I’m a gamer who has missed out on a lot of great point-and-click adventures due to the fact that I never had a gaming PC. I’ve been a console gamer my whole life, and I don’t see that ever changing. While I’m saddened I missed great games like Grim Fandango and 7th Guest it is nice to see that THQ Nordic is publishing a reboot of the decade-old The Black Mirror series. Most of the point and click adventure games that I have encountered have been pretty dry and lose my interest reasonably fast, not so for this Black Mirror reboot. King Art Games did a great job making this game extremely atmospheric and timely. I enjoyed every point and click I had to do with this game, and look forward to this little survival horror point and click taking off.
Seeing that this is a point and click adventure, the game is very story driven with lots of surprises and twists along the way. I’m just going to lay the setting down for you so I don’t spoil anything for anyone. You are the son of a man who recently died, and you were willed an old estate called Sgathan Dubh. Your name is David Gordon and the house that you must sign for has a nickname, Black Mirror House. Your father, being a smart man, has left you clues so that you can solve some seriously difficult and interesting puzzles. As you do this you slowly learn about the house, your family and what ultimately drove your father to his death.
The controls of this game aren’t too difficult to master, the left thumbstick moves David around the mansion and the right thumbstick controls the camera. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t rotate completely for you, it’ll move a tad but won’t follow your full control which kind of makes all the pointing and clicking a tad more difficult. David is also a very sluggish walker so when you are wandering around the mansion it takes quite a bit of time, even more time since you don’t have a map and some of the darkened hallways look very similar. You can also get caught on the geometry of the game as you try to pass a table or plant in the way, this doesn’t make the game unplayable by any means but be prepared to walk and get nowhere if you’re not paying attention. Since this is a point-and-click adventure with a controller you use the left thumbstick to control your reticle once you decide to examine something. Make sure you use the right thumbstick to examine even more closely, I lost an hour trying to find a secret in a desk and it was right in front of me the whole time.
The graphics in this game carry the mood to perfection, as I wandered the mansion in the middle of the night I was legitimately nervous that Cthulhu would come get me or some other unnamed horror awaited me. KING Art Games made sure that every little detail was included, and that every corner of the house was a scary place to investigate. The time period of the early 1800’s is very much alive in this game, the clothes, the set pieces, and even the language capture it all so perfectly. The mansion is a beautiful yet horrifying place, the voice-acting is top notch which I didn’t really expect for this title. I expected people to phone it in yet they gave great performances. Even the puzzles built into the game gave off an air of timeliness, one, in particular, was a very ornate desk that you would never be able to buy from IKEA or anywhere in this decade. KING Art Games did a phenomenal job bringing this era to life on my PS4 and I commend them for it.
Honestly, I went into this title expecting very little and being very surprised once I finally got around to playing it. I kept wanting to wander through the mansion more and more, every time I did I found some new hint as to what happened to my father. If you like survival horror, you will love the atmosphere and mystery of the game, point and click fans will fall even more in love with the genre and fans of puzzles will have many tough ones to figure out. The puzzles were not very forgiving in this game and since I had no walkthrough to look at I struggled a bit with a couple of them. Be ready to think a lot, jot notes down, and take pictures of clues with your phone so that you can reference them easier while in the menu portion of the game. If you were on the fence about this game when you first heard of it, jump off that fence and find a copy of this title. In a huge year for games, this is one of those unique games that will stand out and make you wish for more unique titles once you play it.
A Playstation 4 Review copy of Black Mirror was provided by THQ Nordic for the purpose of this Review.