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- Ecstatica -

The very first survival horror game (in my eyes) was Alone in the dark which you put in a Victorian English setting where you investigated a house left to you by an uncle. In Ecstatica you are a traveler in a medieval setting who just happened to pass the village of Tirich when your water supply ran out. You decide to get some supplies but to your horror the town is deserted and vile beasts run amok around town. Unwillingy you are cast in the role of the hero as you must save the town from the creatures and find out what exactly has happened.

The opening cinematic shows you riding your horse around the countryside and coming across the village of Tirich. As soon as you walk into the village things are not well as there is nobody around and the first house you walk into has a werewolf beating up one of the villagers. Unfortunately being a werewolf you can only slow him down a bit but he will keep coming at you throughout the game until you find a way to stop him permanently. Once you get around a bit you will soon find some villagers whom can tell you more of what happened and it seems the monsters were once all locked away but an evil witch has unleased them. You will have to find the culprit and put an end to the horror.

Walking around town is fairly easy and you can run, walk or sneak around to avoid creatures. Running will often allow monsters to ambush you so take care while doing that. The game is quite openended and you can freely explore around town while trying to collect needed items which unfortunately you can only hold two at one time and one is usually a weapon. The combat is quite simple as you can throw two kinds of punches and dodge, luckily the town has monsters but most of them will not be back once defeated except for the werewolf. The villagers can occasionally be helpfull but many of them will be hurt and beg you for help or to end their lives, you can even do this as this will nog affect gameplay. One nice touch is that you can select to play as a man or woman but this does not change gameplay in any way other than the visual aspect.

Visually the game is quite remarkable because the characters are made up of elipses instead of square polygons, this reduces the load on the hardware but it does make the monsters rather cuddly which defeats the horror part of the game. The backgrounds are prerendered using voxels which also gives them a very distinct look. The openendedness is good but it also means the playarea is quite small and you can finish the game in a couple of hours. There are some annoying bits like the combat where you keep getting hit by a creature and cannot hit him back as well as a bit of an awkward control scheme. Dispite all that it's a fun game which was quite unique in it's time and given it's length well worth finishing off during an afternoon.

Overal rating: 8/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for one system here are some notes:
DOS Released in 1994.
Apparently there was a talky version (planned or maybe released) because the game has an option for subtitles which are ON by default.

Date added Aug-13-2010 14:44
Name Ecstatica
Developer Andrew Spencer Studios
Publisher Psygnosis
First released 1994
Genre Adventure
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Download MS-DOS, filesize: 17343 Kb
Manual Download manual , filesize: 4 Kb
This is the same as the text manual.
Solve / Docs Get solve here
Get map needed for the solve here

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