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Black Dahlia

aka: Black Dahlia: A Game of Adventure and Dark Mystery, Black Dahlia: Il Fiore del Male, Black Dahlia: Um Jogo de Aventura e Mistérios Obscuros

Critic Reviews 71% add missing review

Mega Score (95 out of 100)

Alguns jogos usam o terror para vender, Este parece usá-lo para cativar um público adulto. Algo que parece conseguir quando mistura factos e ficcção num filme interactivo.

Mar 1998 · Windows

Adventurearchiv (93 out of 100)

Actually I'm not one of those, who squat hours at the computer and forget the entire environment, but with "Black Dahlia" it happened that I was bound to the computer in such a manner, realizing that it was already 2 o'clock in the night. For me the game is one of those for a long time again, that is very much appealing me concerning atmosphere, graphics and puzzles that I wished, I could play it again, without any foreknowledge.

Apr 6th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Game Revolution (A-)

Black Dahlia is a great game that all adventure/mystery fans will not want to pass up. It has a very long and well developed story about some REAL events from the forties. The game is so well researched, it makes you feel a part of the time, from the clothing, to the style of speech. The graphic interface is excellent and the complex plot will draw you in. It is truly an involving murder mystery, with thought provoking and relevant puzzles. A must buy for all murder mystery/adventure fanatics.

Nov 4th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Puntaeclicca.it (9 out of 10)

Una produzione molto impegnativa, tipica di quando i giochi d'avventura erano sulla cresta dell'onda. Uno dei giochi più significativi e complessi che un appassionato di questo genere non dovrebbe lasciarsi sfuggire. Per adulti ed esperti.

Dec 2000 · Windows · read review

Quandary ( )

It's a sad moment for me as I begin this review because, to be perfectly honest, I'd rather not be writing it just yet. Unfortunately, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) means that I've finished playing Black Dahlia, and it was so enjoyable I didn't want it to end.

May 1998 · Windows · read review

Electric Games (83 out of 100)

Black Dahlia is a pretty good game overall. It's a very long game, one which gives you a lot of gameplay for your money. The plot is very linear, although that does keep the disk swapping to an absolute minimum. I experienced only one crash the entire time I was playing the game, and even that didn't cause any real problems. I'd have preferred to see the entire game rendered or even animated, instead of the full motion video sequences, but it does the job it was meant to do. Bottom Line: Fantastic rendered graphics, I've seen worse uses of FMV. Excellent sound, especially the music. Acting is a mixed bag, most of it quite average. Dennis Hopper and Teri Garr are far too underused. Game interface is slick, with only a couple of slight flaws. The story will keep you interested, and the game is very long. Puzzles are quite difficult on the whole, but entertaining.

1998 · Windows · read review

Meristation (8 out of 10)

La dificultad de los puzzles es elevada. Esto lo considero bueno por preferencia personal y porque muchas aventuras gráficas, con el ánimo de abrirse a mayor número de usuarios, caen en una facilidad excesiva, con lo que algunos jugadores expertos se las ventilan en pocos días, habiendo realizado una inversión dudosamente rentable. La película no es una obra maestra, pero me resulta entretenida y ameniza bastante entre puzzle y puzzle. No es el típico caso en que las animaciones aburren y nos preguntamos cuando nos toca hacer algo.

Mar 21st, 1999 · Windows · read review

Computer Games Magazine ( )

With a host of interesting twists on historical events, and a few creative surprises of its own free will, it's difficult to not recommend Black Dahlia to any adventure gamer with a genuine appreciation for a well-crafted tale. Given the sinister ramifications of your failure in this game, it's welcome reassurance to know that the series of events in Black Dahlia, even if they are flavored by actual facts, are mere fiction. Or 'gulp' are they?

Apr 2nd, 1998 · Windows

Adventure Classic Gaming (4 out of 5)

Black Dahlia begins its somber and mysterious tale in 1941. The United States is plagued by a serial killer in Cleveland known as the “Torso Killer” and the grisly murder of an aspiring but aggrieved young actress in Los Angeles named Elizabeth Short, who is dubbed “Black Dahlia” for her propensity to wear black. Meanwhile, the Nazi’s regime and their obsession with occult mysticism trouble the pre-war Europe and have made the country very apprehensive. These actual, real life events have now been woven together and fictionalized by Take 2 Interactive in a game called Black Dahlia (as known as Black Dahlia: An Occult Mystery). While the story, atmosphere, and graphics are all excellent, a number of laborious puzzles, bugs, and crashes in this game may leave you somewhat disheartened.

