April 2, 2015 1:20 PM | Luca Colosso
Providing that you've got the right tools, and the adequate knowledge, turning H.P. Lovecraft's short stories into point and click adventure games is fairly easy. There are countless examples of this. Perhaps it's the characters' behaviour that facilitates the transition, or maybe it's just their plot that is a natural fit. Cloak and Dagger Games chose The Terrible Old Man to do so, and the result has been a brief, but tense experience that you won't easily forget.
The player takes on the role of Czanek, a minor criminal who just arrived in the small town of Kingsport alongside his two partners in crime. There's nothing much to do besides enjoying a beer paid with the remainder of the loot of your previous job. However, just when you were least expecting it, an opportunity arises. As you approach the bar you hear of an old man who's supposedly rich and lives completely alone; an individual that definitely makes for an easy target for three of your caliber.
The game is structured in two main scenes: one at the tavern and the other right outside of the ancient house that you're going to break into. In the opening one, the puzzles revolve around finding the address of the mansion trying to get the suspicious people to talk. They're extremely unwelcoming, and because of that it'll take multiple interactions to make even the slightest progress. Still, what matters is that you manage to reach your target in the end (it takes no longer than five minutes), and after figuring out a way to check whether the old man is really as harmless as it sounded, you'll assist your two mates going in while they leave you in the car ready for the great escape.
Something will go wrong, that was really obvious from the start. Though the way you learn that your friends won't ever come back is unexpected and terrifying at the same time.
The Terrible Old Man features completely hand-drawn graphics, and part of why it turned out to be so scary is definitely the incredibly detailed animation of some of the most crucial cutscenes. Even the character portraits slightly move, which is something that other than being utterly fascinating, at times it can become almost creepy if you stare at them for long.
Due to the engine's restraints, the game is available just for Windows. You can download it for free on Game Jolt.