Parents' Guide to

Chronicle of Innsmouth: Mountains of Madness

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Retro Lovecraft adventure's scariest parts are its flaws.

Game Windows 2021
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Back in the earlier days of gaming, point-and-click adventures were all the rage, because they could tell a complete story while making the player feel like an active part of it. Chronicle of Innsmouth: Mountains of Madness pays homage to these classic games with its faithful retro-styled re-creation of the point-and-click experience, wrapped around the equally classic literary works of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. While on paper it makes for an interesting way to visit the Cthulhu mythos, in practice, the game never quite rises above a certain level of mediocrity. At its best, the game manages to squeeze out a few decent story beats. Unfortunately, the rest of the time feels like a bland, watered-down tale with enough bad edits to keep players fumbling around.

One of the biggest issues Mountains of Madness has is its presentation. While it's easy to appreciate the effort that went into creating a point-and-click adventure that looks like it was found in a time capsule from the early '90s, lots of the presentation still falls flat. The voice-overs, for the most part, sound like they're either being read off cue cards or auditioning for Shakespearean theatre. There's no in-between. And the plot feels like its based off the Cliff's Notes version of Lovecraft's works. Huge chunks of story are just glossed over or completely omitted, often leaving players confused and frustrated. Finally, while the various puzzles have relatively simple solutions, the game doesn't do much to nudge players in the right direction. The end result is an experience that feels rushed and almost incomplete, with holes big enough to fit a Shoggoth through.

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