Dec 3rd, 1999 · Windows · read review

Imperium Gier ( )

Opracowanie muzyczne jest świetne. To samo można powiedzieć o grafice. Tło tego okresu, koszmarne tajemnice to wszystko tworzy niesamowity nastrój. Należy też nadmienić, że gra przeznaczona jest dla nieco starszego odbiorcy (duża dawka przemocy i brutalności). Myślę że wystarczy mojego opisu, a wszyscy niecierpliwie czekacie by biec do sklepu.

Jun 17th, 2000 · Windows · read review

Przygodoskop ( )

Black Dahlia jest jednym z ostatnich tchnień czasów, kiedy to duże, "mainstreamowe" firmy wierzyły jeszcze, że na klasycznych (i trudnych!) grach przygodowych można zarobić. Smutne jest to, że Take 2 przestała tworzyć przygodówki praktycznie w momencie, gdy po latach eksperymentów udało jej się wreszcie zrobić tę najlepszą, naprawdę interesującą i wciągającą. Jeszcze nie idealną, ale już taką, której można sporo wybaczyć. Ja Black Dahlii wybaczyłem nawet zabugowaną zagadkę z przesyłką (dead end, którego nie likwiduje chyba żaden oficjalny patch). Wybaczam też... brak napisów końcowych! Najwidoczniej ktoś nie zdążył z ich opracowaniem przed premierą. Szkoda, że zdarzyło sie tak akurat w przypadku gry, nad którą pracowało ponad 100 osób.

Jan 7th, 2013 · Windows · read review

PC Zone (1993-2010) (7.9 out of 10)

Like olives stuffed with anchovies, or sex utilising a variety of 'bells and whistles', interactive movies are an acquired taste, and by now you'll probably already have made your mind up whether to buy Black Dahlia or not. But if you're still undecided whether to leap head-first into that whole genre pool, you could do a lot worse than testing the water with this baby.

Aug 13th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Entertainment Weekly (B)

Where Black Dahlia falls short is in its dorky (albeit standard) interactive technology: You choose between two, maybe three actions from an awkwardly written predetermined list that has little bearing on the plot's essentially linear progression. At heart, Black Dahlia is an extremely long movie riddled with puzzle-solving intermissions — a nonintuitive experience, to be sure.

May 8th, 1998 · Windows · read review

Just Adventure (B)

Black Dahlia is not a flawless game. However, its excellent storyline, with superb reproduction of the 1940s atmosphere and beautiful, well-integrated graphics and video, coupled with minimal disk swapping, are highlights. Though I encountered technical problems during Black Dahlia, it is clear that most people have not. Illogical, tedious puzzles and potential technical difficulties are the only obvious pitfalls of the game.

1999 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (71 out of 100)

Enkel liefhebbers van de oorlogsperiode zullen in totale extase zijn en "die-hard" puzzelaars zullen ook een stevige kluif hebben aan dit spel.

Mar 31st, 1998 · Windows

PC Joker (71 out of 100)

Trotz komfortabler Bedienung (Karte, Inventar und Speicheroption werden z.B. einfach per Rechtsklick aufgerufen), aufwendiger Präsentation inklusive Musik und niveauvoller Sprachausgabe sowie der spannenden Story kann Black Dahlia nur geduldigen Abenteurern empfohlen werden. Da paßt es ins Bild, daß auch die angekündigte DVD-Version noch auf sich warten läßt.

Apr 1998 · Windows

PC Action (Germany) (65 out of 100)

Der Thriller mit der spannenden Horror-Story wurde von Take 2 als aufwendiger interaktiver Film inszeniert, in dem u. a. auch Dennis Hopper ein Gastspiel gibt. Anspruchsvolle, gut in den Plot eingearbeitete Puzzles fordern von Ihnen viel Geduld, gute Augen und eine gehörige Portion Kombinationsgabe. Technisch kann Black Dahlia – abgesehen von kleineren Bugs – weitgehend überzeugen.

