Doug Egan (2008)

In Afflicted you play a health inspector searching through a dingy restaurant, in a seedy part of town. The atmosphere is dark in this horror piece, and the puzzles are well crafted, fitting perfectly into the story. It was a real joy to play through this one.

This is a well-done game that sets a mood that's dark and oppressive. The rooms feel cramped and the place is nasty, as you walk around looking at everything, noting what is wrong. And the concept works great for interactive fiction, because that's what we do, look at everything. The 'note' feature is handle pretty well too, and as the sanitation points drop it almost becomes a mini game to see how low of a score you can get. I got it down to -101.

The game seemed to drop clues just at the right time, guiding me through a story that was well crafted, even though a bit cliché. The setting was vivid and easy to visualize, with victimized characters and cruel masters that were all memorable. Conversation is handled with the ask/tell method, and even though Nikolai's dialog was a little thin, the other two seemed to have a bit more depth.

This was a great game to play, really using an economic space to tell its tale. It's small enough that you don't have to map, but large enough to tell a compelling story. And even though it's hard to get to the winning ending without using the walkthrough, there are multiple endings that take in the array of choices made during the game. Everything was handle amazingly well. I just loved it. This game gets a blood chilling 10 from me.