February 15, 2015

Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo's Curse

Nickelodeon, 1994

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is an excellent horror adventure game based on Nickelodeon's television series of the same name. The TV serial is about a club of young people called the Midnight Society, who sit around a campfire and entertain each other with ghost stories. Similarly, the game starts around a campfire, where you are the new member of the club about to start telling the story of Alex and Terry, a brother and a sister, who sneak into the Orpheo's Palace, an abandoned and haunted theatre, which was closed fifty years ago after Orpheo, his family and all his employees mysteriously died one fateful evening. Orpheo, who was a great magician and people from all over the country used to visit his theatre to watch his spectacular magic shows but that evening while teleporting his own daughter from one box to another her daughter disappeared and his magic got cursed. You play the game in the perspective of Alex, who enters the theater following his sister, but as you reach the stage, Orpheo's ghost kidnaps your sister and you find yourself trapped into Orpheo's evil plans. The only way to escape this haunted theatre and rescuing your sister is to solve the riddle of Orpheo's curse, which in return will unravel the cause of the mysterious disappearance of Orpheo's daughter.

Game puzzles are very interesting and you need to find clues and hints by interacting with the good and friendly ghosts lurk in the theatre and collect inventory items. Graphically, the game is an excellent blend of full-motion video of real actors with computer-generated backgrounds. The interface is point and click and very smooth. There are no violence or gore scenes but the game is choke full of special effects and ungodly shrieks that scare you time by time in the game. Ambient music is very atmospheric and meshes well with every scene. This is one game that I enjoyed a lot playing and I would certainly recommend it to every adventure game player.