on 26 July 2004
Oh I really loved this game. Reminded me of the 7th guest and the sad way logical puzzles seem to be omitted from computer games at the moment. The story is truly compelling played it for several hours after the candle had burnt out at both ends, a whodunnit and why; The answer a pleasant shock for those of us that dont work at scotland yard. The puzzles a touch on the easy side, and I would have loved a few more. The voice acting can be mildly iffy but not enough to seriously detract from the game. The only weird [but oddly accurate] thing I found about the game is that sometimes there is nothing to do but wait, when a character says it will take him a while to do something it often does, no matter what your character has to do including thumb twiddling. But really there should be more fun throat grabbing games like this around. Its wonderful :-)
on 22 December 2004
THE BLACK MIRROR:
It is set during i would guess the late 1800's to early 1900's, and it has a lot of Gothic style of settings through out the game.
From graveyards, to Ashburry's Sanitorium to the likes of The Black Mirror Castle it's self.
All these just add to the whole dark atmosphere you get in the game, and to top that off there is some really excellent ambient music to follow what ever is going on.
It's not a scary game, no point and click has ever scared me anyway, but it does have it's creepy moments, due to the fact that the music is doing the job it was meant to, which is a good sign if you ask me.
The effects are really well done, when it rains for example, it looks like it is raining, it has the sound effects nailed to a T, another example is when your in the kitchen talking to the butler who is standing at the cooker, you hear the sizzling of the food in the pan while you chat with him, the whole package has that much detail, which is something not many games of this type can say they have.
The whole feeling of the game, as stupid as this may seem, it made me want to actually be there, with Samuel Gordon solving the mystery.
I think this is because i love the whole dark gothic atmosphere in some games :).
Anyone who likes horror games, or point and click games with a horror theme running through them, they would be well off if they got this.
I dont see them being disappointed in buying it, sure it has it's little problems which are:
When you interact with any character in the game, it usually takes a couple of seconds for them to react to you and start speaking.
Not a problem if you ask me, i dont mind it at all, infact it is all part of the charm that The Black Mirror holds.
Best play it during late night hours, lights out, with headphones (sold separately) and when you do, you are pulled into the world of The Black Mirror.
on 21 February 2005
Firstly, this game DOES work with XP Service Pack 2 as I have just finished playing it on my PC for the THIRD time and it is running XP Service Pack 2 (the reviewer who says it doesn't obviously has other problems on their PC that are not related to Black Mirror).
On to the game. It is a fairly classic third person adventure game in the mould of Nightlong, Syberia etc. The graphics are absolutely superb - very crisp, clear and detailed. As with many adventure games, there isn't a huge soundtrack to boast of, but the ambient sounds are excellent and really suit the mood of the game. Some people have griped about the main character's voice, but I really can't see why. I have heard MUCH worse in other adventure games, even well-regarded ones. Even if you don't like the voice, you have the option of turning the voice sound down and playing with subtitles instead if you so wish.
The weather effects are beautiful and as the game progresses over several days, the weather worsens and it really does feel very realistic as the rain, lightning flashes and thunder etc. are all brilliantly realised.
I enjoyed the plot immensely. It is a whodunnit with horror/supernatural overtones and it really keeps you guessing right up to the end. The puzzles are well-conceived and I can't think of one that was unfair or impossible to complete without a walkthrough.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable adventure game and, possibly along with Return to Mysterious Island, the adventure hit of 2004 without a doubt. I have already played it 3 times and it probably won't stop there!
on 1 September 2004
Black Mirror is one of the better games my spouse and I have played, the atmosphere was very good with the difficulty not too hard (we only referred to the cheats once). What helped was that the player couldn't leave a location until everything that was needed had been done, thus the player is not wandering around the whole map wondering why they can't get anywhere, I personally thought it better than Syberia2. Graphically it was as good as you could wish with not too much emphasis on unneeded video. I have seen reviewers write that it wasn't a good ending, personally I liked it, leaving the player guessing as to why, (not giving anything away), leaving the opportunity open for a sequel (or prequel).
on 18 June 2006
Black Mirror is similar to the Broken Sword series but, sadly, without the dry humour. There were parts of the game which I thought Samuel (the main character) could have made light of or a joke about but no, he's the most serious person ever. He is also extremely (and unrealistically) rude in the way he questions people to the point of intrusion. It is amazing that the other characters in the game respond positively to his incessant, nosy questions.
Samuel is also very arrogant and pretentious when talking to people who he sees as being of a lower social class to himself (the gardener and the groom come to mind - to name but a few).
The game is overall a brilliant point and click adventure. A word of warning though - this game is best avoided by those with young eyes or a nervous disposition! Some of the situations can be pretty grusomely graphic.
The ending is pretty weird though, I'm still not sure what the story was about. But the puzzles were fairly simple. The most annoying thing about this game though was the fact that when Samuel asked somebody a question (the professor in Wales springs to mind) he has to go and wander around aimlessly and keep coming back to him to see whether he has an answer yet. I'm fairly sure I spent at least an hour or more just wandering around waiting with nothing to do in the meantime. Not a great system for game play.
A great point and click for fans of the genre. It was extremely addictive so if you have a few days and nights to kill, this is the one for you!!
on 19 April 2004
The introduction starts with an FMV sequence (Full Motion Video) giving you a good base to the start of the story. From this intro you will see just how good this game is going to be. It was definitely an intro I didn’t want to skip.
