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Barrow Hill: The Dark Path Review

Barrow Hill: The Dark Path Review

Barrow Hill: The Dark Path Review

A nicely done British point-and-click ghost story


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Genre: Point-and-Click Ghost Story
Release date: September 22, 2016

 Barrow Hill is a quaint little farming community on the road from St. Awful to Sorepoint. It got its name from the many Bronze Age burial mounds in the area.

It has been ten years since the Event that caused several people to vanish. Officially, the case remains a mystery. But you were there. You saw the ancient guardians come back and demand their tribute. Fortunately, you were able to make the old offerings and put the spirits to rest.

That was ten years ago. Today a group of kids think it would be cool to try some real magic to get their wishes granted. What they do is release an ancient power who was defiled many years ago and now seeks restitution.

Can you avoid the evil long enough to find out what is happening? Can you appease the spirits and return peace to the community? Can you find a way to turn off that radio before it drives you bonkers?

In fact, it was about ten years ago when Shadow Tor Studios came out with the original Barrow Hill game. You can read my review of it here. Then with very little fanfare this sequel came out. In many ways it is similar to the original and it might even be an improvement.

As with its predecessor, The Dark Path is a ghost story, plain and simple. It is not a psychological horror. It is not a slasher. Unlike its predecessor, just about everyone gets out alive. There are a couple of BOO moments, but nothing that will keep you up all night with the lights on.

Game play is classic point-and-click. The cursor will tell you if you can move forward, turn, inspect or interact with an object. The hot spots are very generous with almost no pixel-hunting. Although be warned that there are a few spots that are dead until you perform the trigger action to enable them. They are there to prevent you from attaining the solution before you have run into the problem. So don’t write off a potential solution just because it was inactive earlier.

Puzzles are mostly inventory-based with a few logical ones thrown in. There are clues for all of them. You just have to be observant. I thought they were all fair and of medium difficulty.

The voice acting is a mix between quite good and Scooby-Doo eye rolling. There are also several scenes with live actors as well as those with CGI characters. I am guessing that the mix is the result of budget constraints.

And as before, the graphics are just lovely. If only England were as lush as the game without a dead leaf in the entire forest.

There is a good story and the game does a good job of revealing it bit-by-bit as the game progresses. It is not a Halloween story as the action takes place during the fall equinox, but it should be fun anytime during the fall. The ending is quite satisfactory.

The bottom line is that this is a classic game and well-executed. While there is nothing innovative and there are a few glitches, the overall experience is quite professional. I enjoyed playing it and hope Shadow Tor Studios comes out with another.

Excellent graphics

+ Mostly good voice acting
+ Live actors

Spooky, not horrific

Reasonable puzzles
+ Attempts at creating a specific mood and tone
– Some dreadful voice acting mixed in with the good
– Minor User Interface glitches 


System Requirements

MINIMUM PC (Windows):
OS: Windows XP, Vista
Processor: 1.5 Ghz
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 128 MB DX 9.0c compliant video card
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 4 GB available space
Sound card: DirectX 9 Compatible Audio

Bob Washburne

Bob Washburne

I have been playing adventure games since 1979 when I played "Adventure" on the DEC PDP minicomputer at work. The first adventure game I ever purchased was "Zork 1" for CP/M. I can remember the introduction of the IBM PC. I remember the invention of the microcomputer (actually, it was discovered rather than invented). I remember the invention of the minicomputer. Yes, I am an old fart. I have written 80 reviews and articles for JustAdventure starting with my review of "Bioscopia" in February of 2004. I currently own more adventure games than I will ever be able to play, let alone review. And I want more!

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