Description official descriptions
Horror writer Michael Arthate comes to the isolated Blackwood Manor to complete his latest book. Alone in the Victorian home, nestled away in Northumberland, England, Michael's only contact with the outside world is via the telephone. Little does Michael realize that he isn't as alone as he believes. Exploring the house, Michael uncovers sinister secrets leading up to a terrifying answer to the question, "what is that noise in your basement?"
Scratches is an adventure game played from a first-person perspective using a point-and-click interface. Players must use inventory and deduction to solve integrated puzzles, exploring the manor and its grounds. An original soundtrack has been created by Cellar of Rats.
- Шорох - Russian spelling
Credits (Windows version)
41 People (26 developers, 15 thanks) · View all
|Programming and Game Design|
|Art and Scenery Design|
|Music and Special Sound Effects||
|“Scratches” Credits Theme|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 74% (based on 32 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 31 ratings with 2 reviews)
The graphics, while nothing spectacular, have the right feel and really capture the mood of the dusty old mansion. Some scenes, like the chapel, are actually quite beautiful. The music is quiet and very minimalistic, which suits the game perfectly, creating just the right atmosphere for a horror story. And yes, it gets really scary.
The story is full of clichés from the very beginning and the more you progress, the more clichéd it gets. I don't want to spoil anything, but haven't we seen enough ancient African cursed masks already? I get this is a sort of an homage to H.P.Lovecraft (there is actually a painting of Cthulhu in the manor), but I'd rather see something more original. "Scratches" often feels like "Alone in the Dark" without the action. What's worse, however, is the puzzle design. While the puzzles are mostly logical, they rely a lot on pixel hunting (particularly painful with a 360° three-dimensional view) and very often you simply have no idea what to do next - you can't, for example, end the first day without dealing first with a certain inconspicuous piece of paper. The game, however, never even hints that this paper might be important and because the manor is quite large and you can never be sure you didn't overlook anything, playing without referring to a walkthrough could be very tedious. One particular number-lock puzzle towards the end of the game is pretty much unsolvable unless you have a walkthrough or endless patience. I am a devoted adventure gamer, but I have to admit I missed action in "Scratches". Nothing ever happens in the game except in two very short dream sequences. Most of the playing time is spent walking around the manor trying to find out what are you supposed to do next, which is not particularly interesting, and solving a puzzle just leads to another puzzle without any reward. The very end is also rather anticlimactic and made me feel slightly cheated.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a scary gaming experience and don't mind a terribly unoriginal story and a very slow pace, "Scratches" is just for you. Unless you are really very patient, I recommend having a walkthrough handy - but then you'll notice that the game is actually quite short. Overall, it is not a bad game, but don't worry if you miss it.
Windows · by plumifrons (95) · 2006
The scares, the sounds, the visuals, the story.
A lot of the puzzles are really tedious and you have way too many options to start with. It takes a long time to get chugging along solving puzzles. Bored + scared will make people stop playing. Needs better pacing and door transitions don't help. Ok, well that one time they did.
The Bottom Line
When was the last time a game scared you. Really scared you. Now I'm not talking about dogs bursting through windows that get your heart racing for a minute. I'm talking about the kind of scared where you didn't want to go in your basement, or take a shower, or go to bed or even close your eyes. The kind of scared you may have experienced after seeing a movie like "The Exorcist" or more recently "The Ring". The kind that haunts you weeks maybe years later. Probably never in a game. Not like that...
Scratches changed all that for me because at last a game gave me nightmares. A game made me peek over my shoulder in my own house. A game made me rush up the stairs to and close my bedroom door.
I'm not easily scared, and I'm a huge fan of horror movies, those aforementioned movies did scare me but to be honest I was way too young to be watching The Exorcist and with a very excitable girl watching The Ring so I suppose maybe they're not my fault. Scratches I would put in the same category as these two in their presentation of horror. The atmosphere the game creates is one of great dread and the brilliant but simple drive to put the camera in the 1st person was a great decision. I have never understood why horror games played in 3rd person. Sure they can scare you with jump-scares but there's still that 3rd person distancing/ it's not me it's him kind of inner monologue. Scratches with it's gorgeous visuals and perfect, absolutely perfect, music/ musical cues/ and sounds will pull you in and will not let you go. You cannot pull yourself away no matter how scared. There's a great storyline which also helps give you momentum in exploring the house even after some of it scariest moments. Sure some of the puzzles are tedious and walking from room to room is time-consuming but these are all things you will overlook once the game ends and you get to return to your real life. But the game is still there, in the back of your mind, when you're trying to fall asleep, when you're trying to do the most menial tasks. It's still there, and it'll probably always be there. No player can miss this opportunity and should definitely treat themselves to this. A thinking person's horror game.
Windows · by Depeche Mike (17425) · 2006
Euro-pless at fact checking
A newspaper in the game implies that Euros are the currency being used. In 1970s Britain. The Euro currency didn't come into existence until 1999, and Britain has never used it. And, following the events of June 23rd 2016, probably never will.
Related Sites +
Hint File for Scratches
Full guide presented in question and answer format.
Len Green's Scratches Solution
Walkthrough posted on GamesOver.com
by Aya (on Just Adventure)
Walkthrough by Fisicx
Full step by step for Scratches
- MobyGames ID: 21494
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Terrence Bosky.
Game added March 3rd, 2006. Last modified November 16th, 2023.