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The Night That Dripped Blood Reviews
Author: Laurence Moore (as Cannibal)
Date: 2002

Reviewed by David Whyld

The Night That Dripped Blood isn't, as I'd first suspected, a story about vampires but instead about the sinking of a U Boat from the Second World War and… well, saying more would give away too many details of the storyline. The gory title aside - which brings to mind the sort of blood ' n' guts image of pulp comics - there isn' t a lot about The Night That Dripped Blood that is particularly horrifying. Only once is there any real violence in the game and even that is over with pretty quickly.

The town of Critch, where the adventure place, is large and sprawling with several non-critical locations thrown in for the player to wander around. The game is quite linear though the few extra locations go quite a way to making it seem like there is more to do than there really is.

One of the game' s major failings is a lack of items to be examined. Listed in the rooms description are numerous items yet attempting to examine them invariably leads to the dreaded "you see no such thing" - never a positive sign. Indeed, interaction with static items is on the whole quite poor. You can' t open cabinets, lie on beds, turn on or watch the TV, etc… While static items often play no real part in a text adventure as such, it' s never a good idea to not programme a response for at least a few of them. In this sense, “The Night That Dripped Blood” harks back in a way to the text adventures of the 1980's which seldom contained descriptions for all but a few of the static items, but whereas those adventures were restricted by size and thus couldn't include descriptions of everything, this adventure isn't. Due to lack of examinable items, playing the game can quickly become frustrating. Trying to examine one item after another and being told you see no such thing leaves a lot to be desired. Indeed, there were a number of locations that didn't seem to contain anything I could examine and I found myself wondering at one point if this was really a finished work and not a demo in progress.

One feature which is used, though not very well, is the ability to choose which sex you are. Unfortunately, as is often the case with choosing the sex of the main character in a text adventure, it makes precious little difference whether you choose to be a man or a woman. Indeed, I had sex at the end of the adventure with a woman whether I played as a man or woman which I felt was strange. Kinky, but strange. A little more effort into programming some separate responses for male and female characters would have been nice.

On the plus side, The Night That Dripped Blood is well written and as the storyline unfolds there is a genuine sense of unease. The only time the game really lives up to its title is at the very end when the submarine rises from the depths of the sea. A sequel, we are reliably formed in the end credits, is forthcoming.

I judged The Night That Dripped Blood as a first attempt at a horror game that doesn't really work that well but suspect that the follow up will (hopefully anyway) be quite a bit better.

Logic: 7 out of 10
Nothing terribly illogical although several of the events seem strange to say the least.

Problems: 5 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
Lack of examinable items was a major flaw but aside from this there was little actually wrong with the game.

Story: 6 out of 10
A slow starter but a reasonably good storyline starts developing towards the end of the game.

Characters: 3 out of 10
Several different ones but, alas, they have little in the way of conversation aside from a few programmed pieces.

Writing: 6 out of 10
Above average.

Game: 5 out of 10
An okay game that could have been a lot better.

Overall: 32 out of 60

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