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One of the first of the best thriller games, The Lurking Horror should be in the collection of any fan of Stephen King, or thrillers in particular. This text adventure was set in a college, where strange experiments are taking place. You must stop the evil before it engulfs the whole campus...and perhaps the world itself! So cool was this game's story, puzzles, and overall play value --even to this very day-- it made Techtite's list of Top 50 Multimedia Classics. Every thriller game out today pales in comparison.
An den Rätseln von The Lurking Horror gefällt mir, daß trotz der Horror-Fantasy-Handlung jedes Problem streng logisch gelöst wird. Es gibt hier kein wildes Rumhantieren mit Zaubersprüchen, das mir bei Fantasy-Adventures immer mißfällt. Die Handlung ist immerhin so gruselig, daß ich mich beim Spielen sicherheitshalber ab und zu umgucke, ob nicht doch irgendwo ein Monster in meinem Zimmer aufgetaucht ist. Außerdem lasse ich jetzt immer alle Lichter in meiner Wohnung an... Obwohl ich anrügen sollte, daß Infocom mal etwas frischen Wind in die Adventure-Szene blasen sollte. Im Augenblick brillieren Infocom-Adventures durch Handlung und Puzzles, nicht durch technische Perfektion. Da hat Magnetic Scrolls ("Guild of Thieves") zur Zeit die Nase vorn.
DOSThe Games Machine (UK)
What's beyond any doubt is the quality of the puzzles. They're imaginative in many different ways, very logical and usually of just the right (moderate) difficulty. The only small problem is the protagonist's motivation for the small subtasks he has to fulfill. The main task should be finishing the paper, but that's little more than a 'McGuffin'. Sometimes, you'll find yourself wondering what you're supposed to do next and then if you find out, it's hard to relate that to your ultimate goal at times.
For now, let’s be as frank as the mists of nostalgia allow. The Lurking Horror is a very good game, which uses a mature, though still quite limited, version of the Infocom parser, and manages to infuse the player with an (admittedly false) sense of true freedom. Sometimes of dread too, as this game oozes atmosphere like an ooze oozes ooze. The rather loose and at times disjointed plot, that besides its shortcomings does a great job of being interesting and involving, puts you in the shoes of a GUE (George Underwood Edwards) student, in a typical dark and stormy night, one day before an assignment is due. The apparently desperate struggle to prepare the said assignment soon turns into a dangerous journey to the GUE Alchemy department, through the old and Lovecraftian underground corridors of the University. Then you get to die a lot and experience quite a lot of weird and some (wisely few) quirky little funny moments.
Lurking Horror's parser is, as expected, up to snuff. The writing is excellent; the game is firmly rooted in the Gothic horror used by Lovecraft and Poe. Dave Lebling has captured the essence of the genre well. The plot, however, is not as well developed. It contains some nice elements, but at times the disparate plot elements felt unconnected. The characters also lack flair.
MacintoshAll Game Guide
The Lurking Horror is more complex than most, and the ending might be seen as a bit of a letdown by some players. However, the game is enjoyable on the whole.