The developers at Ethereal Darkness Interactive have just released a new horror title to their list of adventure games, and this one is a scary point-and-click game. Emphasis on the point-and-click part; having played a good amount of these type of games I was surprised to see how interactive and well thought-out the story was. The mechanics were also up to a high standard by adding many interactive side missions and over fifty locations to explore. Considering that graphics are not a huge part of point-and-click games, this one takes the cake on creativity, the "grainy security camera" style of the background adds to the theme. It really plays with your eyes and tricks you into thinking you are seeing things, which I think is a plus in any horror game.
I found myself playing 96 Mill over and over after I beat it the first time, because, on top of all the places you can explore and the mini side missions, the developers added eight different endings! A great move for an indie game to capitalize in. Especially since nowadays only a few titles will have more than one ending. The multiple endings give this game a high replay value, and if you are the type of gamer that wants to know what every possible outcome is and likes to beat a game to 99 percent of completion you will have loads of fun playing. For myself, I was able to get four out of the eight endings.
This horror game is out and can be purchased at Edigames.com. Edistudios are currently running an offer for 25% off the original price bringing it down to $5.99! I suggest your grab yourself a copy while the offer stands, you will not be disappointed.
The game kicks off smoothly with a video of a breaking news report explaining the location at 96 Mill in Rhode Island, an old factory mill with a history of unsafe working conditions and connections to disappearances. Then it cuts to a first-person-view video, it’s your first day at the job at a demolition company and you are there to assist in the demolition of the site. Shortly it fades out and the gameplay begins. The small intro was a great way to attract any player and put them in the mood of the game. The fact that the developers went as far as making a fake news report and filmed the 2-minute driving scene shows the effort in making this game as real as possible.
After the intro, the player gets dropped outside of the mill and your boss contacts you through a two-way radio. The plan is to rig all the locations your boss has marked with explosives and meet up with him afterward. Sounds easy enough, but since you are a rookie on the job you have no materials or keys, and it is up to you to find them and make your way through this maze of a mill. Did I mention that this place may be haunted? So on top of being stranded, you have creepy ghosts to deal with. With many different options of places to choose from, be prepared for a lot of jump scares while you roaming around looking for a way in.
Along with your journey, you will also come across old documents of unsafe working conditions as well as some recorded tapes from a previous journalist doing an investigation. All of these extra items are all parts of side missions that tie together in the end. I suggest trying to complete the side missions along with the main mission as it will reel the gamer deeper into the game's storyline.
The gameplay is very basic, as with any point and click game for the most part; you are going to be clicking around your environment to find what you are looking for. It is even simpler because each location tells you exactly what can be examined in the top left corner. You have an items bag similar to the one you would find in a Resident Evil game, which I thought was a cool addition. The difficulty lies in knowing where and when to use each item, as each move will either open a new location or side mission.
As I mentioned before, due to the nature of point and click games having an interactive background for the gameplay, there is not much one can do to enhance graphics to set it apart from any other title. However, the guys at Edigames took a different approach and added what I would call a fear factor into 96 Mills' graphics. Let's start off with the grainy surveillance looking screen you see while playing, that alone, added with the horror sounds, will give you a wary feeling in the bottom of your stomach.The detail of some of the rooms definitely carried an eerie feeling to them; from old bathrooms with lights flickering, to abandoned lots, and a dark tunnel with a spooky sound of the air. Top it all off with the jump scares, I feel that these were timed at the right moments. When you least expect it you will see a random shadow or something that looks like a face screaming, at one point I could have sworn I saw the monster from Pan's Labyrinth. For this being my first horror-based point-and-click game I was really impressed with the creativity in the graphics.
With any horror game, the emphasis on sound effects and the surrounding environment are huge. Although there is no background music in the game, the noises of your surroundings in each location differ. For example, some areas are quiet and in complete silence. While others have a faint, eerie wind noise, the sounds of dripping water, and in some cases the faint sound of footsteps. The objects you interact with, such as doors, cabinets, and power tools make sounds identical to the real thing. It really shows that the developers went above and beyond having everything from the environment down to the most minimal jump scare carefully thought out to make this gaming experience as real as possible.
96 Mill is a game that I will definitely recommend to any thrill-seeking gamer. It has a well-developed storyline and an overall different experience to any point-and-click title. The sound effects and jump scares were what brings the game to life, keeping the anxiety high at moments. Most of all it had an awesome replay value, with eight different endings there is a good chance two different players will both get a different outcome. For the price it's retailed at, I cannot see why this game would not be a good choice.
I give this game a high score based on the replay value as well as the creativity put into it. The guys at Edistudios created a well thought-out story and the fact that I was able to play this game on my phone while on the go made it that much better. I was a bit bummed that my save file from my computer campaign could not be transferred over when I began playing on my phone, but it's not a major issue. There were a couple of bugs while playing on an Apple device, but I am sure with some tweaks they can be fixed.
|+ Great replay value||– A couple of bugs if played on an Apple device|
|+ Compelling story||– Cannot transfer save files|
|+ Compatibility to play on cellphone browsers|
|+ Low price|