Adventure Games

Barrow Hill

  • Review Date: 2014-02
  • Release Date: 2006-04
  • Developer: Shadow Tor Studios
  • Rating: 4.5

Very creepy atmosphere, tick. Non-linear order to solving puzzles, tick. Interesting premise as you're trapped in a very small area trying to figure out why everyone has gone missing, with supernatural undertones, tick. But sadly the design and art of Barrow Hill is very much a budget creation. This is 2006, a time of 2.5D or 3D adventure games with animation. Barrow Hill presents it's gameplay as 2D images, with no animation in between, more or less just a series of flat photos all played from first person perspective, with awkward movement. A style used in adventure games in the 80s and early 90s. If you are going to use this style, then the images should be something truly fantastic. A series of narrow roads, a cafe, a motel and petrol station with a few brief excursions off trail into the woods or swamp isn't unique or breathtaking. It might be creepy and have a bit of atmosphere, but I can't agree with a 7/10 aggregate score on Metacritic for a game that could have been released 25 years ago, and would have been no worse. It is a very small team of developers, but this style of gameplay is too old fashioned today. Oh and the first bit of dialogue about 15 minutes into the game is possibly the worst dialogue and script I've ever seen in a video game. On a positive note, Barrow Hill is only about 3 hours long, which a is a good length to be honest.