Enclosure

Enclosure Windows Title screen

Developer: Femo Duo Entertainment
Publisher: Femo Duo Entertainment
Year: 2004
Platform: Windows

There exists a game development tool that allows one to create adventure games in Sierra’s AGI system, responsible for their first three King’s Quest games as well as most of their adventures prior to 1989. Most of the games that were made were very amateurish, and even the ones I’ve enjoyed are hardly worthy of review. Enclosure is the exception, an engrossing horror adventure worthy of play by anyone who enjoyed adventure games in the 80’s.

Enclosure Windows Stuck in the station

You play as Mike Goodman, a con artist masquerading as a medium for the dead. You get an offer to go to an abandoned Greenland research station rumored to be haunted, joining forces with scientists and other paranormal investigators. Naturally, events lead to you being trapped in the facility, and naturally, spooky shit starts happening.

While the creepy Arctic research station is a well-worn trope, there’s a reason it’s a trope and it works again here. The environment is excellent for an AGI game and I was genuinely on the edge of my seat for most of the adventure. Sound is used judiciously and rarely did I feel like the game devolved into parody. The parser is also pretty good, removing a lot of the frustration of the dreaded “You can’t do that” messages that would interrupt the mood. Features are also added (like a map and a shortcut for identifying characters present) that make this more enjoyable than your typical AGI quest.

One of the flaws, and it’s pretty major, is (like in Colonel’s Bequest, a game the authors said was a direct inspiration) that bodies start dropping like flies, making this game less of a mystery to be solved than a horror to be experienced. While that’s fine, the illusion that you’re solving something is frustratingly erased as you go along. The plot also gets a bit ridiculous by the end and I wasn’t exactly satisfied with the resolution.

Thankfully, given the nature of the game, it’s relatively short, making it worthy of a late night play-through despite the game’s limitations. And it can be downloaded for free from the designer’s website.

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