Scratches (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scratches
Scratches North American Cover
Developer(s) Nucleosys
Publisher(s) Got Game Entertainment
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) NA 2006-03-08[1]

EU 2007-03-16[1]

Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM

Scratches is a mystery adventure computer game by game developer Nucleosys. Scratches is the first commercial adventure game ever to be made in Argentina.

Plot[edit]

The game tells the story of the Blackwood estate on the outskirts of Rothbury, a small rural town in Northumberland, England in 1976.

Originally owned by James T. Blackwood in 1963, the house is passed to Christopher Milton after Mr. Blackwood is accused of murdering his wife. A couple of days later, Mr. Blackwood dies of a sudden heart attack though some in the town start rumors that he might have committed suicide. The police decide to close the case seeing there is no further evidence left. Shortly after acquiring the house, Milton inexplicably disappears in 1970 leaving no visible trace.

The player assumes the role of the house's next inhabitant, Michael Arthate, an author seeking seclusion to work on his next book. He moves in only to find that the house still echoes its horrible past quite literally as scratches are heard all around, particularly in the basement and fireplaces, and soon becomes more interested in researching the house's history than his writing.

Original Ending[edit]

Originally, the player was supposed to use the amulet to kill Robin, turning him back into a human. They would themselves die if they weren't able to figure the puzzle out. Lead developer Agustin Cordes said the ending was "completely unfair in terms of design," and it was subsequently abandoned.[2]

Last Visit[edit]

In the Director's Cut edition of the game, a sidequest called "The Last Visit" continues the narration from where Michael had fled. A reporter is sent immediately before the Blackwood Manor will be destroyed. The place has become a scene of ruin; full of looting, vandalism, and graffiti.

Cast[edit]

James Thomas Blackwood: An eccentric gentleman, Mr. Blackwood had always been a prominent figure in Rothbury, his hometown since his childhood, being one of the most successful construction engineers in the region.

Catherine Lydia Blackwood: James Blackwood's enigmatic wife, an English teacher at a local school in Rothbury.

Christopher Edward Milton: An intimate friend and long-time doctor to the Blackwood family.

Eva Mariani: Miss Mariani, an Italian immigrant and aspiring professional photographer, was the Blackwood family's maid for several years.

William Bailey: Mr Bailey, a now-retired police chief, was in charge of the investigation of the death of Catherine Blackwood in the early 1960s. He was convinced of Mr Blackwood's guilt, but was never able to convict him.

Michael Arthate: Michael is an up-and-coming writer. Sales of his acclaimed first novel, Vanishing Town (a reference to Dark Fall), left him with enough wealth to acquire an imposing Victorian mansion, a long-time dream of his.

Jerry P. Carter: An old friend of Michael, and a successful real estate agent.

Barbara Stiles: Michael hired Barbara as his assistant to aid him with fan mail and to contact magazines around the world, offering them his short stories.

Gameplay[edit]

Scratches uses a first person perspective to navigate around the house. Using only a mouse, the player can access various rooms and other places in order to solve the mystery of both Blackwood and Milton's disappearances. It features music and special sound effects by the now defunct Cellar of Rats, which contribute to the fearsome ambience experienced at the mansion, crypt, greenhouse and church.

The game is heavily influenced by the H.P. Lovecraft mythos and several direct references to Lovecraft works make their appearances in Scratches. There are in-game references to the Necronomicon, De Vermis Mysteriis, Lovecraft's story "The Mountains of Madness," as well as one critics of Michael's book being called R'yleh. Michael states in the game he had just moved to Rothbury from Providence, Rhode Island-the hometown of Lovecraft.

Release[edit]

Scratches was first released in North America on March 8, 2006 through game publisher Got Game Entertainment. However, Nucleosys had plans to release several international versions of the game worldwide.

A German version of the game has been available since March 2006 (published by Rondomedia), as has the Italian version Graffi Mortali (published by Power Up). A Greek version of the game is also available.

A Russian version of the game has been available since May 2006 (published by Russobit-M[3]).

The Spanish version of the game (Rasguños) was announced but was never completed.

Nucleosys in 2007 released a "Director's Cut" version of Scratches, which includes an alternate ending and two more hours of gameplay. In addition to remastered sound, graphics and more.[4]

There were plans to create a Directors Commentary with a few additional features but as a result of Nucleosys shutdown, it will not be released.

The "Director's Cut" version was released on Microsoft Windows on April 20, 2011.

Versions for Linux and Mac OS X were planned, but were never released before the demise of the developer.

Critical reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 67% [5]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 3.9/10[6]
GameZone 7.4/10
IGN 7.7/10

Scratches received mixed reviews but overall achieved an average to high score from most review sites. Most notably GameSpot gave the game a 3.9[7] and IGN gave it a 7.7,[8] emphasising the games mixed reviews.

Legacy[edit]

After Nucleosys went out of business, Agustín Cordes would go on to found Senscape, who are currently developing the horror game Asylum after a successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]