There's something very strange going on. It's as if you are living through your worst nightmare and unable to wake up. Won't anyone let you in on the terrible secret that haunts your walking moments.
Why has Jimmy Blandford taken to drinking - has he experienced the powerful forces of darkness? Why has your father, the dutiful local Vicar, neglected his parish without any apparent reason? Why did your mother invite you to stay for the weekend, then disappear without a word?
What unspeakable horrors await you behind the closed doors of the old burnt out manor house? Are you ready to meet a vampire and do battle with a crazed hound sent straight from hell? Are you ready to be terrified beyond your wildest dreams?
Don't even try to wake up. It's your very own Personal Nightmare...
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.6.8 or later. Processor: Intel Core Duo 2GHz+ Memory: 1GB of RAM Graphics: 64MB of video memory Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled.
Posted on 2010-04-16 18:09:17 by Thompsons:
You know, I have to credit Horrorsoft for making games with genuinely creepy ambiance and gore. Things got in your face and when you died, you saw just what that ghoul or hellhound did to your ugly mug when he slaughtered you. Every environment was spooky and deadly, and it really felt as if nowhere was safe for your hapless protagonist.
That aside, I really have to say that theirread more titles were also some of the absolute worst adventure games I've played in my whole life, and Personal Nightmare is no different. From obscure puzzles and solutions ("hit dog with stake"? How many people here would have even guessed that if it wasn't for that screenshot?) to screwy first-person perspective movement and a punishing difficulty, this game is just a crash-course in frustration. And the sheer number of dead-ends, Jesus-- Every Horrorsoft game gave Sierra a run for its money in terms of "screw you for playing our game," and Personal Nightmare set the trend. Literally, you can render the game unwinnable in two separate ways in the span of, like, one minute if you miss Jimmy getting run over and forget to take the key from the Robert's coat in the bar.
Not to say anything of the game's control system, which is an awkward combination of both point-and-click and text parser. You can use your mouse to click on objects, open doors, move in a direction, and combine items with a "handy" list of verbs on the right side of the screen. Unfortunately, you can't actually beat the game using just the verb list, and you have to press enter to issue a command which basically defeats the purpose of even having a verb list in the first place. Instead, you mostly rely on the game's parser, which is nowhere near as intuitive as the parsers in games like Zork and Spellbreaker. You wanna get a key from a pocket? "You can't see the key." Okay then, OPEN POCKET. An inventory screen is opened up and I can see the key now, but... I can't pick it up from there. It turns out you need to use TAKE KEY FROM JACKET, but why can't I just use TAKE KEY? I know where it is, I can plainly see it in an inventory window. And this isn't the first time you get these awkward moments trying to wrangle something from a container.
And the actual movement itself feels strange, as instead of arrow-based movement, the games uses both cardinal AND intermediate (NE, SE, etc) directions, as well as the occasional "go up/down" direction. There's no compass to keep track of which way you're facing so if you use the mouse click on the action window and move, you won't actually be told which way you're facing. It's frustrating because instead of the keyboard and mouse controls complementing each other nicely, either one just feels useless enough that you HAVE to use the other at different intervals. It's completely irritating and would have been better if they had just stuck solely with a parser OR a point-and-click interface instead of badly melding both.
And of course, it wouldn't be a Horrorsoft title without an irritating gimmick. In Elvira 1-2 and Waxworks, it was the RPG-lite mechanic and spellcrafting. On the plus side, Personal Nightmare came before Horrorsoft started shoehorning combat into their games. Instead, they used something just as annoying: the entire game is on a time limit, with certain events only happening at certain times or only ever occurring once. If you miss an important event or time frame then the game is unwinnable and you're forced to start over. It does sort of add a sense of urgency and dread, but the timeframe is so constricting and it's difficult to tell just how exactly you messed up in any given segment, let alone how you're supposed to foresee any consequences of your (in)actions.
To be fair, the game does have some not-horrible aspects. For one, the graphics are decent. Finely animated and a decent color range keep things from being harsh on the eyes. The story is also pretty unique: you're just the son of a local vicar, coming down from your life in the big city to spend some time with your family. But when you get there, you find things are very, very wrong, and it's up to you to kill the beasts of Satan while having the cops deal with the possessed townsfolk by giving them evidence to arrest the evildoers. It's actually a pretty unique setup, having the police be your buddies instead of a hindrance or enemy. Sadly, that's where the game's positive aspects end.
There are much, much better games you could purchase for six bucks on this site. For the love of God, do NOT spend it on this, a monument to bad adventure game design.
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Posted on 2009-07-03 17:32:39 by Astrozombie:
I love horror games. I buy them on sight, even if the game in question has the reputation of being a real stinker. Well this one doesn't have that reputation, so I'm even more inclined to purchase it. This is truly a treat, and I applaud the GOG team for doing such a fine job acquiring Horrosofts titles, all of which are grade A. Personal Nightmare is no exception.
It beginsread more simply enough...
I arrive in the local inn, with a few people in plain view. I've played enough games from this era to know how the controls work. Either mouse commands, or Keyboard. I prefer keyboard, but to each his own. I type in LOOK. Immediately it calls off what's around me. The Barkeep tells me where my room is, and his lovely wife stands next to him serving drinks. A man sits at the bar, obviously drunk. I check this place out a bit, interesting, interesting. But nothing too interesting. As I exit, I start to take a general survey of the town layout. Church, house, house, gas station, etc. Nothing unusual. I find a building very near the pub that is unlocked. As I explore each of its rooms, I hear a noise outside. I run out to find the man drinking at the bar lying on the sidewalk, as another man runs from him shouting.
Personal Nightmare is a game that will absolutely envelope you once you start playing. It's got all of the essentials that horror games need. Great Atmosphere, terrific story, just enough mysteriousness to keep you questioning, and high difficulty. If you've played Waxworks, you know the drill in these games. Difficult, constant deaths, constant saving. The difficulty of Personal Nightmare is not quite to the point of frustrating, but just keep in mind to save every minute or so. Also, keep in mind the interface of the game. Try typing in all sorts of things, not just the verbs provided on the side. Sometimes typing in a word you thought would do nothing (pray, for instance), suddenly unlocks a huge part of the game.
Now for the bad things. I honestly have only one real complaint. No music. There is sound, which by the way is extremely loud and will scare the crap out of you unless you turn your speakers WAY down. Oh, actually I have another complaint. This game, like all of horror soft and adventure soft games, does not allow you to skip the opening credits. Not really a big deal but still annoying.
Buy this game, just do it. Who cares that it's only 7mb. That doesn't mean anything! This is a fantastic horror game!
If you are trying to pick between Waxworks and Personal Nightmare, I honestly would go for Personal Nightmare. If you have the cash, get both. They are each well worth the cash.
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Posted on 2009-07-03 06:19:26 by Danda:
If you are a fan of Waxworks and Elvira, this adventure game may interest you. It feels more 'primitive' because of the technical limitations PCs had twenty years ago, but you'll feel Horrorsoft trademark all over it.
As you can see in the screenshots, the PC version (the game was also released for the Amiga) runs in 16-colour EGA mode, and there's no sound to speak of. But evenread more if it's an old game (1989), it has good design and your instructions can be entered not only by typing them but also by pointing and clicking (there's a list of verbs on the right side).
Basically, your mission consists of stopping all the 'evil people' in your home village. You start off chasing people, but soon you'll be fighting sobrenatural opponents. There are quite a few scares to be had with this game!
As in other Horrorsoft adventures, you'll die often, and in very different ways, so always remember to save!
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