Once the main game starts, the first thing that hit me was that the colours were very rich. A lot of attention has been given to the details in this game, although I do feel that a little more time could have been spent on the characters themselves, as visually they do appear a little sketchy. Items within the game are very well done, again with great detail. I often find when playing a game for review, that background items can make a lot of difference to how people see the game. I always think that the designers don't seem to spend as much time on an item that isn't going to be used within the story as much as they do with an item that is, but Black Mirror again dispels this as all the items you come across are of equal quality. Shadowing is also impressive, as you can see from the screen shots below. Good lighting is something that I think many games lack, Black Mirror appears to have found a perfect balance here as they haven't gone over the top or under on it.
I found the controls very easy to get to grips with. Traveling from one room to another is simple, if you can enter a room your cursor will change to a little door, just left click and you will walk to the doorway. You can speed up the process by double clicking the doorway and you will be taken straight there rather than having to view the character walking there which I really liked as you don't find yourself sitting there impatiently waiting for your character to get there.
As you are searching a room for items, if there is anything you can pick up or manipulate then your cursor will turn red. This is cool because you don't find yourself aimlessly clicking around the screen waiting for something to happen. I know this is nothing new but games are still being released where this option isn't available. I will say that if you do find an item that turns your cursor red then keep clicking on it until it isn't red anymore as you will get valuable info sometimes. Also don't forget that with some items you can right click on them to interact with them. This skipped my mind a few times and left me wondering around feeling confused. This isn't the designers fault, this is just a little reminder ;)
One thing that I did find a little annoying was that if you find lets say a candle in a drawer that you don't need straight away you can't pick it up until you get to the point that you need a candle then you have to go back to pick it up, which means a little bit of going backwards and forwards, again nothing too bad but can get a little annoying.
Items can also be placed together when they are in your inventory. To mix two items together just click one on top of the other and if they can join they will flash. The same if you wish to use an item out of your inventory on an item in the scene just select the item and place it over the other one, if they can be used together they will flash. This eliminates any frantic clicking around to find the right item.
The voices of the characters I did find a little false to be honest. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of the game at all as after a short while you do get used to it, but initially you can tell that it's not an English person that has done the voice over. If it is then I am sorry. :) but I personally didn't think the characters voices were realistic enough. There is a green house in the garden that you can visit and I was very impressed with the change of sound effects that occur when you enter it when it's raining, it is very realistic. I think this makes the enjoyment of the game just that little bit better. If you get an artificial sound it doesn't give the game the credit it deserves.
The storyline begins straight away in the introduction. I didn't find myself wondering what am I doing here? what am I supposed to be doing? Why am I here? The introduction explains very well what your aim is and what has happened so far. I think this is excellent as I have played many games that just drop you in a place and expect you to work everything out for yourself. Black Mirror tells you just what you need to know not too much that it spoils the game and too little that you left wondering what to do to get started.
One thing I will say about the puzzles that you will encounter is listen carefully to what people tell you, not only does it add to the great storyline but more often than not they will give you clues as to where or what to do next.
The storyline kept me hooked on this game from start to finish. There are a few twists and turns that make you believe you know who the killer is, and then suddenly other things become apparent and changes your ideas. Black Mirror is going to be a top selling game in my opinion.
on 27 November 2004
Great point and click game. Strong story line and good graphics. Kept you guessing right up to the end. More games like this please.
on 14 July 2006
Like a reviewer before me, I found some parts truly time wasting and the bit in the graveyard with the teeny spoons was just downright annoying! Other than that the game was very very good and a lot of fun to play. The ending is weird and as I had no sound card at the time reading the subtitles was a bit of pain! I do recommend this game if you like Broken Sword type games, overall I did enjoy it. The graphics are very good and the movement around the place is very realistic.
on 10 April 2005
My son and I played this game together and loved every moment of it. The storyline drags you kicking and screaming into the dark world of Samuel Gordon who is investigating the death of his uncle who died a mysterious and somewhat grisly death. The story takes you to many fantasically rendered scenes which beautifully depicts the mood and atmosphere of the places he visits from villages to mines, morgues to catacombs.
As the story unfolds and the corpses pile up in evermore alarming ways. You also get a wonderful sense of being caught up in the mystery but the changing locations.
You must be warned however that there are a few scenes not for the feint-hearted or for young children to witness. The music enhances the brooding atmosphere. The puzzles are moderately difficult but a walkthrough is needed at times to help with some of the rather bizarre point and click options needed to progress through the game.
My greatest whinge with this game is the rather stale character voices which present as rather monotone even in the the most alarming of situations. A further irritation was the way in which many characters took several seconds to respond to questions - how rude!! If my master and employer asked me a vital question about a murder I wouldnt finish off a task before aswering him. On a final note we felt that the ending was a bit abrupt.
Nevertheless a brilliant and absorbing game which we spent many many enjoyable hours completing. A real must for any gothic point and click adventurers.
on 11 November 2005
I bought this game after reading the reviews which I found quite helpful. As with any RPG game, there are puzzles/problems which is completely illogical and ridiculous but nearly all of them are completely solvable if you have the patience. The game is good in this respect. There is also an increased level of difficulty as you move on where you need to speak to specific people at certain times before you can action on an item e.g. pick up a log, whilst at the beginning you can action on everything even when you don't know why you are picking things up. Items are much better hidden as you progressed and this part is good as well as frustrating. You do need to keep going round to speak to the same people so this is not a game for someone who likes to finish an area and move on. The storyline is predictable and slow at times but it is not necessarily a bad thing as you can put down the game and put it up again whenever you want to.