Apr 15th, 1998 · Windows

GameStar (Germany) (64 out of 100)

Black Dahlia ist ein reines Spiel für Erwachsene, von der Unbekümmertheit eines Tex Murphy fehlt hier jede Spur: Die über acht CDs ausgebreitete Story nimmt sich ernst und spart nicht mit Brutalität und Schockeffekten. Sie ist überaus souverän, fast hollywood-like in Szene gesetzt, wozu auch die exzellenten Schauspieler (allen voran natürlich Dennis Hopper) beitragen. Lediglich den Hauptdarsteller hätten einige Schauspielstunden gut getan. Das Fehlen von echtem 3D ist zu verschmerzen, nicht aber die unglaublich umständliche Handhabung des Inventars.

Apr 1998 · Windows

Power Play (60 out of 100)

Es ist nicht einfach so, daß „Black Dahlia“ schlecht wäre, im Gegenteil hat es sogar etliche starke Momente — aber leider krankt es eben auch an zwei grundlegenden Gebrechen. Erstens ist es zu schwer, und zwar viel zu schwer. Schwer genug, um selbst Profis den Angstschweiß auf die Stirn zu treiben! Zweitens (selbst wenn einer fähig und willens wäre, sich durch die nicht immer fairen oder auch nur sinnvollen Betonrätsel zu beißen) braucht es eine viel zu lange Anlaufzeit, um auf Touren zu kommen. Stunde um Stunde versinkt es trotz aller Anspielungen auf gräßliche Mysterien im gähnenden Aktenstaub. Dieser Part würde vielleicht Wappenkundlern Spaß machen, aber solche Leute halten Computerspiele ohnehin für Teufelswerk, kommen also als Zielgruppe schwerlich in Frage. Die Misere endet erst mit der dritten CD und Dennis Hoppers Auftritt in der Rolle von Pearsons unglückseligem Vorgänger Pensky; eine Szene, die wirklich unter die Haut geht.

Apr 1998 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (60 out of 100)

Anscheinend gehört es in diesem Genre inzwischen zum guten Ton, alle Puzzles so umständlich und schwierig wie nur irgendwie möglich zu machen. Schade um die guten schauspielerischen Leistungen, die Akte X-würdige Story und die wirklich tolle Grafik. Ein klaviersaitendicker Geduldsfaden gehört nämlich dazu, um hier nicht sofort frustriert aufzugeben. Zu hoffen bleibt, daß die in Kürze erscheinende deutsche Version für hiesige Spieler etwas leichter verständlich sein wird...

Apr 1st, 1998 · Windows

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )

Overall, BLACK DAHLIA is yet another in a long line of games that leaves me with mixed feelings. The period flavor is good, the story is interesting, the research is well done. But many of the puzzles are tedious and frustrating; the main character doesn’t develop; and the finale is a disappointment, to say the least. This is a pity because with a bit more attention to the adventure side of the game, and with a less dismal conclusion, this could have been a superior product. As it is, anyone who plays BLACK DAHLIA should be prepared for an uneven ride.

Jul 1998 · Windows

GameSpot (5.9 out of 10)

Adventure gamers who don't mind puzzles that are rote and unrelated to the story will probably enjoy the bulk of Black Dahlia. The technology is nice, the story is interesting for a while, and the game is relatively long. But those longing for the days when puzzles were actually a part of the story will probably find Black Dahlia to be just another pretty romp through a bunch of unrelated locales.

Apr 14th, 1998 · Windows · read review

Svenska PC Gamer (58 out of 100)

Spelet bara fortsätter och fortsätter. Och fortsätter. Det ligger på åtta - åtta! - CD-skivor. Det en aman kan göra är att svära åt det, skälla ut huvudrollsinnehavaren för att han aldrig säger det man vill han ska säga, och framförallt för att han aldrig säger "tack" eller "hej då" när han lämnar ett rum. Oartighet är det värsta som finns.

Apr 1998 · Windows

Just Adventure (C+)

Black Dahlia has all the potential to be a classic adventure game like Curse of Monkey Island, but a few flaws keep it from achieving such a goal. Take Two should have thought twice about some of their puzzles and made the game interesting and fun the whole way through. A large drop in the middle of the game is a serious dump on the entire experience. However, Black Dahlia is definitely worth a try for those ready for its challenging puzzles.

