User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

The Black Mirror (Windows)

74
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Nate Kuslis (4)
Written on  :  Aug 28, 2004
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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Summary

The search for the truth.... could have been better

The Good

I loved the gameplay system. If you're a big fan of 3d person point and click adventures, you will want to check this game out. Even though the sprites are 3d, they are not that ugly like they are in older games like Grim Fandango. The backgrounds are beautiful, and the weather effects are great.

I did like the puzzles in the game, they were not overly complicated and very logical. You will have to backtrack in this game in order to pick up certain items or converse about certain subjects, but I liked that because it is very structured and logical.

I did not think the story was 100% original. A man returns to a dark castle to investigate his family's past. But the game does incorporate a lot of horror and mystery elements. You won't just dive into corpses and blood and eyeballs; the game makes very nice transitions.

The sound was nice. It helped elucidate the mood and feelings of the particular scene.

Using your inventory was quite simple. I like how the programmers set the game up like a wide-screen movie and put the inventory in the bottom black bar.

The Bad

The voice acting was not good at all. Almost every character had no intonation or detectable changes of attitude. The script was not too bad, but the voice acting could have been better.

At certain points in the game, you will have to wait actual time before you can proceed. You may visit other locations, talk to other people, and just explore, but you will still have to wait for an event to pass before you can continue your "adventure." Sometimes I would return to a character to see if he was done researching a fact for me and each time he would say "Not yet. Come back later." for at least 10 minutes. It may have been realistic, but I did not enjoy that.

Though I did like the story, the ending was sort of a letdown. There was no climax, no fight, no epic battle, and hardly what I would call a resolution. Perhaps the writers ran out of ideas, but honestly, I could have written a better ending. And although I do like using logic, the ending could have been a bit more surprising and a bit less contrived.

The Bottom Line

If you find it for 10 US dollars like I did and you are a fan of adventures, especially 3rd person horror/mystery adventures, you should pick it up. More of an action or RPG fan? Probably not the game for you. But if you're in the mood for a decent mystery/horror game, you should probably pick it up. It will provide a few hours of entertainment.