Disco Driscoll

Point and click, retro, music, meh...

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Noisy Mountain

Having sat through the credits for Noisy Mountain my expectations weren’t high. A slightly oddly-done opening sequence shows us how our protagonist ended up in hospital, from where his adventure begins.

Noisy Mountain was created by a German author, and is available in both German and English. But do not fear- the English translation is practically flawless, and the dialogue is generally more coherent than in most games created by English-speakers.

Our hero wakes up after a car crash to find himself in a deserted hospital. From there, he gradually begins to unravel the mystery of how he came to have the crash in the first place, who the other car belonged to, and where the hell everyone else is. Once you have gathered sufficient evidence from the hospital, you move to the next location and so on throughout the game.

Gameplay is linear, and once a new location appears on your map there is nothing left for you at the current location, and no point returning as no fresh clues will be revealed.

The game has a couple of little flaws, namely that the graphics aren’t great, even by AGS standard, and there are a lot of useless bits of scenery that aren’t used for anything- ok, that is not really a criticism, but it seems that a lot of art was created purely for show, and it would have been nice to have had a few extra puzzles out of all the scenery.

The main problem with the game is that ending comes too quickly, just as it seems that part of the mystery is being revealed. The tie-up at the end is a bit of a cop-out, and the ‘twist’ is somewhat cliched.

In spite of this, Noisy Mountain has a nicely eerie and dream-like ambience, mixed in with some mildly gruesome scenes at the hospital, that lend a sense of the character’s confusion and desperation to the gameplayer. The puzzles can be a little obscure, but they are not too tricksy and you should be able to get through the game without recourse to the walkthrough.

As the game was released in 2005 and there’s nothing on the horizon, one would have to surmise that there will be no follow-up to the game which is a shame, as there seemed to be a story in there worth telling.

Unfortunately, it seems that the author got bored telling it. Such is the way with point and click games that often a game with a decent premise or storyline (or both) will wind-up prematurely and without explaining what the hell all that was about. But more of that another time maybe.

You should try Noisy Mountain out, for it’s a strong game. But be prepared to be underwhelmed by the ending.


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