The House Abandon

There is something about old school gaming that isn’t captured by modern gaming. Kind of like ‘analog gaming’, getting out the chunky keyboard, connecting it to the TV, putting a tape into the deck, it’s all so… tangible. Downloading a game digitally on Steam then clicking ‘Play Game’ doesn’t quite have the same magic.

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Magic, as we know, is also related to supernatural things like ghosts, demons and old people’s toenails. So it makes total sense that The House Abandon combines the magic of analog gaming with inception style supernatural hijinks to make for a spooky retro style experience.

The House Abandon takes place in the shape of an Infocom style text adventure, with you typing in basic commands like “LOOK AT HOBO”, “GET CURSED CLOWN COSTUME” or “POSTULATE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE MANY WORLDS INTERPRETATION”. It’s all good fun, but at times, guessing the precise verb the text parser was programmed to accept was often frustrating part of the fun!

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House Abandon takes it back a step further, meta-style, by actually placing you in front of an old Spectrum style computer and television, literally playing a game-within-a-game. Typical grimy analog elements are captured, from the faux loading screen and the sounds of the key presses, to the brooding 80’s style synth-background.

Naturally, this all wouldn’t be more than a neat little gimmick, except that these two worlds eventually interact with each other in interesting, and spooky, ways. Ruh roh!

Admittedly, though, the text adventure portion is very basic. The interface is clunky – perhaps purposefully so to build tension and dread – but it does sometimes get annoying waiting for the text to finish before you can act. The commands are also quite limited, but not that you really needed many, since there is only was only one real puzzle  (if you could call it that).

The House Abandon is more of a narrative experience, an electronic short story if you will, that only just scrapes into our requirements for games (it must be considered an actual game with gameplay and an objective). The method for presenting the game-within-a-game is certifiably neat, though, as is the atmosphere. I certainly hope to see more from developer No Code.

The House Abandon | download

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on September 9, 2016, in Adventure and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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