Free Game Friday: “The Last Door Chapter 1″ (2012) Browser
This Free Game Friday is a little big special. I had to debate whether or not to review this one, because technically the second chapter is not free to play (yet). However, the first chapter will still give you a solid twenty minutes or so of gameplay, and once the game is complete the developers promise that all of the chapters will be completely free. Combine that with the fact that the game is pretty damned impressive, and I decided to make a small exception.
“The Last Door” is the story of Jeremiah Devitt, a scholarly, well-to-do young man living in England in 1891. He receives a mysterious letter from his old schoolfriend, Anthony, which consists only of the Latin motto of the secret philosophy group they attended in their Scottish boarding school. Concerned at the cryptic nature of the letter, Jeremiah decides to journey to Anthony’s family home and find out just what’s happened to his old friend.
Of course, once Jeremiah arrives at Beechworth manor, he finds it deserted and surrounded by crows. Anyone who knows even the lightest bit about horror will know what to expect, but since Jeremiah apparently didn’t bother to read his Poe, he heads right on in. It’s an old story, but still an effective one, and still a powerful one when it’s well told. And don’t get me wrong, this story is very well told. Jeremiah has to search the deserted mansion, uncovering the story of Anthony’s final days and the secrets hidden in its chambers.
Now, the story doesn’t end in chapter one; it continues in chapter two, and will later on in three and four. For right now, only chapter one is free to play, but you can donate any amount you want to unlock it. But chapter one is still self-contained and a good, solid little gothic game. As you can see, the graphics are very pixellated and retro, and I’ve seen a lot of comments bitching about that. Me, I loved it. It took me right back to my childhood playing the old “Quest for Glory” and “Ultima” and “Clock Tower” games, huddled over the dark computer screen, using my imagination to pick out the finer details of the graphics. But even given that, I find there’s an impressive amount of love and detail but into these graphics.
Another major upside is the music. The soundtrack is composed of beautiful, period-appropriate orchestral music which contributes perfectly to the game’s gothic feel. Contributing enough to the project’s Kickstarter enables you to download the soundtrack as well, and I think it’s well worth the $4.
Personally speaking, I loved this game. It’s nothing new, but it’s a fantastic holler back to the classics with a great story, atmosphere, and soundtrack. The game might still be in development, but the first chapter is free and well worth the play. Give it a look, and I honestly hope you’ll donate to the further development of the project.
You can play “The Last Door” and learn more about the project at TheLastDoor.com.