Reviews and Problems with Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle
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Adventure Classic Gaming
1 May 2012
Excerpt: Barrow Hill (also known as Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle) is a horror mystery adventure game created by Matt Clark, an independent game developer from Cornwall, United Kingdom. This is the first game developed by Clark under Shadow Tor Studios of which he is also the founder. For Barrow Hill, Clark has chosen to borrow the history of Cornwall—an area steeped in real life mysteries, myths, and legends for millennia—for use in the game's story.
Excerpt: Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle is a point-and-click adventure that shares many similarities with the two Dark Fall adventures. That is, it's largely the work of one man, Matt Clark, and it relies more on atmosphere and your imagination than it does on splashy special effects and fantastical puzzles.
Excerpt: Sonic, the rapid wee blue hedgehog, has undergone many a bastardisation over the years. At first glance, Jump elicits this same mix of disdain and pity for the once great hero. Jump is new in that it plays with the classic rapid sideways platformer by making up the only option. This limits your control significantly. Sonic jumps continuously as you steer through the courses using only left and right as well as a bit of a jump boost.
Conclusion: Unless someone really likes archaeology or must possess every adventure game ever created by man, then it’s doubtful anyone would bother to give Barrow Hill a glance. There’s no spark or magic about the game, which in the age of shortening attention spans and next-gen expectations is a huge problem.
Excerpt: There must be nothing more satisfying than making your own game on a shoestring budget, and then actually getting it published at retail. That's what Matt Clark and Jonathan Boakes, co-creators of point-and-click adventure Barrow Hill, have done and they've had some help too, with a long list of what are undoubtedly friends and family who've lent their voices and expertise to the game. Not only is this an indie production, it's a family affair too.
Excerpt: “The knowledge must be passed from one to another… My faith is torn, yet I know what I must do.” i History of any sort has long been an interest of mine. And there’s certainly enough to discover in recorded history to keep any enthusiast satisfied. But one can’t help wondering: what of that which came before? Before the written word, what was there? Myths? Legends? Barbarians? Monsters?
Summary: Bad things apparently happen in towns with "Hill" in their names. As if the nightmarish streets of Silent Hill weren't enough to scare fright-game fans out of their wits, now they have to contend with Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle. But this adventure based on authentic archaeological digs in the UK doesn't live up to its almost-namesake, due to grade-z production values and a suicidally dull story that lacks even the mildest hint of the heebie-jeebies.
Pros: It eventually ends
Cons: Boring plot that is both amateurishly told and largely incoherent, no sense of horror, fear, or even mild heebie-jeebies, clunky graphics that do one thing well--hide clues, voice acting to make an online soap opera sound like the Royal Shakespearean Company doing <i>Hamlet</i>
Conclusion: To wrap up, I really enjoyed playing Barrow Hill. The game is dripping with atmosphere, has some beautiful graphics and lighting effects, and plenty of unnerving sound effects. The storyline is gripping and the puzzles mesh well with the plot. You won’t find yourself stuck at any point for too long, unless you’ve not been paying attention to the myriad of clues all around you. My only complaint is that the game is a little on the short side.
Conclusion: Barrow Hill is a solid adventure that takes actual fact and blends and warps it to its own blend of reality through a haunting landscape and highly mysterious circumstance. I recommend it to any adventure gamer, and more so to those interested in ancient standing stones and Celtic legend.
Excerpt: Cornwall hat mehr zu bieten als schöne Aussichten und romantische Cottages. Im klassischen Point&Click-Adventure 'Barrow Hill' lernt ihr die düstere Seite des britischen Südwestens kennen. Ob das Gameplay ebenso düster ist, klärt unser Review.
Pros: spannende Geschichte, viel Atmosphäre, faire Rätsel