February 2, 2015

The Vampire Diaries

Her Interactive, Inc., 1997

The Vampire Diaries is a fine mystery adventure game based on Lisa J. Smith's novel series about a teenage girl, Elena Gilbert, who lives in her Aunt Judith's house along with her little sister Margaret after both their parents passed away in a car accident. Aunt Judith lives in Fells Church, a small town in Virginia where lately, the town folks witnessed some supernatural creature that attacked some of them in different parts of the town. You don't believe these stories until your own sister is attacked by this winged creature, while the whole family is attending the opening ceremony of Mikhail Romanoff's Art Gallery.

Now, while Margaret is in the town hospital and Aunt Judith is looking after her, you decide to investigate the mystery behind this winging creature. So, casting yourself in the role of Elena Gilbert, you start your quest by exploring the town and meeting different people to collect clues and find a lead that will help you reach the base of this mystery. Despite the linear game play, the events within a situation are non-linear and you can interact with characters or perform an action or solve a puzzle in any desired sequence. When you interact with the game characters a full motion video image of the person responds to you locked in a nicely designed graphical frame. This graphical frame, which is also surrounding the game playing area, contains the menu, the dialogue text and the inventory in its comparatively larger lower part. If you have played any of the later Nancy Drew games from Her Interactive then you will find yourself quite familiar with this control settings.

Puzzles are mostly like being somewhere at the right time or finding a different time to perform an action or explore a place, which is not accessible at that time. While the game graphics are reasonably good for the time it was released, the video clips are quite jerky and inferior in quality. Similarly, the music scores good, but the voice acting is average. In the bottom line, I would say that Vampire Diaries is a nice adventure game to try, if you have nothing else to play.