Remember the comedy horror adventure game The Miskatonic? Remember when we told you that a very early alpha build of the opening chapter was released to the public? Well, I finally took the time to sit down and give it a once through. What I saw had promise, but being such an early teaser there is still a lot of work that obviously needs to get done before it’s ready for release. Most notably the numerous typos in the text, but I’m more than willing to overlook that for the time being. It is, after all, way too soon to judge the game on about an hour’s playthrough.
As the name suggests, our heroine starts working for the (in)famous university located in the fictional Lovecraft town of Arkham, Massachusetts. In addition to being quite quirky she’s also a witch that worships the Goat With a Thousand Young, Shub-Niggurath. For the uninitiated she’s a twisted fertility goddess. Anyway, just in the opening sequences that have been revealed we also are treated with several references to the famous author’s works. And along with it plenty of dark comedy. Fans of the genre with a wicked sense of humor will love the story I believe.
The current alpha demo doesn’t have much in the way of gameplay. In fact, it’s basically a glorified series of cutscenes. I mean, the developers did call it an “animatic alpha” after all. Aside from the various conversations with university staff all you do is roam around a few screens, pressing “S” to go through doorways to either another corridor or to trigger another scene. If all you want is some of the early story then go right ahead and download it for yourself. The art during these conversations are great and kind of make me wish that I didn’t drop my pledge from getting myself as a side character.
The faculty in The Miskatonic are an eclectic and eccentric bunch, with the most “normal” person still having quirks that’ll make any sane person blush. I’m particularly fond of Lizzy, the Dunwich horror that acts as a pilot that will ferry Charlotte and friends across the world taking on supernatural horrors. I also instantly fell in love with our resident witch (the dancing in the rain naked type) because she’s just got an awesome outlook on the universe. In fact, I liked all of the characters that you get to meet during these scenes. They’re not perfectly written but I can definitely pick out their warped personalities. And it’s wonderful.
Here’s my take on the demo provided. It’s hardly close to being ready for prime time. But at the same time I know it’s months away from release. Also, this will be the only public build that I’m aware of before it gets close to the release date. Alpha backers will be treated to continually updated builds, as will Beta backers once The Miskatonic reaches that stage. While I didn’t give enough for the alpha stage I will be graced with the more polished releases up until the public gets their grimy ichorous mitts on the game. And I look forward to seeing it evolve into the maddening comedy that I backed it for.