Shadow of the Comet
|Shadow of the Comet|
North American cover art
|Distribution||Floppy disk, CD-ROM, download|
Shadow of the Comet (later repackaged as Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet) is an adventure game developed and released by Infogrames in 1993. The game is based around H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. A follow-up game, Prisoner of Ice, is not a direct sequel.
The game uses many elements from Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The Necronomicon, as well as Lovecraft himself (under a different name), make cameo appearances in the game, along with well-known actors such as Jack Nicholson and Vincent Price.
The game takes place in 1910, and concerns the visit of a young British photographer, John Parker, to the isolated New England town of Illsmouth (an alteration on Lovecraft's Innsmouth) to witness and photograph the passage of Halley's Comet.
In 1834, on the last passing, Lord Boleskine visited the town after learning that certain conditions near the town would allow astronomical objects to be seen clearer and closer than on any other spot on earth. He decides to test this theory by observing the comet from Illsmouth, but something unexpected happens and he goes insane, spending the rest of his life in a London lunatic asylum. John Parker, learning of the 1834 incident and reading over Boleskine's papers, wishes to succeed where his predecessor failed.
When he arrives, Parker stumbles upon a sinister conspiracy and must survive the three days between his arrival and the comet's passage while finding out what happened in 1834.
The player can control Parker via the arrow keys. When Parker comes across something he can interact with, a button press will allow the player to do so. Items that Parker can take will project a white line from Parker's eye to the item, indicating that when the player interacts with the item, it will be added to Parker's inventory. Apart from this the game plays like a standard third-person adventure game.
Computer Gaming World praised Shadow of the Comet's plot, puzzles, writing, and "rather naughty, dark Gallic sense of humor" but criticized the lack of mouse support, calling object manipulation and puzzle solving without one "painful". The magazine concluded that the game "is a high quality graphic adventure that offers nothing particularly new as far as technological advances and is, in some ways, a touch old-fashioned. This may, however, not be a bad thing" given the plot's quality.
- Matthews, Robin (1993-08). "Robin Matthews Launches a Detailed Investigation of France's Latest Export". Computer Gaming World. p. 82. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
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