February 7th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
A man familiar with unsettling atmospheres as the “PR loudmouth” for the upcoming Dear Esther, Lewis Denby‘s own little point and clicker Masked is a creepy little game very much worth playing during a spare few minutes.
Masked has many things going for it: it’s free, it’s made in the AGS engine and it’s short and memorable. Masked is also a room-escape game; a part of the point-and-click genre that I particularly adore. I think it was the start of Broken Sword 2 with the tarantula and the fire that really got that interest of mine going.
I would love for loads of people to make lots of room-escape games and bang them all together in a 3D mansion which you walked around as an elaborate menu. Open a door and you find yourself within someone’s room-escape game, when you solve it you can then move on to the next door/game. These are my thoughts.
Back to Masked, the most non-revealing thing I can complement it for is the atmosphere. It may be a common thing to pick out from a game, sometimes even acting as a last resort positive in reviews – “the game is crap but the atmosphere was alright” and so on. That is not the case here though. Masked is from it’s very start a little creepy, dark and thought provoking. Imagine if you were playing a good point-and-click spin off from the Saw film series, with a little less gore. You wake up in a dark room, don’t know how you got there or what is going on. Then, the first thing you see is a creepy mask appear on a TV screen and then it starts talking in riddles and misunderstood precursors. Oh the humanity!
The cool thing about the design is that everything you will need to escape is in that room, somewhere in the four screens you have in your rotation. But where?! It’s puzzling and slightly frustrating if you get stuck – the answer is right there in front of you at all times. As you desperately click around every nook and cranny the sound effects really start to dig in, adding to that elusive atmosphere in a very meaningful way.
As there’s only so much I can blabber on about four walls and their contents without streaming into spoilers, I am going to leave my thoughts there. Masked is a good game. You will like it. Here is the download link. Go and play it. The End.