Mar 28th, 2003 · Windows · read review

PC Player (Germany) (56 out of 100)

Die hier gebotenen Rätsel erfreuen allenfalls menschliche Dechiffriermaschinen, die in der Schule gut in Mathe waren. Man muß wirre Codes knacken, Einzelteile zusammensetzen, mühsam Wege erkunden, langen Dialogen lauschen und vor allem ein gutes Auge für abstrus versteckten Kleinkram haben. Für mich ist Black Dahlia deshalb ähnlich reizarm wie eine vertrocknete Primel; da spiele ich liebe zum dritten Mal Monkey Island durch.

Apr 1998 · Windows

Adventure Gamers ( )

Set against the backdrop of the second world war, Black Dahlia is an ambitious game that takes its cue from such classic movies as The Maltese Falcon and Touch of Evil. Although the premise of this game is not new — think Raiders of the Lost Ark — the game uses largely historic facts to spin its web of intrigue, betrayal and horror. The game is named after Elizabeth Short, a young girl with dreams of stardom in Hollywood, who was found naked and severed in two in an abandoned lot in 1946. With ebony hair and known for wearing all black, Elizabeth was quickly coined the Black Dahlia by the press. Yet her story only makes up a small portion of the game.

May 19th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Just Adventure (C)

Overall, Black Dahlia is yet another in a long line of games that leaves me with mixed feelings. Period flavor is good; the story is interesting; the research well-done. But many puzzles are tedious if not frustrating, the main character declines instead of improves, and the finale is a disappointment, to say the least. Which is a pity, because with a bit more attention to the adventure side of the game, and a less dismal conclusion, this could have been a superior product. As it is, anyone who plays Black Dahlia should be prepared for an uneven ride.

1998 · Windows · read review

The Good Old Days (Staff Reviews only) (3 out of 6)

I sort of liked the game on the whole. It is indeed visible that it is a well-intended effort. If it hadn't had the annoying mega maze, it would have even been worth a recommendation. If removal of gameplay elements makes your game better, you better rethink your design. It’s really that simple sometimes.

Dec 28th, 2013 · Windows · read review

PC Jeux (72 out of 100)

Dans le même esprit que Ripper, Black Dahlia ne convaincra pas le Sherlock Holmes en herbe.

Apr 1998 · Windows

Player Reviews

Challenging adventure and a treat for puzzle lovers.
by Jeanne (75535)

The Good
It took me a long time to finish Black Dahlia. I think it is for that reason that parts of it still remain etched in my memory.

There is so much more to this game than what the screenshots, or even the game's main description, portray. The case is enveloped in suspense that you can almost feel as you play. The killer you seek is as mysterious as Sherlock Holmes' Moriarty. The murders are part of a deep, dark secret that opens the doors to an ancient, supernatural cult.

Although character interaction is handled with video cut scenes, you explore hand-drawn locations which are all very realistic. There is a World Map for travel to different places that appear after you hear or read about them. Numerous objects can be found while exploring. Your inventory items can be turn around, opened or closed and combined with others (which is sometimes the only way to solve a puzzle). PI Jim keeps a notebook where he copies down important information, but you can type your own notes in it too.

By far the most prominent thing about Black Dahlia is its puzzles. There are puzzles of every type and they range in difficulty from easy to hard. Luckily, easier ones are at the beginning of the game, easing you into the mode and provoking your logical side. Most of the puzzles have clues to them, but some of the more difficult ones do not. (For those who need it, there is an auto-solve option if you know the proper one-word code.)

You can die in this game. And decisions made at the end of the game can result in 2 distinct endings. Both endings provide a more than satisfactory conclusion to the game.

The Bad
As I eluded to above, some of the hardest puzzles in the game don't have any clues and, rather than being based on logic, they're mere guesswork.

I had some hang-ups and crashes while playing, even after applying the patch.

The Bottom Line
I think this game must be one of the most memorable games I've ever played. It is a good adventure game, especially if you really like puzzle-solving and mystery detective games. If you like games that test your logic and reason, enjoy adventure exploration and character interaction, play this game. You will find it as challenging as I did!

Aug 17th, 2001 · Windows

Plus 24 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Luis Silva, Jeanne, Veniceknight, Scaryfun, ti00rki, Karsa Orlong, Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, Xoleras, Wizo, Parf, deepcut, Mr Creosote, garkham.