Publisher: Lighthouse Interactive
Developer: Big Time Game
Digital Download - 06/01/2007
Intl - 06/01/2007
Delaware St. John Volume 3: The Seacliff Tragedy Review
Delaware St. John Volume 3: The Seacliff Tragedy, is the third installment in this adventure game series from Big Time Games. They are a small game design company which started up about three years ago. Their flagship series, Delaware St. John, features a young man named Delaware St. John, who frequently experiences visitations and sightings of a paranormal nature. In other words, this guy is a ghost hunter.
In The Seacliff Tragedy, the plot centers on the Seacliff Amusement Park. A horrible tragedy happened at the amusement park four years ago that killed a hundred people, and subsequently the park closed. The ghosts from this accident have visited Delaware, and he travels to the amusement park to discover more information about them. Here he finds the new owner has become a recluse living at the park, due to his entire family being dispersed by bizarre accidents, some deadly. Delaware and his partner, Kelly, join together to solve the mystery behind these disturbing events.
This mystery begins in the dark, at night, at the amusement park. Delaware finds his flashlight in the truck, but it doesn’t help much. Players will find themselves squinting and tilting their computer monitors in order to see the screen better. This adventure is played in a first-person perspective, with the typical adventure components of inventory gathering, puzzle solving and roaming around the landscape. Movement is accomplished by the mouse, with arrows showing the directions that Delaware can move. The interface is extremely simple and self-explanatory, which is a pleasure. Inventory items are always visible at the bottom screen.
As Delaware explores, he will often encounter “Shadow People,” which appear to be some type of ghostly guardians of the park. They’re also supposed to be scary, but aren’t, at least to me. I just can’t be too apprehensive of dark figures called “shadow people” that pop up from time to time and watch me faint. I regain consciousness in a few minutes, then the game resumes, with no shadow people around anymore. Kelly and Delaware can scare them off with their flashlights. Further into the game, these shadow people become more numerous and Kelly/Delaware will have to start the action over again if they don’t disperse them with their flashlights, but even then, they’re not all that troublesome. On the other hand, the clown statues at the park are downright creepy, and I found them much more disturbing.
As the game progresses, players will switch between playing as Delaware and Kelly. I like this type of duo interaction, which reminds me of Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within. Both characters play somewhat the same, though. They both have to traverse a maze, too! But take heart, the mazes aren’t not too hard.
The game’s look is handled nicely, with some great artwork. The whole tone is dark and depressing, which is suitable for the game’s plot. There is also great detail in the objects and scenery in the game. The characters are animated very well, and move smoothly. The voice acting is decent for the most part, in that the main characters all sound great, but some of the other characters aren’t voiced as well.
This game is described as being a horror/thriller type of adventure game, but it’s not one of the most intensely scary games around. I was much more scared playing one of the Tex Murphy games featuring aliens from Roswell. It’s also not a very challenging game, as the puzzles aren’t difficult to solve. The most trouble that players will have is the extreme linear nature of the game, which means that often localities and actions aren’t available until a certain required action has taken place. For instance, I often spent a lot of time walking around and around a room, until I did something that was required, and then magically a new arrow icon would appear that hadn’t been there before.
This is my first experience with the Delaware St. John series, and so I really can’t compare this game to the previous two. All I can do is report on this game. I found it to be a fairly average adventure game; not one of the best I’ve played, but not one of the worst, either. The main problems I had were the lack of challenge and the lack of a seriously scary story. This game just didn’t seem very intense or scary to me. However, others may find it more frightening.
I would recommend this game to casual adventure gamers who enjoy light adventure games, and who like TV shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer.
Review Scoring Details for Delaware St. John Volume 3: The Seacliff Tragedy
The gameplay is easy and not frustrating, but isn’t all that interesting, either. The story isn’t all that involving and the puzzles are not the most engrossing around. But at least there are no sliders.
The look of the game is very nice! It sets the atmosphere in just the right manner.
The music is good and matches the atmosphere. It appears to be original and is nice to listen to while playing. Not many sound effects, though.
The puzzles and activities range from a medium difficulty to an easy one. None of them are overly difficult.
The game doesn’t add anything new to the genre of adventure games. It is well presented, though.
This is a totally average adventure game. I’ve played better, but I’ve also played worse. It would have been better with a more involving story and better puzzles, but what is here is decent enough, and fans of the series will probably enjoy it.
Use your flashlight as a weapon in a whole new way
Reviewer: Anise Hollingshead
Review Date: 07/02/2007