Stone circles, ancient curses and the Celtic legends of Cornwall are explored in this re-released adventure game.
I've played through Barrow Hill a couple of times now, before writing a review for an online game store.
I'm a fan (always have been) of point and click style adventure games, which feature good stories. Barrow Hill is not only a great adventure game, it also features a cracking story and a meticulously detailed square mile of (a slightly fictionalised) Cornish landscape. Stone circle enthusiasts are represented intelligently, with the player being left to decide whether the archaeologists are right to disturb the site, or whether the protesters are hopelessly misguided. Pagans, techno-pagans and the completely sceptical are all featured, making Barrow Hill a detailed and intelligent effort.
The flora and geology feels very accurate, the ancient site (the barrow of the title) is eerily atmospheric and the puzzles are logical, integrated and satisfying. Puzzles and story are what helps the adventure genre differentiate itself from the action orientated games of the FPS or RPG genre.
All game genres can have highlights, and Barrow Hill is definitely an example of great adventure gaming. Those seeking the mad pace of an action game, or the expansive grandeur of Oblivion, will probably find Barrow Hill rather slow, but the atmosphere, story and...most importantly...archaeology are spot on, well researched and detailed. The creators love of ancient sites, folklore and adventure games shines through the slightly 'low tech' approach to game construction, but as a debut effort from a single individual this is less than important. It's a super game, with lots of puzzles, great sound design and centres on an ancient barrow and stone circle on the Autumn Equinox. Perfect for some serious Halloween orientated puzzle solving.
This 'Focus' rerelease is a bargain! Grab one now, and start exploring Barrow Hill.