The Addicott Manor

In this horror story, we're a thief searching for treasure in what turns out to be a haunted house. The horror appears to be of the gore-and-terror variety rather than the creepy-spooky variety, which may or may not be your cup of tea. In spite of some language issues, which I'll get to in a bit, the horror does seem pretty effective. This is not one of those haunted houses built around random horror tropes: the history and backstory are set, and it appears that all the horror elements spring from there.

It does not appear as though English is the author's first language, and that he is being a bit too careful with the expression of his ideas. The result is that some things get expanded out unnecessarily. For example, "The cat wore a red collar" might be written as "The cat wore a collar. The collar was red." This bloats the text and makes it harder to read. I also get the impression that he's a bit too anxious to convey every detail of of the mental image he has of the scene, resulting in the text bloating still further. I quite understand this need to set the scene, but it's generally best to supply just enough of the important details and trust in the reader's imagination to supply the rest.

Gameplay is a basic choice format navigated via numbered buttons at the bottom of the screen corresponding to numbered options at the end of the text. There are a couple of places where the choice lies between virtually identical options. In these cases, the "choice" is reduced to a matter of chance: it becomes meaningless, and takes away the illusion of control that we play IF for. There is one place where it's used to good effect, however, and that is a sequence where we're being chased through the house by malevolent child-ghosts. Here, removing the sense of control heightens the horror, and is probably the only place where it might make sense to have choices with virtually identical options.

As a breakfast, this might be French toast -- a bit soggy from too much egg -- and instant coffee, black and a little too strong. The concept works, but the execution needs practice.