bones and spooks. The egg is in the nest. What now? Please help. Thanks.

  4. I was half expecting something about an awful BBC program ;-)

  5. My anonymous friend... do try to use the lens to hatch the egg... A certain eyeball (or was it a lamp... can't quite remember) should help...

    Well, Tom, apparently you were spared :)