Divis Mortis

Lynnea Dally (2010)

It looks like Divis Mortis is one of many survival horror games in this competition. Waking up from a painful crack in the head, you donít remember who you are, but you quickly figure out that something strange is going on in this hospital. It looks like someone has shot a zombie just a few feet from you.

This is an interesting game that I feel both ways about. Thereís a bit of exploration, some interesting puzzles, and the game is pretty solid with only a few bugs to talk about. But itís also long winded, with large sections of text that could be cut down. On top of that the author tries to put her own fears upon you, fears of zombies jumping out of the darkness to get you, and admitting this in the intro is probably a bad thing. It doesnít add much to say:

You glance around the store. Not seeing any figures past the shelves is somewhat comforting, but you can't shake the image of a fallen zombie hidden somewhere beneath one of the shelves, just waiting for someone to wander close enough. You shudder.

And it takes time to get through. Time that I'm taking to judge your game.

The game is programmed a little on the rails, where youíre forced to go up stairs before going down. But with no clear direction, I thought I could go in either direction and started focusing on the basement. If two directions are giving, then both should be accessible and not reliant upon one another. Instead of A to B to C, the player should be able to work on A and C at the same time as well as A and B. Itís one way to keep players off the rails and give them a few things to work on at the same time. Also the overcrowded Physical Therapy Room having that much stuff in one place just turns players off, and some people wonít even bother to look at all that stuff.

In the end I did manage to just finish under the two hour limit, but if the writing was tighter I could have gotten through it a lot faster. The puzzle design is not the greatest and turning to the hints is about the only way to get through it. But I did like something about it. I scored it a 7.